• Sticky fruit buns (Chris Middleton)Source: Chris Middleton

These fruity buns are reminiscent of hot cross buns, but without the cross – perfect to eat all year round! 






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (50 votes)

Allowing 10 minutes resting time after mixing is my favourite trick with yeast dough – it means there’s less kneading required.


  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) full-cream (whole) milk
  • 40 g (1½ oz) butter, chopped, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz/3⅓ cups) bread or baker’s flour, plus extra to dust
  • 80 g (2¾ oz/½ cup) raisins
  • 80 g (2¾ oz/½ cup) sultanas (golden raisins)
  • 85 g (3 oz/½ cup) seeded dried dates, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


Sticky glaze

  • 2 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • 1 tbsp boiling water
  • ½ tsp mixed spice

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time: 20 minutes

Proving time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Stir the milk, butter and rice malt syrup together in a small saucepan over low heat until melted and combined. Do not boil. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to lukewarm.

Combine the flour, dried fruit, yeast, spices and salt in a large bowl. Add the lukewarm milk mixture 
and the egg and stir until combined. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until quite smooth. Place the dough in a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel and set aside in a warm place to prove for about 1½ hours or until the dough doubles in size.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F (fan-forced) and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 2 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Shape into smooth balls and place on the prepared tray, so they’re almost touching. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Put the tray in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until the dough has risen by about one-third.

Bake for 18–20 minutes or until well-risen and browned.

For the sticky glaze, combine the rice malt syrup, water and mixed spice in a small heatproof bowl. 
Stir until dissolved. Brush the tops of the warm buns with glaze and serve, with butter, while still warm.

These buns are best eaten the day they were made, however they will keep for 2–3 days in an airtight container. Reheat before serving.


This recipe is from Incredible Bakes (Smith Street Books). Photography by Chris Middleton.