Buttery Rose Geranium Chelsea Buns with Sticky Icing

Most days I dream of sitting in a quiet place with a hot cup of coffee, a good book and a tray of these sweet buttery buns.
You have been warned these are addictive and the tendency to take you to dreamland more often than not..



150 ml milk
15 g active dry yeast
550 g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons caster sugar
225 g butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 apple
85 g brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
85 g butter, melted
rose geranium (just use the leaves if you don’t have the flowers)
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 cup pure icing sugar
lemon juice (optional)

Feeds 5


1: Heat the milk until lukewarm. Put the yeast in a little bowl, pour over the warm milk and set aside until it starts to froth up a bit.

2: Place the flour, salt and sugar in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour – you want to coat the flour in butter as this stops the gluten from activating. Make a well in the centre and pour in the beaten egg and yeast mixture. Mix with your fingers to form a dough, then knead lightly for 2–3 minutes. Don’t overwork the dough – you just want to bring it together. Return the dough to the lightly floured bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour. 

3. Dice the apple and place in a small saucepan with a little water. Cook over medium heat until soft, then cool and drain off any excess water.

4: Lightly punch down the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Spread the melted butter over the rolled-out dough, then sprinkle evenly with the sugar mixture, apple and rose geranium.

Roll up the dough up like a jam roll and cut crossways into 3 cm thick slices. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper – you want them close together but allow a little room to prove. Set aside for another 15–20 minutes so the dough recovers its spring. 

Preheat the oven to 200C. 

5: Put the tray in the oven and bake for 15–20 minutes. Once ready, make your icing by beating the cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Beat in the icing sugar gradually to avoid any lumps. I like a little lemon juice in my icing, as it adds a lovely tart contrast to the sweet centre, but you can leave it out if you prefer. Pour the icing over warm buns and eat right away. I bet you won’t be able to stop at one.