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Home • Recipe • Buns • Iced Finger Buns
Published by Amy
Super simple in concept but super delicious in taste. Iced Finger Buns are sweet yeast buns, topped with sticky icing. A real British classic!
There’s some bakes that are almost too simple to work but somehow they do. And not only that, they are somewhat iconic. Iced Finger Buns are certainly one of those bakes.
A classic sweet dough, topped with a layer of icing; talk about the simple pleasures in life! But when it comes to the perfect mix of sweet and carbs, Iced Finger Buns have it nailed.
Always my first choice of treat from a bakery, it seemed fitting that I’d give baking them a go. Plus the kids love them too, so I knew they’d be a big hit with our entire household.
My personal favourite way to finish a Finger Bun is by dipping the just-iced buns in some desiccated coconut. The kids however love anything with a coloured icing (pink or yellow are the classics for iced buns) or with some sprinkles attached.
And if you want to go all out glutton, slice the bun in half and fill with some freshly whipped cream! Suddenly a simple unassuming bun becomes the bake of your sugar-coated dreams.
Eagle-eyed readers may notice that I’ve used the same sweet dough that is in one of our most popular recipes; Cinnamon Buns. It is sweeter than your standard yeast dough but whoever said this was a health food?
These Iced Finger Buns do take a bit of time to prepare, purely due to the rise times…but don’t let that put you off! They really are minimal effort, with maximum gain, with only the pain of waiting through in-between stages holding you back. And even then, that’s surely the perfect excuse to have a cuppa and maybe make a tray bake (or two) while you wait?
MilkWhatever milk you have to hand will work fine – I’ve had good success with dairy & soya. But if you are buying some just for this recipe, definitely opt for full fat. Lets not be doing things by halves!
Butter or MargarineEither will do and it’s personal preference to which you choose. I opt for margarine as a way to omit the dairy but just be sure to use a block margarine if you decide to use margarine too – the spreadable kind has a higher water content and will make your dough less predictable to work with.
Plain Flour and Strong White FlourThe best of both worlds in this dough! Plain flour is a nice light flour which lends itself well to the texture of these Iced Finger Buns. But the combination of strong white flour & it’s additional gluten helps to maintain the real doughy consistency.
Caster SugarThe dough is definitely on the sweeter side and that is thanks to the sugar. You could change to Golden Caster Sugar for a more caramel-y taste, should you desire.
Easy YeastThere’s a few options out there for yeast but easy is by far, well, the easiest! Plus it’s packaged in perfect amounts.
Free-range EggsThese will help your dough bind together and the yolks will give the dough that lovely golden colour. I don’t tend to stress to much about the size of eggs, as long as they’re free-range.
Icing SugarWithout this, we’d just have some plain, sad looking buns. Add some colour, top with sprinkles…whatever your heart (and sweet tooth!) desires.
• For uniform sized buns: Weigh your dough after it’s first rise, before dividing that number by 12. Then simple weigh out each bun as you come to shape them.
• I recommend using a metal baking/roasting tin for this UK recipe for Iced Finger Buns. Having experimented with different types of trays, tins and dishes, I find a metal tin to be the best for an even bake. This Masterclass one is my favourite and what you see in the photos.It is of course possible to use a ceramic dish, however you may need to adjust your oven temperature and baking time to ensure the buns in the middle are baked through.
• This recipe for Iced Finger Buns make buns that are a generous size. If you prefer your buns to be smaller, simply divide the dough into 18, or even 24 buns.
• For extra indulgent buns, why not slice them in half and filling with jam & cream? Or top the icing with some desiccated coconut, or rainbow sprinkles?
Originally published in January 2020. Updated in September 2023.
Would love to make theses but need ingredient amounts in Standard U.S. form I.e. lbs. ounces, cups, etc.
Hi Kathy. We are based in the UK and so our recipes follow the metric system which is used here. If you Google a “recipe converter” you should be able to change the ingredients to your preferred values.
Thank you for your quick response. I will do that!
Can the dough be made in a stand mixer with a dough hook?
Like Mary MC I would like an answer to this question PLEASE
Yes it can, I make all mine in a kitchen air, do dry ingredients first but only half the sugar, then add the butter and the eggs and finally the warm milk with the other half of the sugar and instant yeast, ive tried multiple recipes and this one is half way thru it’s first proofing, xx
Love this recipe. They taste amazing.
Only trouble I have is when they rise they don’t hold the finger bun shape. Does anyone have any ideas?
Just baked these, they’re delicious!!
Easy to follow recipe. Worked out perfect with very tasty results! Take a bow Baking With Granny x
Would these freeze well do you think?
Hello, I’ve only got fresh yeast at the moment. Will that work for these buns and if so, how do I adapt the recipe? Thanks
Normally 3 x the amount of instant yeast = fresh yeast (14 x 3 = 42g). I haven’t tried but don’t see why it wouldn’t be OK?
Absolutely fantastic! It’s my first ever baking iced buns and I have chosen the perfect recipe. The result is awesome, it inspire me to bake more. Thank you so much xx
First time I’ve made iced buns and definitely chose the right recipe to do. Easy to make and are delicious! Definitely be baking more…. thank you! :)
Absolutely perfect Iced buns Best recipe I have used and will only use from now on. I sliced them open and added strawberry jam, plus used ‘Sugar and Crumbs’ strawberry milk shake flavoured icing sugar for the topping and they were delicious. Thank you
Just made these, way better than my previous recipe. Such a great texture to the dough.
These ice buns are delicious every 1 loves them can if add currants in them if so how many plz thank you
First attempt at baking any kind of bread like dessert. So glad I came across this recipe as I’m not very good at following cooking instructions! Haha Couldn’t believe it actually turned out perfect – fluffy and delicious.
Thank you baking with granny for sharing your wonderful recipe
Hi, I was wondering if these would work if I mix these and let them rise, then pop then in the fridge and bake them the next morning?
These came out perfect! Soft and fluffy buns! My kids were intimidated and overwhelmed by the size of them but once I cut them in thirds they were demolished piece by piece :-)
I had the same problem and kept adding flour till it was very sticky rather than gloopy. Fortunately it rose beautifully…
I found it very sticky too. I added in a little more strongbflour until it was still soft but easier to handle.
I’ve made these twice and had the same problem:the first time they rose the second time they didn’t and I had to try to rescue them-another knead and more yeast. Okay but with slightly stodgy results.(Nothing goes in the bin in my kitchen if it can be rescued! LOL)
I’m going to try using a lot less liquid this time but the same amount of yeast and flour. I’ll let you know how I go.
But I should add that the first batch were delicious. I’ve been looking for a recipe for these half my life since I left Scotland. They are exactly what we used to buy from the tuckshop at high school.
This is brilliant recipe- best iced buns ever! Thank you for sharing, will sure make it again and again x
I found the dough wet to begin with, but with a lot of kneading flour, and silicone mat, and a bit of faith they have risen well and taste amazing. I used golden castor sugar and super quick yeast. Lovely.
Hi, someone did ask earlier, but no reply. I’m assuming you can put dried fruit eg. Sultana’s, raisins in these. 1) would they need soaking at all? 2) What quantity would you reckon?
Hi Eve. You can absolutely add some dried fruit! Sultanas would be my preference and no need to soak. And I would say 100g is a good place to start, but you can of course add more/less, depending on how fruity you want your Iced Finger Buns to be.
How to stop the icing on top falling off or disappearing if having the next day (was placed in the fridge) that is what I want to know?
Delicious! My Grandson said they looked like shop ones! However I agree with several other bakers, the mixture needed a lot more flour, it was far too sticky to knead, but the end result is well worth the wait.
Sliced with butter slathered in the middle, pure yum!
Are you able to freeze these once made? Thank you
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