Newfoundland Raisin Buns. Traditional Newfoundland raisin tea buns are a cousin to scones and biscuits. Everyone’s Mom or Nan made them. Perfect with a steaming cup of tea.
Newfoundland Raisin Buns. Can there be any doubt that the raisin bun is an icon of Newfoundland baking? It would be nearly impossible to find a single person raised in this province who’smother or grandmother did not bake this most popular of staples in the Newfoundland kitchen.
UPDATE: September 24, 2014. This old time Newfoundland raisins buns recipe has been one of the most popular on Rock Recipes over the last 7 years. In making a list of the TOP 25 recipes in that time this one came in at number 18.
I have heard from countless ex-patriot Newfoundlanders as well as new bakers inside the province who have told me that a Google search for Raisin Buns is what led them to initially discover RockRecipes.com in the first place. That still happens on almost a daily basis and I look forward to welcoming many more in the future.
If you like this recipe you’ll love all the other recipes, including some Newfoundland favourites that we have in our Tea Buns, Scones and Muffins Category.
2017 update: Some people have experienced their buns spreading on a cookie sheet, so I have added a couple of tips in the notes section of the recipe. My grandmothers never made them on a baking sheet anyway, I just like them that way.
They would have made smaller buns and placed and tight together in a 9×13 pan, so that they can hold each other up s they rise. I still do that sometimes, especially if I am making a lot of them to freeze or serve at a big brunch.
Like this Newfoundland Raisin Buns recipe?
You’ll find lots of other traditional and locally inspired food ideas in our Newfoundland Inspired Recipes Category.
Images & recipe updated on March 13, 2017
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- 3 cups flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- 4 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup undiluted evaporated milk
- 1 cup raisins light or dark, your preference. Use up to 1 1/2 cups if you like.
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
I start these in my food processor because it is so fast but they can be made just as easily in a large bowl by cutting the butter in with a pastry blender or just rubbing it into the dry ingredients using your hands like Nan did.
In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Cut in the butter until mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Transfer to a large bowl and toss in the raisins.
Make a well in the center of the dry mix.
Mix together the lemon juice, vanilla and milk.Pour into the well and mix only enough to form a dough ball.
Roll to 1 inch thickness and cut out buns with biscuit cutter and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Baking time will vary depending on the size of your biscuit cutter. This recipe makes 16 tea buns.
Only use real butter in this recipe. Substitutes like can cause issues with sticky dough etc.
Make sure your surface is well floured before you drop the dough onto it, you can sprinkle a little flour on top before you from it into a circle to roll out. The goal is to keep the dough as soft and unworked as possible.
I usually sprinkle on flour and fold the dough only about 3 times. So, while you can add more flour while working the dough into shape, don't overdo it or your raisin will be less soft and tender.
Do not roll them too thin; never thinner than 1 to 1 1/2 inches. The larger the buns the thicker I tend to cut them.
Make sure you oven is well preheated and use aluminum bakeware when possible. Steel/alloy pans can carry heat too quickly and like they do sometimes with cookies, spread wider on the pan before they get the chance to lift.
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