Gillian's Larder

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from the Cornish cooking shop.
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Cornish saffron buns

saffron buns

You can't get more Cornish than saffron buns. They're delicious buttered, with a unique flavour and a rich, yellow colour.

  • 900g/2lb strong white flour
  • 170g/6oz butter
  • 170g/6oz lard or Trex (not vegetarian if lard)
  • 170g/6oz sugar
  • 450g/1lb currants or sultanas
  • 60g/2oz mixed peel
  • 60g/2oz yeast
  • 285-425ml/½-¾ pint milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1g saffron

The night before you want to bake your buns, dry your saffron gently in the oven, then put it in a teacup with a pinch of salt and a splash of boiling water. Leave it overnight to draw.

Put the flour, sugar, fats and salt in a bowl and rub in until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the fruit.

Put the yeast, a teaspoonful of sugar and a little milk at blood temperature into a well in the top of the mix. When the yeast begins frothing, add the saffron. Knead while you add the milk a little at a time. Stop adding milk when the mix has a proper doughy feel. Leave the dough in a warm place to rise. Flour a baking tray. When the dough has doubled in size, knead it again and divide it into 24 balls, well spaced on the baking tray.

Turn on the oven to heat to 200°C/400°F. When the buns have doubled in size, pop them in the oven for 20 minutes.

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I'd love to hear how you get on! You can email me at: gillian@

Good luck!

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