Boston bun with vanilla-coconut frosting


  • Serves 4 - 6 people

An old-school Boston bun has a certain retro charm - layer the frosting on as thick as you like and serve it with butter for spreading. This one is best served on the day it's made, but there's little chance of leftovers when it tastes this good.

  • 150 ml milk
  • 7 gm (1 sachet) dried yeast
  • 70 gm raw caster sugar
  • 350 gm (2 1/3 cups) plain flour
  • 100 gm golden sultanas or raisins
  • Finely grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 2½ tsp vanilla bean paste or scraped seeds of 2 vanilla beans
  • 50 gm butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, plus extra for eggwash
  • Vanilla-coconut frosting
  • 250 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
  • 50 gm softened butter
  • 1½ tsp vanilla bean paste or scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • To serve: shredded coconut or coconut flakes
01   Whisk milk, yeast and 30gm sugar in a bowl to combine, then set aside in a warm place until foamy (3-4 minutes). Combine flour, sultanas, rinds, vanilla, remaining sugar and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl, then make a well in the centre. Add yeast mixture, butter and egg, and stir to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth (4-5 minutes). Place dough in a lightly buttered bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (40-50 minutes).
02   Knock back dough on a lightly floured surface, form into a 24cm round and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover loosely with a tea towel and stand until risen by half (30-40 minutes).
03   Preheat oven to 180C. Brush top of bun with eggwash and bake until golden and cooked through (15-20 minutes; bun should sound hollow when tapped). Cool completely on a wire rack.
04   For vanilla-coconut frosting, beat icing sugar, butter, vanilla and 2 tbsp hot water in a bowl until thick and pale (2-3 minutes), spread over cooled bun, scatter with coconut and serve.
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