Fruity Sticky Buns – Soft & Tasty

4.9/5 - (11 votes)

Cinnamon sugar is usually the filling in Sticky Buns. All that sugar, along with the sticky caramel topping, makes very sweet buns. However this variation of those buns is sweet enough even without that filling. Instead the recipe uses dried mixed fruit to give a wonderful fruity taste to the buns.


So that is one variation to the more usual sticky buns. Using the Tangzhong method to make the dough is another variation. Tangzhong, or yu-dane, or water roux is a method that helps to create a softer bread. It also slows down how quickly the baked item goes stale. It is a simple, but effective, process that uses a little flour from the recipe and some of the water too. That is mixed together and heated until it forms a gel-like mass. Then, to make the dough the Tangzhong is incorporated into all the other ingredients.

Having used the method for a number of different breads I can attest that the method works very well indeed. In fact these fruity sticky buns are the softest I have ever made. Norma, my youngest sister, who took some of the buns said they were wonderfully soft and springy, and that they tasted great.

The recipe

The recipe is easy to make. The Tangzhong is a quick process, so it doesn’t add much time to the overall process. The dough is easy to make, in a stand mixer. Of course you can make the dough by hand. But it is a very sticky dough so I wouldn’t do that. But give it a try.

Once the dough is made it is allowed to proof until it doubles in size. A rectangle is formed from the dough. Then that has the dried mixed fruit sprinkle onto it. Shaping the buns is simple. Roll the dough up and cut it into 12 pieces.

The 12 pieces are placed into a 45cm x 37cm (18in x 15in) pan that already has a simple caramel and some pecans on the base. The shaped dough needs to proof again. Then it is time to bake the buns.

The caramel is simple too. How much to make is a matter of personal preference. Some will like more, so that when the buns are turned out of the pan it runs down the sides. But for mine I just wanted enough to cover the top of the buns and to give a lovely sweetness.

Mixed dried fruit is readily available in the UK all-year round. In some countries it may only be available in the lead up to Christmas. It consists of sultanas, raisins, currants and chopped mixed peel. However it is easy to make your own, combining those fruits together, with the peel being about 20% of the total. Of course you can use other dried fruits too, if preferred. I soaked my fruit in hot water, for an hour. Then I drained it and patted it dry before using. The soaking allows the fruit to swell and soften.

My Buns

Oh just how good were my buns? Absolute perfection, in my opinion. They baked so well, in 33 minutes. I cooled them in the pan for 5 minutes before turning them out onto a baking tray. It was very difficult to leave them to cool a little before tasting. But I managed to leave them for about 15 minutes. Then I pulled one bun from the corner. The dough was so soft and light. Still warm when I had a taste the bread was perfectly baked and the fruitiness of the filling, along with the sweet and nutty topping created such a great taste experience.

Although the more traditional type of sticky bun, with the cinnamon sugar filling, is very good indeed I actually prefer this fruity version. It is a sort of cross between a Chelsea Bun and a Sticky Bun.

I will certainly make these again, before Christmas. Particularly as family enjoyed them so much. I shall also use the Tangzhong method to make other buns and dinner rolls. Indeed, I will make myself a lovely white sandwich loaf today, using that method.

Fruity Sticky Buns – Video

Another fruit bun is Chelsea Buns.

Fruity Sticky Buns – Soft & Tasty

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: Bread, DessertsDifficulty: Medium


Prep time(with proofing)


Cooking time




  • Tangzhong
  • 38g(1/4 cup, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup)bread flour

  • 160ml(2/3 cup) water

  • Dough
  • Tangzhong from above

  • 430g(3 cups minus 2 tbsp, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup)

  • 160ml(2/3 cup) milk

  • 1 medium egg(large USA)

  • 1 medium egg yolk(large USA)

  • 6g(2 tsp) instant yeast

  • 9g(1 1/2 tsp) salt

  • 37g(3 tbsp) caster sugar

  • 84g(6 tbsp) softened unsalted butter

  • Caramel and filling
  • 84g(6 tbsp) melted and cooled unsalted butter

  • 100g(1/2 cup) light brown sugar

  • 50g(1/4 cup)caster sugar

  • 80g(1/4 cup) golden syrup

  • 30ml(2 tbps) water

  • 1.5g(1/4 tsp) salt

  • 100g(1 cup) roughy chopped pecans

  • 250g(2 cups) dried mixed fruit


  • Place the dried mixed fruit into a bowl and cover with boiling water, then set aside.
  • To make the Tangzhong whisk the flour with the water until fully combined and their are no lumps of flour.
  • Heat the mixture in a microwave(you can do this in a pan on the stove too), in short bursts of about 15 seconds, whisking each time, until the mixture is very thick and gloopy. This may take 5 or 6 bursts of 15 seconds.
  • Leave it to stand for a couple of minutes
  • Place the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer and add in the Tangzhong and whisk them together. The cold milk will reduce the temperature of the Tangzhong.
  • Add the egg and the egg yolk and whisk until combined.
  • Add the flour and yeast and stir briefly.
  • Knead with the dough hook, on a low speed, until the mixture is a nice shaggy dough, this will take about 2 minutes.
  • Leave the dough to rest in the bowl for 15 minutes.
  • Add the sugar and the salt and knead with the dough hook, on a medium-low speed, for 5 minutes.
  • Add the butter with the mixer on medium-low speed, until it is combined. Then continue to knead for 5 minutes.
  • Tip the sticky dough out onto a floured work surface and, with floured hands, knead for a few seconds before forming the dough into a ball.
  • Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover, then proof it until it has doubled in size. This might take about an hour, depending on room temperature.
  • As the dough proofs place the melted butter, brown and caster sugar, golden syrup, salt and water into a bowl and whisk them all together into a smooth mixture.
  • Pour that mixture into a rectangular roasting pan 32cmx23cm(13in x 9in) and spread all over the base.
  • Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the caramel, distributing fairly evenly. The set the pan aside.
  • Drain the mixed dried fruit and pat it dry, then set aside.
  • Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and with floured hands pat it flat, into a rectangle of 45cm x 37cm(18 in x 15 in).
  • Sprinkle the dried fruit onto the dough, leaving a gap all round the edge.
  • Roll the dough up, over the fruit, using the long edge, to form a long sausage shape.
  • Pinch the seam of the dough to seal it against the roll.
  • Cut the dough into 12 equal sized pieces. For a very good cut, without distorting the shape, use some cotton or dental floss with you slide under the roll and then cross the ends and pull down to cut the dough.
  • Place the 12 pieces, cut side down, onto the caramel mixture in a 4 x 3 arrangement, leaving a gap between each.
  • Cover the pan with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until the dough has risen and doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/375F.
  • Bake the buns for 30 to 35 minutes, until they have risen and browned. If the top browns too quickly cover it with some aluminium foil part way through. The internal temperature of the buns should reach 93C/200F to ensure the dough is fully baked.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and leave for about 5 minutes.
  • Tip the buns out onto a tray and then leave them to firm up a little before tearing apart and serving.

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