Recently, I had the chance to try a Chelsea bun for the first time. Since our home in London is located in Chelsea, I had been curious about the pastry that bore its name. A Chelsea bun is similar to what we know in the US as a cinnamon roll, although it may or may not have cinnamon in it. It's made with a rich yeast dough that is filled with currants, brown sugar and butter. After being rolled out, they are rolled up like a jelly roll and sliced to bake.
They were first created at the Chelsea Bun House which was highly popular in the 18th century and visited by both commoners and royalty for their Chelsea and hot cross buns. Reportedly, both Charles II and Charles III frequented the shop located near Grovesnor Row. The shop was closed in 1839.
Since a home made cinnamon roll is one of my favorite desserts, I was quite taken with the buns. I'm not sure that I would ever try baking them myself, but if you have a fancy to try, then click here for a quick and fun demonstration. You'll like it!