Thursday, 23 May 2013

A Tribute to My Pops - Currant Buns

Hello kindly readers and welcome to Bake Numero Uno! Now, it's absolutely imperative that we get to the classics (in my eyes) before we go on to more daring bakes. This recipe personally has been tested so many times that I must say, it really isn't far off perfect. As suggested in the title, this indeed is my Pop's (Dad's) favourite thing to have with a cup of tea. -Hi Dad!- At first, it was always Grandma that made these little buns prior to my dad's arrival at her house. This was always something that she had around the house if Dad was coming, and if she hadn't made them, Dad would humorously tell her off and say "I don't get where I am today without having a currant bun!". Dad knew that he could only expect these at her house, but his addiction was far too great to be waiting around, so he asked my mum and I to have a go at baking them. It must have been a success, because he kept asking for them again! Here's the recipe:

So, we start off with a classic vanilla sponge, it's ever so simple. Usually we'd be working in grams, but for this particular sponge recipe, it's much easier to work in ounces, and it will ALWAYS come out perfect (unless, of course, you forget something). So, here goes!

You'll want to preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas3. Preheating the oven is important, guys! It's not a step to skip. If you don't preheat, then once you've finished mixing and the cakes are ready to go in, the oven won't be ready and you'll be wasting time! 

(This depends on how many you want to make, this one will make a medium batch of about 18)
  • 6oz caster sugar
  • 6oz unsalted butter (or, Lurpak "Slightly Salted" will do, a bit of salt will aid the rise)
  • 6oz self-raising (important!!) flour
  • 3 medium/large eggs
  • 2/3oz of dried fruit i.e. currants/sultanas/raisins (It doesn't have to be currants, they're called currant buns but I always use raisins as this is Dad's preference)
  • A good plop of vanilla essence (I like to use the £5 good quality one, it creates a more flavourful bun)

What you'll need :)

  • Big whisk
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Large wooden or metal spoon
  • A little jug
  • Sieve (big or small will do)
  • Spatula for getting the last bit out the bowl (unless you want to lick it!! Hah!)
  • Cupcake/bun baking tin
  • Cupcake/bun cases (these can either be the disposable kind, or the re-usable silicone kind)

This recipe is wonderful and simple because you can adapt it according to how many cakes you want to make, so 8/8/8/4, 6/6/6/3, 4/4/4/2, and the list goes on. I am using normal paper baking cases, but you can use silicone cups as these eliminate the extra rubbish that using paper cases creates. You don't need to grease the cases or the tin. Ah, life is simple! Now to start the mixture: This is not an all-in-one. I hate that method and I never do it. This is the step-by-step method, and believe me if you follow this closely you won't have any problems. 

Cream the butter and sugar together in the big bowl. I'm watching you. If you used an electric whisk, you're cheatin'! Use a big whisk or the wooden spoon (sorry, your arm isn't going to like this!) and beat the butter and sugar together until completely combined, light and fluffy in texture, and a very light yellow. You must stop when this is achieved because it's important to not over-beat. (This can knock the air out of the mixture and the cakes will be dense instead of fluffy.)

In the small jug, whisk the eggs together with the vanilla essence until they're one smooth consistency, but don't overdo it! Then -this is the slightly tricky part- you'll need to beat the eggs/essence into the butter/sugar mixture. Here you can risk curdling, so add it a tiny, tiny bit at a time, and every time you add a little bit, beat it until it's 100% smooth. This can take some time, but if you want perfect cakes, your arm will have to suffer! 

Once you've added all the eggs to the mixture, now is the time to add your flour. This is where the sieve comes in! We sift our flour into the bowl to get rid of impurities, and to also add air to the flour so it doesn't form lumps in the batter. So, you've sifted it all into the bowl, and now you've got to fold it with the wooden or large metal spoon into the mixture. I like to use the adverb lovingly to convey the care and gentleness with which you should fold. It's important that once you've combined it you don't work it anymore because you risk knocking air out of the mixture and having flat cakes. The last step is to again, lovingly, fold the fruit into the mixture until you can see they're evenly dispersed. Now, evenly portion out the mixture into the cases which should already be in the tin. When you fill the cases, fill them about 2/3 of the way full. Give the tin a bit of a wobble so the mixture levels out and is smooth.

Now, the bake! Pop them in the oven, making sure that it's heated up all the way before the buns go anywhere near. I like to put them in for around 20-30 minutes. It'll vary from oven to oven, though. Once they're in, do not under any circumstances open the oven until you've got about 5 minutes left. They'll drop. This means they they'll go all flat and un-adorable, and may even have a dip in the middle. In order to check that the buns are done, open the oven and lightly press on the top of a bun, if it springs back up, they're ready. An alternate way would be to stick a skewer or toothpick in the centre, and if it comes out clean without any residue, they're done. The cakes should be golden in colour.

Step by step photostrips (:

Serve them warm, with a nice cuppa. 

Enjoy! :D

I hope you've enjoyed this first bake, and I hope these little buns bring as much joy to your family as they have mine. Until next time!

x x x


  1. Absolutely wonderful they are. You can't buy a better bun anywhere.

    1. Thank you Dad! Will make some just for you when you return! xxxx