Holiday pull-apart buns


It’s my last blog post for 2019, and I hope you’ll like this Christmas treat that I’ve put together. These cinnamon roll style pull-apart buns are filled with a sweet orange, cranberry and pistachio filling, brushed with a honey glaze and drizzled with cream cheese icing. Great for sharing at brunch or tea time!



I always think that recipes like these are ideal for holidays, when you have a bit more time on your hands and can enjoy a leisurely baking session. I’ve included some Christmassy spices (cinnamon, ginger and cloves) in the buns to up the festive flavour. The cream cheese icing is the perfect topping, but let’s be honest, you could offer me just about anything covered in cream cheese icing and I’d be keen!  Serve them fresh for an utterly fabulous treat.



Just in case you missed them earlier in the month don’t forget to check out these other brand new Christmas recipes: marzipan and pistachio truffles, gingerbread waffles and custard and mince pie ice cream sandwiches. You can also check out this amazing orange malva pudding we made on Expresso earlier in the week, so yum!



From my side I would like to say a big, BIG thank you for all of the support this year! I love hearing from you and appreciate every email, like and comment. May you have a safe, happy and delicious holiday season – see you in 2020!




For the dough:

  • 150ml milk
  • 1 sachet (7g) instant dry yeast
  • 560ml (2¼ cups) flour + extra for dusting
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) castor sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 10ml (2 tsp) cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 60-90ml (4-5 tbsp) warm water

For the filling:

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 60ml (¼ cup) brown sugar
  • 5ml (1 tsp) cinnamon
  • 5ml (1 tsp) ginger
  • 1.25ml (¼ tsp) cloves
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) finely grated orange zest
  • 125ml (½ cup) dried cranberries
  • 80ml (⅓ cup) shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) honey

For the cream cheese icing:

  • 125ml (½ cup) cream cheese
  • 2.5ml (½ tsp) vanilla extract
  • 160ml (⅔ cup) icing sugar

1.) To make the dough warm the milk in a small bowl or jug (be careful not to make it too hot). Stir in the yeast and set aside.

2.) Sift the flour, castor sugar, salt and cinnamon into a mixing bowl. Whisk the egg and vanilla extract together lightly with a fork to combine. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients along with the milk and yeast. Mix together adding warm water as you go until you have soft dough.

3.) Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface and tip the dough onto it. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until soft and stretchy. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave in warm place for an hour to rise.

4.) While the dough is rising make the filling. Mix the butter and brown sugar together until well combined and soft. Mix in the cinnamon, ginger, cloves and orange zest. Set aside.

5.) Lightly flour your surface and roll the dough out into a rectangle roughly 40cm x 30cm. Spread the butter mixture over the dough. If it is not spreading easily pop the butter in the microwave for a few seconds but take care not to melt it – it should be soft but not liquid!

6.) Sprinkle the cranberries and pistachios over the butter mixture. Roll the pastry into a sausage, starting at one of the long ends. Use a sharp knife to cut the loaf into 12 slices.

7.) Grease a 23cm cake tin well and line the base with baking paper. Arrange the slices in the tin and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise a second time. Preheat your oven to 180ºC.

8.) Bake the buns for 25 minutes or until baked through. Warm the honey for a few seconds in the microwave until runny then brush over the buns while they’re warm. Leave to cool while you make the icing.

9.) To make the icing place the cream cheese and vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar and whisk again until just combined and smooth. Take care not to over mix.

10.) Drizzle or spread the icing over the cooled buns and serve.


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