Suffolk Buns (St Edmunds Day)

St Edmund was originally the English patron saint until Edward III replaced him with the foreign saint, St George. The name Edmund originates from the Old English “ēad”, meaning “prosperity” or “riches” and “mund”, meaning “protector”. Edmunds was king of East Anglia from 25 December 855 to 20 November 869 or 870. He was killed by the invading Danes under their leaders Ubbe Ragnarsson and Ivar the Boneless. People had great nicknames in those days.

In 2006, a campaign was started by the people of Suffolk to reinstate St Edmund as the nation's Patron Saint, at the expense of St George whose popularity has never been as great as that of St David or St Patrick by the people of Wales and Ireland. A petition signed by thousands was taken to the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair. He decided to stand by dragon-slayer St George. But then again he was never really one for history or tradition. Suffolk County Council has officially adopted St Edmund as its Patron Saint and the celebrations continue on 20th November.

Suffolk Buns are traditionally made to eat on St. Edmunds Day. Since the 1800s, these sticky buns have been made with caraway seeds with honey drizzled over when baked.

Ingredients - makes 24

500g plain flour 40g caraway seeds
150g rice flour 2 tbsp runny honey
2 tsp baking powder 2 eggs, beaten
200g butter, softened 1 tbsp milk
100g caster sugar 40g raisins
Honey to drizzle  


  1. In a mixing bowl sift in the plain flour, rice flour and baking powder.
  2. Rub in the softened butter until the flour resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Then stir into it the sugar and caraway seeds (and currants if adding).
  4. Stir in the beaten eggs, honey and sufficient milk to produce a smooth but dry pastry/dough. When brought together mix it thoroughly between your fingers and then turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200C and lightly butter a baking sheet.
  6. Roll out the dough so that it is 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick. Use a 5 cm (2 inch) pastry cutter and gently cut out rounds with a slight twisting motion so that you cleanly cut, rather than squash, the rounds out of the dough (like a Victorian scone).
  7. Place the rounds on the greased baking sheet, keeping a space between them.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven until risen and lightly golden brown. When baked remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  9. When still warm drizzle over the top of the Suffolk Buns some honey to serve and eat.


Dried Fruit