Fruit and Nut Buns


These buns are stuffed with dried fruits, nuts, and/or chocolate chips.  Part of their beauty is how customizable they are!


Fruit and Nut Buns
Inspired by Joanne Chang’s Baking with Less Sugar

Yield: 8-12 buns

  • 1 recipe of bun dough
  • 2 cups of walnuts, pecans, dried fruit (such as cranberries or raisins), and/or chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)


  1. Prepare the bun dough.
  2. While dough is rising in a warm spot, toast the nuts at 350ºF for 8-10 minutes.  Let them cool.
  3. Poke at the dough to deflate it.  (Mine is always very sticky and gooey, so I just poke it a few times with my fingertips.)
  4. Cover a work surface very liberally with flour.  Liberally flour your hands and rolling pin too.  I keep a little mound of extra flour on the side.
  5. Scrape dough onto the floured surface and sprinkle it with flour.
  6. Roll out the dough into a 12″ x 12″ square about 1/4 inch thick.  The dough will be a bit stretchy and may spring back, but keep rolling gently until it holds its shape.  You may have to pause to re-flour your rolling pin.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, nuts/fruit/chips, and cinnamon (if using).
  8. Spread mixture over the dough square, leaving a strip about an inch wide clear at the top.
  9. Flour your hands and begin rolling the square from the bottom up.  This will be difficult because of how sticky the dough is, but don’t worry.  Just get it into a log shape.
  10. Using a bench scraper or chef’s knife, cut the log into 8 or 12 equal pieces, depending on how large you want your buns.  (At this point, you can wrap the unbaked buns in plastic wrap, either individually or as a stack, and freeze them for up to 1 week.  To use, leave them wrapped and thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or at room temperature for 2-3 hours.)
  11. Butter a 9″ x 13″ baking pan and arrange buns in it, spacing them evenly (2 rows of 4 buns each, or 3 rows of 4 buns each).  If some are weirdly shaped, you can rearrange them in the pan into round buns.
  12. Cover pan loosely with plastic wrap and let buns proof for 1-2 hours at warm room temperature or in the oven with the pilot light on.  The dough will be puffy and soft, and the buns will expand until they touch.
  13. About 15 minutes before the buns are ready, center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400ºF.  (Remove pan first if you’ve been proofing the buns there!)
  14. Bake for 40-50 minutes.  The buns will be light golden brown.
  15. Let pan cool on wire rack for 10-20 minutes
  16. Serve buns within 4 hours of baking for best results.  If you’re eating them the next day, warm them in a 300ºF oven for 6-8 minutes.

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