This sweet treat is a staple in Australian bakeries. The finger bun is a fluffy, sweet and sticky bread bun topped with a thick layer of buttercream icing and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.
Finger buns are popular for a good reason! The combination of fluffy bread and a creamy icing is undeniably delicious.
This recipe includes the instructions to make your own bread buns from scratch. Making bread is a little bit time consuming but well worth it!
How To Make Finger Buns
The bread dough starts with combining the yeast, sugar, salt and some of the flour in the bowl of an electric mixer.
Add the warmed milk, water and butter mixture to the dry ingredients. Beat altogether, incorporating a bit more flour, until a shaggy dough forms.
Turn out the shaggy dough onto a lightly floured benchtop.
Knead for about 6-8 minutes, pulling and folding over the dough, until it is smooth and elastic.
Place in a well greased bowl. Grease the top of the dough ball and cover the bowl with clingwrap or a tea-towel.
Allow to rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes.
Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down the dough to get rid of the excess air. Roll into a rough rectangle then divide into 10 even pieces.
Shape each segment into a long bun and place slightly apart in a lightly floured deep baking tray.
Cover and leave in a warm place to rise for another 45 minutes.
Bake until golden.
Glaze the hot buns with a mixture of water, sugar and gelatine. This will give the buns a sticky, shiny finish.
Allow the finger buns to cool completely in the tray then spread a line of buttercream icing across the top of each bun.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Tear apart and enjoy!
For the Bread Buns
- 4 cups plain flour
- 1 tbsp (14 g / 2 sachets) dried yeast
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup water
- 60 g (2 oz / ¼ cup) unsalted butter, melted
For the Bun Glaze
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp (1 leaf) powdered gelatine
For the Cinnamon Icing
- 1 ½ cups icing sugar / confectioners sugar
- 30 g (1 oz / 2 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tbsp milk, plus more as needed
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the Bread Buns
- Grease a 20 x 30 cm deep-dish baking tray or casserole dish with melted butter or cooking spray. Dust with flour and tap out excess.
- In a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer, combine 1 ½ cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt.
- In a separate large jug, microwave together milk, water, and butter for 60 seconds or until quite warm (about 50°C or 120°F). Add to flour mixture.
- Beat for 1 minute on medium-high speed using a paddle or whisk attachment, scraping down bowl as required. Add another 1/2 cup flour and beat for another minute at medium-high speed.
- Remove bowl from electric mixer. Add 1 cup of flour and stir until a soft, shaggy dough starts to form.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured bench top. Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes, adding more flour as needed (you may not need the entire remaining 1 cup). The dough should be smooth and elastic.
- Place dough into a well greased medium heat-proof bowl. Grease the top of the dough ball and cover with clingwrap or a teatowel. Turn the oven to the lowest temperature (normally 40-50°C or 100-120°F) and place dough in the oven for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Turn out the risen dough onto a clean bench top and punch out excess air. Shape into a rough rectangle and divide in 10 equal portions.
- Shape each portion into a long bun approximately 4 x 12 cm. Place two rows of buns 2 cm apart in the baking dish. Grease the top of the buns and cover again with clingwrap or a tea towel. Place back into the oven at the lowest temperature to keep warm and allow to rise for another 30 minutes or until doubled in size again.
- Once risen, brush gently with milk. Place buns straight back into oven and immediately turn up the temperature to 200°C (390°F). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until buns are golden.
For the Glaze
- While buns are cooking, make glaze. Combine water, sugar, and gelatine powder in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar and gelatine has dissolved. If the glaze sets before buns are ready, just reheat over low heat.
- Brush glaze over buns immediately after taking them out of the oven. Allow glazed buns to cool completely in the tray.
For the Cinnamon Icing
- While the buns are cooling, make icing: sift icing sugar into a medium bowl of an electric mixer (or you can use a hand mixer). Add melted butter and milk and beat until light and fluffy, adding a teaspoon more milk at a time if needed.
- In a separate small bowl, stir together white sugar and cinnamon to make cinnamon sugar. Once buns have cooled, spread icing in a thick line over each glazed finger bun. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Tear apart and enjoy!
- You can keep the finger buns un-refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days, though they are best fresh.
- To freeze the un-iced finger buns, allow to cool completely then place in a airtight zip-loc or freezer bag. Keep for up to 6 months frozen. To thaw, allow to defrost at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight. Once they are defrosted, you can ice them as normal.
- Using a dough hook: you can use a dough hook attachment on an electric mixer instead of kneading by hand. At Step 6, don't remove bowl from electric mixer. Instead, gradually add required flour while running the dough hook at low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, pulling away from the inside of the bowl.
- Instead of cinnamon sugar, you can top the buns with hundreds and thousands or other sprinkles. You can also omit the cinnamon sugar entirely.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 Finger Bun
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 381Total Fat: 8.6gSaturated Fat: 5.3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 3.5mgSodium: 69.1mgCarbohydrates: 68.9gFiber: 1.4gSugar: 29.9gProtein: 6.7g