Cream buns are the baked equivalent of cream doughnuts. They are sweet, soft buttery buns, split in half, filled with a dollop of whipped cream and topped with a strawberry jam droplet. Like their fried doughnut version, they remind me of so many fond childhood memories. Cream Buns remind me most of my father and of ‘Tea Rooms’. Growing up the late nineteen eighties and early nineties in rural KZN, these were often scattered in small towns. Often dark and unsightly in appearance, their shelves were always packed to the brim. It was a place to buy almost everything you needed, from baking powder to razor blades and even baked treats like snowballs, neapolitan cake, and cream buns.
Cream Buns around the World
I know cream buns from my South African childhood; they also exist in Italy and in England. The Italian version, known as Maritozzi. This ancient Roman treat was initially made from flour, eggs, honey, and fat and originates from the word ‘marito’, husband. Apparently it in Middle Ages these sweet cream Italian buns were used to hide small golden objects or rings to prospective wives on Valentine’s Day. Like the English equivalent, Hot Cross Buns, maritozzi was also a sweet treat to indulge in after a long Lent. Cream buns have evolved since the middle ages. The English version of cream buns is known as Cornish spilts and is often served warm as a tea time treat. I assume that it was the Cornish split that influenced the South African cream buns as well as other variations of it in the former British colonies.
How to Make Cream Buns
Cream buns are made by making soft yeast bread like dough that is shaped into round balls then baked. When cooled it is filled with fresh whipped cream and topped with strawberry jam or a cherry. Much like doughnut dough, it has to be soft. This recipe is an eggless recipe, but yields soft buns without the use of eggs which usually account for some doughnuts soft, springy texture.
How to Make Cream Buns
To make cream for cream buns, you can use whipping cream, mascarpone or cream cheese or butter cream. In this recipe I used 150g of mascarpone cream mixed with 2 tablespoons icing sugar. I topped the cream buns with a drop of strawberry jam, you can also use glaze cherries.
- I use a reduced sugar content in the buns. If you prefer sweet cream buns, adjust sugar content accordingly.
Cream Bun Recipe
This recipe has evolved through trial and error, over the course of my now twenty seven year long baking experience. It is fairly simple, like most of my bread recipes, stick to a ration of 2 parts flour to one part liquid. I use warm milk instead of water and melted butter