Orange and Cranberry Chelsea buns in a shape of a festive tree! Super sweet and tasty buns for the whole family! | via

Orange and cranberry Chelsea bun tree

Festive Chelsea buns with sweet apricot glaze and marzipan filling. Great alternative to mince pies!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 buns
374 kcal
Author Anna


  • 275 ml dairy- free milk I've used almond milk for this recipe
  • 50 g butter softened, dairy- free if vegan
  • 450 g strong bread flour
  • 7 g sachet fast- action yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 50 g golden caster sugar + 3 tbsp
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • oil for greasing
  • 200 g marzipan chilled
  • 1 orange zested and juiced
  • 100 g dried cranberries
  • 40 g pistachios chopped (can be substituted for almonds)
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam sieved
  • 150 g icing sugar


  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast, 50g sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  2. Using a small saucepan, warm up the milk until steaming hot (make sure it doesn't reach the boiling point).
  3. Remove milk from the heat and add butter, stirring gently to help it melt, then set aside to cool a bit.
  4. When the milk is warm, add it to the dry ingredients and combine to make a sticky dough. Tip it onto your work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Return to the clean bowl. cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for 1-2 hours, until it doubled in size.
  5. Line large baking sheet with baking parchment. Tip the dough into floured surface and roll to rectangle about 30 x 40cm. Grate the marzipan over the surface and scatter over the orange zest, half of cranberries, half of pistachios and 3 tbsp caster sugar. From one of the longest sides, tightly roll up the dough into a sausage, pinching the dough together at the other end to seal the open edge.
  6. Using large, sharp knife, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (see tip 1). Turn them all cut side up and arrange on a baking sheet in a tree shape, using one piece for a trunk and leaving space between each bun for them to expand (see tip 2). You should have one bun left over (bonus bun for your efforts!), bake it along side. Cover the sheet with cling film and leave to prove for 30- 40 minutes, or until doubled in size and just touching.
  7. Heat the oven to 180C. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
  8. While the buns cook, heat the apricot jam with 2 tsp of water until runny, then set aside to cool a little.
  9. Mix the icing sugar with enough orange juice to make thick icing and transfer it to a small disposable piping bag or a plastic sandwich bag.
  10. When buns are cooked, cool them for about 5 minutes then brush over with the apricot glaze. Snip the corner of piping bag and drizzle over the buns. Scatter over the remaining pistachios and cranberries, and leave the icing to set for about 10 minutes.
  11. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

To make it easier, you can divide dough first in half, then into quarters, then cut each quarter into three pieces.

Make sure the pinched edge on the outside of each bun is facing towards the centre of the tree, otherwise it may come unstuck and unravel as it cooks.