Mincemeat Chelsea Buns

Mincemeat Chelsea Buns with Marzipan are sweet, sticky and filled with fruity flavour. A perfect alternative to mince pies if you fancy something a little different.

I love baking at Christmas time. Well, let’s be honest; I love baking all of the time.

But there’s something so lovely about spending a cold winter afternoon baking Christmas treats and listening to Christmas music.

Especially when there’s a national lockdown, and Robyn’s in self-isolation so there’s not much else that we can do!

But, as much as I love Christmas and everything festive, I’m not that bothered about mince pies, or Christmas cake for that matter. 

I don’t hate them, but they’re not a favourite. 

This blog post contains affiliate links, this means if you click on a link and go on to buy the product I recommend, I will get a small commission, but you will not be charged more.

I love these Mincemeat and marzipan Chelsea buns, and Apple and Mincemeat Crumble, so I certainly like mincemeat.

Just, in mince pies, it’s a big dollop with only pastry to cut through the flavour, and it’s a bit much. 

My Mincemeat Chelsea buns have a thin layer of marzipan rolled up with the sweet dough and mincemeat, so the flavours just seem to be more balanced. IMO much better, but perfect for mince pie lovers too. 

close up of mincemeat Chelsea bun.

What are Chelsea Buns?

Chelsea buns are a kind of current bun that was first baked in Chelsea (see what they did there?) in the 18th century. 

The buns are made from a sweetened, yeasty dough and traditionally rolled with currents, butter and brown sugar.

They are then baked and glazed while they are still warm, leaving you with a super sticky, fruity bun.

Mincemeat Chelsea bun on a patterned plate, other buns in background

What is Mincemeat?

Mincemeat, not to be confused with minced meat, because no one wants an odd shepherds pie trifle, is a mixture of fruits.

Typically mixed peel, raisins, currents, and zest, mixed with spices, brown sugar, spirits and suet. 

Traditionally, mincemeat did indeed include meat, but we’ve for the most part substituted this for suet nowadays. If you want to make vegetarian mincemeat, you can use veg suit or even butter. 

Top view of mincemeat Chelsea buns, some on baking tray, others on patterned plate

You can make your own mincemeat if you choose to, there’s a great recipe here. But, to be honest, I usually just use a jar. 

What are Mincemeat Chelsea Buns?

A wonderful combination of the two. 

top view of mince and marzipan Chelsea buns on wire rack, 2 on side, plate leaving shot

Instead of spreading my Chelsea bun dough with currents and sugar, I roll out a thin layer of marzipan to top the dough and then spread with sweet, sticky mincemeat.

It’s actually fairly similar to a more traditional Chelsea bun recipe, but with added Christmas. 

What’s the Difference Between Chelsea Buns and Cinnamon Rolls?

Ah, well, my dough is the same. My Mince and marzipan rolls are made from sweet bread dough, just like my cinnamon rolls

The difference is all in the filling. 

When you make a cinnamon roll, cinnamon is a must, and fruit is optional. 

When you make a Chelsea bun, the fruit is a must and cinnamon is optional. 

Top view, close up of mince pie cinnamon roll on wire rack

So, if you use both cinnamon and fruit, you can call them whatever you want. 

But, because my Mince and marzipan Chelsea buns don’t contain cinnamon, they are not Mince and marzipan cinnamon rolls or Mince pie cinnamon rolls.

Do Mincemeat Chelsea Buns Rise?

I used to worry that my recipe for Chelsea buns with fruit and marzipan wouldn’t rise if the marzipan was too heavy or the fruit too thick. 

But actually, my mincemeat Chelsea buns always seem to rise really well. I try to roll the marzipan as thin as I can, just because I like the flavour balance more this was. 

top view of mincemeat Chelsea buns on wire rack

Because you’ve already proved the dough once, and then they rise on their sides for the second, the weight doesn’t seem to affect it too much, and they rise loads. 

In my recipe for mincemeat Chelsea buns, I say leave it for 1-2 hours on the first rise until it’s roughly doubled in size, but with such a soft dough I often find it hard to tell. 

If you are worried that after an hour they don’t seem to be rising, move them to a warmed area, or even pop them in the oven, as low as you can set it with the door open.

I often do this to give my dough a boost. 

Once you’ve sliced your rolls and placed them on the baking tray, they will rise and spread quite a bit, so make sure there’s about an inch around each one, even if this means you have to use two trays.

If they don’t have enough space, they’ll kinda pop out of themselves, and you’ll lose the shape, but also the spread of mince and marzipan. If in doubt, too much space is better than not enough. 

3/4 shot of side of mince chelsea bun on wire rack

Can You Ice Mincemeat Chelsea Buns?


I keep things simple and drizzle my Mincemeat Chelsea Buns with a basic glaze made from icing sugar, vanilla and milk.

This gives you a really sticky and sweet fruit Chelsea bun that’s absolutely delicious. 

Are Mincemeat Chelsea Buns Bread or Cake?

Bread. I think. 

one mincemeat and marzipan Chelsea bun falling off side of wire rack

I’d say it’s a sweet bread dough, seeing as it’s made with bread flour and yeast. 

Also, if you call it bread, it’s a totally acceptable breakfast.

How to Roll Chelsea Buns with Mincemeat and Marzipan

Rolling Mincemeat Chelsea Buns is actually really easy. 

Because of the yeast, there’s a bounce-back, so it takes a little effort, and I can never get a perfect rectangle, but that’s ok. 

Chelsea bun falling off wire rack

Roll your dough out on a very well-floured surface. It’s quite a sticky dough, so you may also want to flour your rolling pin lightly. 

Carefully roll to around 16inches by 10 inches. It’ll be about half an inch thick. Don’t worry if it’s not exact or perfectly rectangular. It doesn’t matter. 

Then, dust a surface with icing sugar and roll out your marzipan as thinly as you can, until it’s slightly smaller than your dough. 

I then spread my dough with melted butter, before gently placing the marzipan on top. If it rips, don’t worry, just try to cover the dough as best you can. 

mincemeat buns on baking paper in tray

Then, spread the mincemeat around and roll down from the long edge, so that you’ve got a long thin log, instead of a short fat one. 

You should roll quite tightly, but not so you are squeezing it all together. Finish the roll with the seam down, and take a sharp knife. 

Cut 14 slices, so that they are around an inch each.

The ends might be small and wonky, you can discard these if you are looking for perfect mincemeat Chelsea buns, but I just bake them on a separate tray and eat them straight out the oven…to check the bake. 

Place these slices of uncooked Fruit Chelsea buns on a lined baking tray, swirl up, so they are lying flat, with about an inch all around them.

I can fit 12 on my tray in three rows of four but use two trays if you need to. 

Can You Freeze Chelsea Buns?

Yes, you can freeze Chelsea Buns, both normal and those using my easy recipe for Chelsea buns with mincemeat.

mincemeat buns on baking paper in tray

Leave them to cool completely, then wrap tightly and freeze. I’d wrap them in cling film, and then double up with either foil, a sandwich bag or an airtight tub to prevent freezer burn.

You can either freeze individually or in a large batch. 

When you are ready for them, thaw completely in the fridge before eating. Then, if you prefer them warm, just pop them in the oven for a few minutes. 

What Else Can You Make with Mincemeat?

mincemeat buns on baking paper in tray

There are plenty of recipes that you can make with mincemeat. It’s certainly not just for mince pies.

Why not try Mincemeat cakes, muffins, brownies, slices or pastries? You can find a list of fantastic mincemeat recipes here

What Can You Do with Leftover Marzipan?

Eat it! 

I never liked Marzipan when I was a kid, which just seems stupid now!

If you buy or make, a big load of marzipan, I’d recommend using what you’ve got left for stollen or chocolate chip stollen, which are fantastic Christmas recipes. 

Close up of slice of stollen on glass cake stand, on side so you can see the marzipan and fruit

You can also use marzipan to make muffins, cakes and even ice cream. You can find a list of leftover marzipan recipes here

Tips for Baking Chelsea Buns with Mincemeat

Mincemeat Chelsea Buns are fairly easy to make, but here are some tips to help you. 

  • Line your baking tray. I use reusable baking paper (affiliate link), but paper is fine too. It’s a sticky recipe, so greasing a tin is unlikely to be enough. 
  • I use a hand whisk (affiliate link) to beat in the butter and eggs, instead of a spoon.
  • Don’t worry if you need to add a lot more flour as you knead the dough, it is very sticky and can take extra flour to make it workable. You can also add a splash of milk if it becomes too dry.
  • It can take a while for the dough to rise. If you are worried, move it to a warmed area next to a radiator or put it into the oven on a very low temperature. 
  • Roll the dough on a well-floured surface, and the marzipan on a surface dusted with icing sugar. 
  • The marzipan and mincemeat should be thin layers.
  • Roll from the longer edge. 
  • The rolls are best on the day that they are baked. They will last for three days, but won’t be as soft and fluffy after the first day. Keep them as fresh as possible by keeping in a sealed tub, or covered, and warm up in the oven for a few minutes to soften before eating, if you enjoy them warm. 
Yield: 14

Mincemeat Chelsea Buns

Top view, close up of mince pie cinnamon roll on wire rack

Mincemeat Chelsea Buns with Marzipan are sweet, sticky and filled with fruity flavour. A perfect alternative to mince pies if you fancy something a little different.

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Proving Time  (up to) 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 5 minutes


For the dough

  • 240 ml Milk
  • 135 g Caster sugar
  • 14 g yeast, (2 packets instant)
  • 115 g Butter or Margarine – At room temperature
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 650 g Strong white bread flour


  • 2 tbsp Butter or Margarine – melted
  • 200g Marzipan
  • 200g Mincemeat


  • 120 g Icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp Milk


  1. Gently warm the milk in a saucepan over a low heat. It should be warm to touch but not bubbling
  2. Pour this into a bowl and whisk in the sugar and yeast
  3. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave for 10 minutes until the mixture has a layer of foam on top and it smells yeasty
  4. Whisk in the butter
  5. Add the eggs, whisking in one at a time
  6. Add the salt
  7. Add the flour in four lots, folding each in thoroughly before adding the next
  8. Stir until the mixture comes together into a dough
  9. Tip out on to a well-floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, adding more flour if needed
  10. Place in a greased bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size
  11. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 170 degrees (fan-assisted)
  12. Dust your surface with flour
  13. Tip the dough out, punch out the air and knead for 2 minutes
  14. Roll the dough out to a rectangle around 16inches by 10 inches and ½ inch thick
  15. Spread it with melted butter
  16. Dust a surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan, so it’s very thin and a little smaller than the dough
  17. Gently place the marzipan on top of the dough
  18. Spread with mincemeat using the back of a spoon
  19. Roll up tightly from the long edge and cut into 14 equal slices, just over an inch wide with a sharp knife
  20. Place these cut side up on your baking tray. Leaving a room between them
  21. Cover loosely and leave for a further 1-2 hours, until they’ve risen so that the gaps betweeen are much smaller
  22. Bake for 20-25 minutes until light golden brown
  23. Remove from the oven but leave in the tray
  24. Mix the icing sugar, vanilla and milk together to a runny glaze
  25. Drizzle roughly over the Chelsea buns with a spoon while still warm
  26. Leave in the tin to cool completely


  • My baking tray is around 15 inches by 10 inches, and I use reusable baking paper (affiliate link)
  • Once on the tray, I use a large carrier bag to cover for the 2nd prove, or I place them in the oven, on the lowest temperature, uncovered.
  • The ends might be a little wonky, especially if your rectangle isn’t perfect, but you’ll get 12 nice thick Chelsea buns.
  • Leave about an inch between the buns to spread and rise. This might mean using two trays.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 394Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 173mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 2gSugar: 28gProtein: 8g

The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors.

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4 thoughts on “Mincemeat Chelsea Buns”

  1. What a fantastic idea, I have a GF recipe for cinnamon rolls so think I’m going to give this recipe a go and tweak it so we can eat them – I LOVE mincemeat and may have eaten way too many mince pies already this December!!

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