Earl Grey & Cardamom sugar buns by Dear Safia

Recipe, Styling & Photography by Safia Shakarchi of Dear Safia

The perfect treat to prepare for those moments when you want a sweet treat to accompany your afternoon tea.

What you need

For the dough:

  • 250ml whole milk
  • 3 tsp Good & Proper Earl Grey Tea
  • 8g fast action dried yeast
  • 1 egg + extra for egg wash
  • 500g flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 75g butter, room temperature

For the cardamom & Earl Grey sugar:

  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Good & Proper Earl Grey tea
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom

For the filling:

  • 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 100g cardamom & Earl Grey sugar


  • Begin by infusing the milk for your dough. To do this, gently warm the milk together with the loose Good & Proper Earl Grey tea leaves until steaming. Remove from the heat and leave to steep until the milk comes back down to a lukewarm temperature.
  • Strain the warm, infused milk through a sieve and into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast and stir to dissolve, then add the butter in small cubes and stir until melted and combined.
  • Add the egg, sugar, flour and salt to the mixture and with the dough hook fitted to your mixer, mix on a low speed until the dough comes together and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. Don’t work the dough too much as this will make the buns quite tough rather than pillow soft.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
  • In the mean time, make your Earl Grey & cardamom sugar. To do this, place the sugar, tea leaves and ground cardamom into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 2-3 minutes or until the tea leaves have broken down slightly and are well distributed throughout the sugar.
  • Use this sugar to then make the filling for your buns by beating with the butter in your stand mixer until light and fluffy. Reserve the remaining sugar to coat your buns once they are baked.
  • Turn your risen dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead very briefly. Shape into a ball and roll out into a large rectangle approximately 40cm wide by 20cm high.
  • Spread your filling in a thin and even layer across the dough with a palette knife or the back of a spoon. Tightly roll the dough from one of the long edges of the rectangle to form a thick log, like a swiss roll. You can then roll the dough back and forth on the surface using the palms of your hands to ensure it is an even thickness throughout.
  • Using a serrated knife, slice the dough into 12 equal rounds. Butter a muffin tray, sprinkle a little extra of your infused sugar over the butter, and place your rounds snugly into each hole. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170C.
  • Brush each bun with beaten egg and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until risen and golden brown. Be careful not to over bake them so that they stay soft and fluffy.
  • Remove from the oven and carefully turn the buns out onto a cooling rack. Whilst they are still warm, dip each bun into your remaining Earl Grey & cardamom sugar, ensuring they are completely covered. You can save any unused sugar in a jar and use it in a cake or biscuits, as you would normal sugar!
  • These are best served the day they are made, but you can always reheat them and they’ll taste just as good the day after. Enjoy with a warming cup of Good & Proper Earl Grey!

Safia Shakarchi is a British Iraqi baker, food writer, stylist and photographer. Born and bred in London, she spent much of her childhood in the kitchen making kleicha with her grandmother, who encouraged her baking career from a young age. In 2017, Safia became one half of foodie duo Cook & Baker, hosting and curating supper clubs and pop up events in London and abroad. She is also a supporter of Cook For Syria and a member of the Bake For Syria collective. Safia is a regular contributor to the award-winning Caffeine Magazine, and her work has been featured in various online and print publications. She is available for private bakery and cake orders, recipe development, as well as styling and photography for shoots, events and other projects.

Visit her website here and Instagram here.



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