For Mother’s Day, I don’t really mind whether or not I get a lie in.

I don’t need flowers. I always appreciate the homemade cards from the kids, but just like any other Sunday morning in our house, it’s the food we share which makes it a special day.

Sundays are days for us to sit around the table and have a long brunch, with coffee and tea, usually pancakes, maybe some bacon and just chat after my husband comes in from the morning milking.

Morning Buns for Mother's Day.

Mother’s Day this year won’t be much different from any other Sunday on the farm, but I might switch up our usual stack of pancakes for something a bit more special.

These morning buns are a favourite of mine – they remind me of a pastry I used to buy on Saturday mornings when I lived in South Korea. The brown sugar and butter caramelises beautifully and coats the flaked almonds, making these soft, chewy buns not-too-sweet, but still very special.

Morning buns were originally created by using scraps of croissant dough and turning them into cinnamon bun-type treats. The main flavours are orange, cinnamon, cardamom and honey.

I like glazing the buns in honey once they come out of the oven, but it’s not always necessary. These buns are pretty easy to make, if you’re used to making bread dough. If you’re a beginner, I would say that using strong flour is a must, and giving it ample time to prove for its second rise, in particular, is also really important.

Morning buns

Makes 12 large buns

For the dough:

1 package of dry active yeast

2 tsp sugar

2 tbsp warm water

2 eggs

125g sugar

400ml full fat milk

60g butter

1 tsp vanilla (optional)

Rind of one orange (optional)

1 tsp salt

800g strong bread flour

1 egg, lightly beaten (for brushing)

For the filling:

200g softened butter

200g soft brown sugar

Lightly toasted almonds

1 tsp each cinnamon and cardamom (optional)

  • 1 Make the dough: in a large bowl, add the yeast, 2 tsp of sugar and the warm water. Leave for 5-10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
    While this is happening, gently heat the milk and butter together until the butter melts and the milk is warm, but not hot.
  • 2 Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla and orange rind (if using) to the yeast mixture and whisk. Add in the milk and melted butter, stirring constantly, until everything in incorporated.
  • 3 Add the flour and salt, mix in the bowl until a dough starts to form, then knead for 7-10 minutes on a floured surface. You want the dough to bounce back a bit when you stick your finger into it.
  • 4 Place the dough into a bowl. Cover and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place.
  • 5 When the dough has doubled in size, place it on a floured surface and gently work the dough into a large rectangle (it won’t be perfect, just do what you can). Use a rolling pin to roll it out once it’s shaped.
  • 6 Slather the surface of the dough with the softened butter, then sprinkle on the brown sugar (add in the cinnamon and cardamom here, if using) and flaked almonds. Roll the dough up from the longer end, making a big roll.
  • 7 Portion the roll into 12 equal slices (I use a serrated knife for this) and place each slice in a tin sprayed with cooking spray. I like using larger muffin tins for this, though a smaller casserole dish will also work.
  • 8 Let the buns rise again for about 40-45 minutes in a warm place. While this is happening, preheat your oven to 180°C.
  • 9 Once the buns have risen, brush the tops with the beaten egg wash. Place them in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.
  • 10 Let cool slightly before removing from the tins. Serve warm with coffee, fresh fruit and yoghurt for the perfect Mother’s Day brunch.
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