retro recipes for the modern baker

Paris Buns

Paris Buns. It’s not a cake. It’s not a scone. It’s something in-between. Best eaten fresh from the oven with a cup of tea. I’d also recommend eating these on the day they are made as they don’t keep that well, but I didn’t find that to be a problem in our house.

Plain, sweet cakes topped with pearl sugar

I kept my Paris Buns plain, but you can add dried fruit if you prefer. Currants if you want to be traditional about it (I’d add about 2oz/55g of dried fruit to the dough).

And you don’t need to be too fancy or particular with your presentation. If they look a little craggy on top, that adds to the character. Top them with pearl sugar/sugar crystals/nibbed sugar if you have it. You could always use some demerara sugar instead if you don’t have any of those. You want something that will give a bit of a crunch to the topping.

Paris Buns. Sweet, scone-like cake topped with pearl sugar

I have no idea why these are called Paris Buns, however if you do, please let me know! There also seem to be very few recipes out there for Paris Buns and this was the only recipe I had in all of my books. So, while it’s possible it may not taste exactly as you remember, these are quick and easy to make and get the seal of approval from both Mr Traybakes and Little Miss Traybakes!

Ingredients

8oz/225g plain flour/all-purpose flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

4oz/110g unsalted butter

4oz/110g sugar

1 egg

0.5 tsp vanilla extract

2fl oz/60ml milk

pearl sugar/coarse sugar crystals for topping

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
  2. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
  3. Next, cut the butter into small cubes and rub into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then stir in the sugar.
  4. Beat the egg, milk and vanilla together in a small bowl, then add to the rest of the mix and combine until you have a stiff dough.
  5. Divide the dough into six equal sized pieces and shape, with floured hands, into flat rounds about 3in/7.5cm across.
  6. Place on a lined baking sheet and brush with beaten egg or milk. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. They will spread a little during baking, so don’t put them too close together.
  7. Bake at 375F/190C for 15-20 minutes, until golden.
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3 Comments

  1. Etta Halliday

    Is forgotten about Paris buns! Belfast bakery O’Haras (long since gone) used to sell them with the bases dipped in chocolate. We ordered hundreds of these for an “air raid shelter tea break “as part of a “Hits from the Blitz” event in 2001 – so many older folk mentioned them in their war years memories. Thanks for the reminder.

    • CJ

      Thank you for sharing. I love these stories!

  2. Catriona

    My mum used to tell a story — I can’t remember all the detail — something about someone who claimed to be an expert in baking French patisserie, and it turned out to be a plateful of Paris buns!

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