Sticky Chelsea Buns

Chelsea Buns

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These Chelsea buns are extra sticky, gooey and topped with walnuts and sweet maraschino cherries. The buns are soft and buttery with hints of cinnamon throughout.  They are the perfect treat for cottage weekends, brunch parties and holidays. The recipe can be prepped ahead too! 


Units Scale


  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 1 teaspoon (divided)
  • 1/4 cup full milk, scalded
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, approx., may need more
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Bottom Filling

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup red maraschino cherries, cut in half

Middle Filling

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. Make your dough. In a small bowl add active dry yeast, warm water and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Let rest for approx. 5-10 minutes until yeast has dissolved and is frothy.
  2. Meanwhile, scald milk. In a pot bring milk just to a boil while stirring and then cool down to 110˚F.
  3. In a large bowl mix scalded milk, the rest of the sugar, melted butter and egg together (make sure your milk and butter have come down in temperature before adding to the milk mixture or your egg will become scrambled).
  4. Once yeast is frothy add to milk mixture and stir together.
  5. Add flour and salt to milk mixture. Using a fork bring the dough together until ragged (add more flour as needed, just a little at a time). Bring the dough together and knead on a work surface for approx. 8 minutes until smooth and elastic and when poked the dough bounces back (alternatively, you can use your stand mixer with the dough hook).
  6. Place the dough in a well-greased large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm draft free spot until doubled in size, approx. 1 to 2 hours.
  7. Meanwhile, make your filling. In a saucepan on medium to low heat melt brown sugar and butter together, stirring to mix together. Pour into a 9″x 9″ (or 8″x 8″) baking dish and sprinkle chopped walnuts and maraschino cherries over the top. Set aside.
  8. Assemble. When the dough has doubled in size, punch down. Roll out on your work surface into a 9″ x 12″ rectangle. Spread the butter all over the dough. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the buttered dough and press into the butter. 
  9. Beginning at the shorter end (9-inch side), roll up the dough tightly and pinch the edges together to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut into 1″ thick slices, 9 slices in total. Place the slices in your prepared baking dish on top of the butter mixture, nuts, and cherries.
  10. Cover with plastic wrap and let buns rise for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  11. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375˚F. Remove plastic wrap and bake in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until browned and when tapped it sounds hollow.
  12. Let sticky buns rest on a wire rack in the dish for approx. 3 minutes. Carefully invert onto a serving platter, scraping off any remaining filling in the dish to drizzle over the buns.
  13. Serve warm.


Chelsea buns are best enjoyed the same day. Store any leftover chelsea buns in an airtight container for 1-2 days. Reheat buns in the oven at 350˚F for approx. 8 minutes until warm.

Make Ahead. To have fresh hot out of the oven buns for the morning, prep the buns the night before.  Simply place the buns in the refrigerator after the second rise (after step 10). In the morning take the unbaked buns out of the fridge and preheat the oven while the buns come back to temperature. Bake as directed.


Keywords: Chelsea Buns, Sticky Buns, Cinnamon Buns, Cinnamon Rolls, Brunch, Breakfast

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