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Honey Buns with Orange, Currants, & Cardamom

Smothered in sweet glaze & filled with orange zest, currants, & cardamom, these sticky honey buns are the perfect treat!
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword baking, cardamom, currant, honey, orange, sweet
Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour
Servings 20 honey buns


Honey Bun Dough

  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 2 1/2 ounces active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4-5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature and very soft, divided
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Orange & Currant Filling

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup dried currants

Honey Glaze

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


Make the Dough:

  • Heat the milk over medium heat until it starts to bubble (but not boil). Take the milk off the heat and let it cool to just above room temperature. Meanwhile, dissolve the yeast in warm water in a small bowl, add a pinch of the sugar, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the cooled milk and the yeast mixture to a bowl and whisk them together. Stir in 2 cups of flour, salt, and remaining sugar with a spatula until smooth. Put the bowl in a warm place and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • Paddle ½ cup butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy, then mix in the honey. Add each egg one at a time. Incorporate the yeast mixture on low.
  • Switch from the paddle to a dough hook, and slowly add the rest of the flour with the mixer on low. Mix until fully combined and the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed for 2 minutes to incorporate any dry ingredients. The dough should be very smooth. Use the oil to grease a large bowl, turn the ball of dough over in the bowl to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for about an hour.

Make the Filling:

  • While the dough is rising, mix together the honey, orange zest, orange juice, cardamom, and ginger in a small bowl. Keep this and the currants separate but in easy reach.

Form & Bake the Honey Buns:

  • Set the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease the two baking dishes you plan to use, either 13 x 9-inch rectangular or 9-inch circular (see note).
  • Punch the dough down, and then divide it in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the dough balls into an 8x10 inch rectangle. Leaving an inch-wide border, spread half of the softened butter out on the surface of the dough, and then spread half of the filling mixture out on top of it. Sprinkle the currants over the filling so that its evenly covered.
  • Starting with the long edge closest to you, carefully roll the dough away from you so that it makes a tight jelly roll. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 10 pieces. Place these cut-side down into the first pan. Repeat the process with the second ball of dough.
  • Cover both pans with foil, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, and then bake another 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the buns cool in their pans.

Make the Glaze:

  • In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the honey and let cook for 1 minute. Stir in the salt and heavy cream, and then bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring often. Remove the glaze from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
  • When both the buns and glaze are cool enough to handle, apply the glaze. If the buns were baked separately, dip the top of each into the glaze to coat and then set them aside to cool completely. If the buns were baked together, drizzle the glaze over them to coat. Serve warm, if possible.


Spiced Brown Sugar & Walnut Sweet Rolls (Alternate Filling): Follow recipe instructions as above. Replace the filling with a combination of 2 cups brown sugar, 2 tablespoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon mace, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. Substitute a sprinkling of 1 1/2 cups crushed walnuts for the currants. Make the glaze as above, but replace the honey with the same amount of brown sugar.

Round or Rectangle Baking Dish: You can bake these honey buns separately, or pressed together like traditional cinnamon rolls. If baking separately, use two 13 x 9-inch rectangular baking dishes and leave about an inch between each bun. If baking pressed together, use two 9-inch circular pans. Place the buns in the pan about a finger’s width apart, starting from the center and working your way outward.

Serving Amounts: If you do not need two trays of honey buns, feel free to halve the amount of filling and reserve half of the yeasted dough for a later use. Tightly wrap the second ball of dough in plastic wrap and freeze. Use within 2-3 months, defrosting in the fridge overnight before use.