Newfoundland Raisin Buns - a decade's old recipe like Nan made.

The Best Newfoundland Raisin Tea Buns

Traditional Newfoundland tea buns are a cousin to scones and biscuits. Everyone's Mom or Nan made them. Perfect with a steaming cup of tea.
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Snack
Cuisine Newfoundland
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 16 tea buns
Author Barry C. Parsons


  • 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
US Customary - Metric


  1. 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.
  2. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl and toss in the raisins.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry mix.
  6. Mix together the lemon juice, vanilla and milk.Pour into the well and mix only enough to form a dough ball.
  7. Roll to 1 inch thickness and cut out buns with biscuit cutter and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Baking time will vary depending on the size of your biscuit cutter. This recipe makes 16 tea buns.

Recipe Notes

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.