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British Most Common Sweet Breads


Bonnag originates from the Isle of Man and is a popular bread. It comes plain or sweet, along with mixed spices, with added dried fruit such as raisins, candied lemon peel, and currants. A mixture of flour, fat, salt, soda bicarbonate, and tartar cream is made from the simple, plain variety.

Manx Bonnag - Ellan Vannin

The soda is dissolved in sour milk and the other ingredients are then mixed together. In the oven, the dough is baked at a moderate temperature until golden brown. Dried fruit, margarine, vanilla essence, and buttermilk are also integrated into the fruit version. Bonnag is thought to have been around for hundreds of years.

There is also an annual contest for the world’s best bonnag maker on the Isle of Man.

Devonshire splits

A traditional British sweet bun originating from Devon, hence the term, is Devonshire split. A mixture of flour, salt, sugar, yeast, butter, and milk or cream is usually used to make the buns. It is split into small rounded buns once the dough has been shaped, which are baked until the crust becomes pale golden.

Devonshire Splits (or Chudleighs) recipe

They’re also butter rubbed and icing sugar sprinkled on them. It should be very light with the bread and slightly sweet with the flavors. Devonshire splits are broken open after they’ve been baked and are filled with clotted cream and jam. The presence of Cornish splits, which are the same as Devonshire splits, but larger, is also important to remember.

Lardy cake

In essence, a loaf of bread with added nutmeg, sugar, fruits such as raisins or currants, and small pieces of lard is the popular tea time treat known as lardy cake. Because of the melted lard and sugar, the interior gets fluffy, while the top gets crunchy due to the caramelized sugar.

The loaf originally originated when dried fruits and spices stopped being too costly for average citizens in the 17th century. Today, it can be found in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, and Wiltshire, and it is recommended to serve it finely sliced, preferably with some butter on the side.

Saffron cake

A traditional delicacy made in Devon and Cornwall, Saffron cake is distinguished by its tight texture and a creamy, spicy taste. Bread dough, saffron, mixed fruit and spices, sugar, and butter make up the cake. Typically it is baked like bread and served in slices, on the side with clotted cream.

Cornish saffron cake | Recipe | Saffron cake, Food, Recipes

Around Easter, the dish is particularly popular and is usually eaten on Good Friday.

Bath bun

The Bath Bun is a traditional roll of sweet English bread from Bath. On top of their highly glazed exterior, the buns are circular, with nib sugar and currants. The texture is thick and narrow, while the taste is mildly spiced and sweetened, with lump sugar underneath.

Bath Buns | Bread Recipes | Jamie Oliver

Bath buns’ dough is usually based on simple brioche dough or rich egg and butter dough with caraway seeds. Although there are disputes about the origins of these buns, the ones made from a recipe dating back to 1679 are still available in the town of Bath.

Potato Scone

A regional version of the savory griddle scone made with mashed potatoes, butter, and flour is an integral part of any full Scottish meal, potato scone – or tattie scone, as they call it in Scotland. While fried eggs, porridge, bacon, sliced sausage, or the oat-studded black pudding are most frequently eaten with tattie scones, they may alternatively be enjoyed with jam and a tea cup.

Potato Scones Recipe | Allrecipes

These breakfast staples are traditionally eaten hot, while the cold ones are usually reheated either by toasting or frying.

Chelsea Bun

This classic English dessert is believed to have been invented in the 18th century at Chelsea Bun House in London. The bun is made with a rich lemon peel flavored yeast dough based on eggs, and either cinnamon or mixed spices. The dough is smeared with a mixture of butter, brown sugar and currants prior to baking.

Traditional Chelsea Buns Made Easy | Recipes Made Easy

The Chelsea bun is normally enjoyed soft, cut into slices and smeared with even more butter as a perfect tea-time treat.

Bara Brith

Bara brith (lit. speckled bread), also called Wales’ national fruitcake, is made overnight by soaking dried fruit in strong black tea and then folding it into a mixture of flour, brown sugar, eggs, marmalade, cinnamon, and mixed spices the following day.

A Bite of Britain: Welsh Bara Brith Tea Cake - Honest Cooking

Usually, this typical tea bread loaf is enjoyed fresh from the oven, but it can also be toasted with Welsh salted butter and spread. All over Wales, it is commonly available in supermarkets, bakeries, and tearooms.

Hot Cross Bun

These subtly sweet spiced buns, usually prepared and eaten on Good Friday and during Lent, are made with rich yeast dough and dry fruit, such as raisins or currants. A cross, usually made of shortcrust pastry, a mixture of flour and water, or icing sugar, is marked at the top of each bun, although it is believed that the cross was originally simply incised with a knife.

Easter hot cross buns and where you can best bargains | Daily Mail Online

It is possible to enjoy the buns plain or toasted and eaten with butter. The precise origin of hot cross buns is shrouded in mystery, though there are various theories. They are also associated with the Romans and Saxons, who made similar cross-marked buns to celebrate the goddess of light, Eostre.


Scone is a fast bread that is formed into different shapes, then baked in the oven, such as squares, diamonds, and triangles. While scones have been griddle-baked and made with oats in the past, wheat flour, baking powder or soda, butter, milk, sugar, and eggs are traditionally made today.

They can be either savory or sweet, consumed for breakfast, or served with afternoon tea. The most popular theory about their origin says they originated in Scotland in the early 1500s, the name scones derived from the Stone of Destiny, where the Kings of Scotland used to be crowned.

British scones - Caroline's Cooking

This theory is supported by the fact that the first known reference in print regarding scones appeared in 1513, in the poems of a Scottish poet. Today, most of the English scones are plain, relying on the addition of jam, lemon curd, or honey for extra flavor, but there are also some decadent varieties with cranberries, nuts, chocolate bits, and dates.



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