Cinnamon // Pistachio // Blood Orange // Dark Chocolate buns


I have to say, I’ve wanted to make these for absolutely ages.
But, it’s the kind of recipe that before you embark on it, you feel you need absolutely ages to make it!
However, this isn’t the case. As with any dough based recipe which needs time to prove and rise, the hands-on time is actually very quick and simple, you’ve just got a bit of waiting around to do in between. If you’ve got a busy afternoon in the house lined up, with just a little extra baking here and there this will make the perfect reward at the end of the day (with a cup of tea of course).
This recipe comes from one of my biggest inspirations, in both baking and blogging: Joy the Baker.
Everything on her blog is stuff I want/need to make all the time, and I love her relaxed and relatable writing style. Usually I’ll adapt a recipe and make it my own but with hers I really never need to – Joy is the kind of blogger who you trust, and I never want to change any of the ingredients in her bakes – I just love her style! She’s my baking hero.
So this is as much a recipe as a recommendation: you must check out her blog! Find it here.

I remembered of this recipe today whilst walking past the greengrocers, and seeing these beautiful seasonal blood oranges. They’re the star of these buns – the citrus smells amazing while cooking and fills your kitchen with the most beautiful scent. The colour of the oranges also turns the glaze a  lovely dusky shade of pink – which just so happened to match the sunset we were treated to this evening. Mix that with chocolate (do you I even need to explain my love for chocolate?), crunchy pistachios and warm, spicy cinnamon, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful warming afternoon tea.

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For 8 buns, you will need:

1x square/circular 8″x8″ tin – the one I used was slightly too large, make sure they’re nice and snug!

For the rolls

1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/8 tsp dry active yeast
2 1/4 cups plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt

For the filling

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Ground cinnamon to taste
Zest of an orange
1/4 cup pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
60g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

For the glaze

1 1/4 cups icing sugar
juice of an orange (preferably a blood orange, but any will do)
1/4 tsp good quality vanilla extract

Start by putting the milk, oil and sugar into a large saucepan over a medium heat. Just before it starts to boil, take it off the heat and let it cool down (Joy recommends to 105 degrees F, but if you don’t have a thermometer, just warm to the touch is fine). Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and leave to sit for one minute.

Add two cups of the flour and stir until just combined, then cover and leave in a warm place for about an hour. Check after 30 minutes that the dough has risen slightly, and if not you may want to consider starting again! When your hour is up, add the remaining half cup of flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda and salt. Use the dough tight away, or refrigerate for an hour. You can also move onto the next stage and fill the rolls, before chilling overnight before baking.

Turn the oven to 190 degrees and roll out the dough on a floured surface quite thinly (see above pic) into a rectangular shape. Make sure there are no holes so the filling doesn’t leak! Pour the melted butter over the dough, then scatter over the sugar, pistachios, orange zest and chocolate.
Beginning with the side furthest away from you, tightly roll the dough lengthways towards you. You might need to tuck in the ends if they are quite loose. Cut into eight equal pieces (easiest for me was cut in half, cut that in half, cut those halves in half. That actually took me quite a while to work out…). Allow the buns to rest for 15 mins in the prepared pan.

Bake in the oven for 20-22 mins, or until nice and golden.

While baking, make the glaze by sifting the icing sugar into a bowl, then adding the rest of the ingredients and whisking until smooth. Add a little more water depending on how thick you’d like the glaze to be.
Once out of the oven, leave the buns to cool for about 10 minutes, then pour over the glaze. Enjoy!



  1. Joy the baker is my baking hero as well! And I’m dying to try that recipe ! The video with the Pioneer woman is so great. That’s funny because I don’t change her recipes as well, I think that one of my favorite recipe is the Single Lade Pancakes, just Genius ! Can’t wait for her new book.

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