Cherry Buns are fun and easy to make with kids. Great for a family tea or party.
Cherry Buns were one of the first cakes I made on my own as a child - after Rock Buns. I loved being in the kitchen with no-one else around - especially my younger brothers. And as I'm very partial to Cherry Cake, this was an ideal place for me to start.
Key ingredients in Cherry Buns
As with everything, we now have a choice of glacé cherries. You can have the original bright red ones or darker red cherries. I prefer to use darker cherries because I know the dye is vegetable/fruit-based. It really doesn’t matter unless you have a sensitive child, then read the red cherry label - some are natural, others use E127 which isn't recommended for children.
I've always added lemon zest to this recipe. If you don't have a lemon, you could try and orange - or just leave it out.
Secrets of Success
Prepare the cherries
I have tried, being lazy, to make these cakes by halving the cherries and not washing them, but they sink and don’t get very evenly distributed through the cakes. So you definitely need to wash and dry the cherries and cut into quarters.
You may be tempted to add extra cherries but you don't need to because I have already added loads and there isn't enough cake for any more!
Ring the changes
Cupcakes or fairy cakes?
I prefer to make these as fairy cakes, i.e. half the size of cupcakes, and that's the ideal size for children. My philosophy on cake is that a little is a good thing and a lot is not. We're all being told to eat less sugar and I do feel that the trend for bigger cakes doesn't help.
On the other hand, if you occasionally want something a bit more special or substantial, by all means, make cupcakes. And I did when I turned these Cherry Buns into Triple Cherry Cupcakes for a charity fundraising day.
Can kids make Cherry Buns?
Absolutely they can. Younger children may need supervision with a hand mixer and the oven, but otherwise, this is an easy recipe for children.
Can I freeze the buns?
Definitely. Little cakes like this freeze well and keep for up to 3 months in a plastic bag or box. If you keep them too long they will start to dry out, so don't do that.
What equipment do you need?
- Lemon zester – My first cookery book (Good Housekeeping Children's Cook Book, which I still have) has little brown stains on the page for Cherry Buns. This, alas, is from my grated knuckles over the years. I know I came late in the day to lemon zesters, but now I'm a big advocate. I especially mine, which collects the zest so it doesn't go everywhere!
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For the Cherry Buns:
- 100 g butter, at room temperature
- 100 g caster sugar
- 150 g self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (5ml)
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons milk (30ml)
- 1 lemon, zested
- 75 g glacé cherries
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/ gas mark 6/ 400°F
- Line the fairy cake tins with 20 paper cases
- Chop the cherries into quarters and wash. Dry thoroughly with kitchen paper
- Using a lemon zester, remove the zest from the lemon.
FOR THE CAKES:
- Beat the cake ingredients, apart from the cherries, together thoroughly in a machine or with a hand mixer(Butter, caster sugar, flour, baking powder, egg, milk, grated lemon rind)
- Add the cherries and mix in, on a low speed or by handIf using a food processor do this by hand
- Using a teaspoon, half fill the paper cases with the mixtureYou should make about 20 cakes
- Cook for 20-25 minutes until the cake surface springs back when you touch it lightly with your fingertip
- Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Everyday Cooks tip:
- If you prefer to make larger buns, use cupcake tins and paper cases. the recipe will make 10 cupcakes