At Christmas, every single meal should count. I’m never one to skip breakfast, but sometimes it’s a meagre offering, or a quick fridge raid. During the festive period though, I wake up knowing that I have the time to make something indulgent and worthwhile. These buns are perfect with the strongest of coffees, and will keep in an airtight container for a few days.

Ingredients - makes 12

For the Bread

  • 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 5g salt
  • 10g caster sugar
  • 7g fast-action yeast
  • 150ml tepid water
  • 120ml milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Flavourless oil, for greasing

For the Filling and Icing

  • 350g luxury mincemeat
  • 150g marzipan, cut into 5mm cubes
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1-2tsp orange juice

Essential Equipment

  • 12 hole deep muffin tray, very well greased


To make the dough, place the flour in a bowl and stir in the salt and sugar. Add the yeast and stir it through the flour. Add the water, milk and egg and mix well with a wooden spoon or your hands until you have a scraggy dough. Squeeze in the softened butter, then knead until the mixture is smooth and elastic – about 10 minutes. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with cling and allow to rise until doubled in size – usually an hour but could be more if your kitchen is cool.

Once the dough has risen, flour the worktop and roll the dough out into a square of about 45cm/18-inch. Spread the mincemeat all over the dough, then scatter on the marzipan cubes, before dusting over the cinnamon. Roll up into a tight spiral. Trim off the messy ends, then cut the roll into 12 equal-ish slices. Place these, spiral sides up, into the greased muffin tray. Allow to rise for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 8. Bake the buns for 15 minutes, or until risen and golden. Remove from the tin immediately and place onto a wire rack to cool.

For the topping, simply mix together the icing sugar and orange juice to a thick, but pourable icing. Ice the cool buns before serving.