This Homemade Honey Bun Recipe is perfect for a special breakfast or a sweet snack. A rich, light yeast dough is flavored with honey and orange, then topped with a honey simple syrup and honey granules. It's a honey of a recipe, y'all!
Table of Contents
❤️ Why you'll love it
This recipe is an adaption of a Honey Bun recipe from a 1950 cookbook called, Cooking for American Homemakers. It is called a Honey Twist in the book.
If you are trying to make recipes from pre-1970 cookbooks you are going to have to adapt them or, as you probably already know, they won't work. It's because so many ingredients are different than they were.
Even basic stuff like flour and milk are different. I had to make this a couple of times to get it right but once you make it I think that you'll agree that this...is...right.
The crumb is fluffy and sweet with a strong honey flavor and a delicate hint of citrus.
The crust is beautiful and the shape is pretty enough for a holiday brunch, I think. You can slice and serve it as is, with butter, with cream cheese - whatever you like.
I like marmalade.
As with most homemade breads this honey bun recipe is best the day it is made. You can wrap it in plastic wrap and it will keep for a day or two.
Wrap it in aluminum foil and freeze it for up to 3 months if you'd like to store it longer.
💭 Things to know
- You won't taste the ginger - it just helps activate the yeast.
- Be sure to scald the milk. Many modern recipes forgo this process but there's a protein in milk that can interfere with the gluten in the flour. It's possible the bread won't rise as well.
- Make this on a day when you have time. It will take nearly 3 hours from start to finish.
📚 Related recipes
Mexican Day of the Dead bread is another recipe with a sweet orange flavor - give it a try, too.
Then try these cinnamon rolls!
📞 The last word
I have been working on this recipe on and off for years and I really think I have it perfected. Give this homemade honey bun recipe a try and let me know what you think!
If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need. Don't forget that you can click on "add to collection" to save it to your own, private recipe box!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 pinch powdered ginger
- ¼ cup warm water, 110℉
- 1 cup milk, scalded and cooled
- ¼ cup butter
- ¾ cup Honey Granules
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 4-½ to 5 cups of flour, all purpose is fine
For the Glaze
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup Honey Granules -plus more to sprinkle on top of the bread
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
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- Add the yeast and ginger to the warm water in the bowl of your mixer and set aside.
- Add the butter, Honey Granules, and salt to the scalded milk and let cool to 110F.
- Whisk the eggs, orange juice, and zest into the milk mixture until well blended.
- With the mixer on low and the whisk attachment on add the egg and milk mixture to the yeast until smooth and well blended.
- Switch to the dough hook.
- With the mixer on medium-low speed add the flour until the dough clears the side of the bowl and forms a soft dough. The dough will be sticky.
- Knead for 5 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the mixer and knead it a few minutes more on a lightly floured surface - it should be springy and feel like your earlobe.
- Grease a large bowl with butter.
- Rub butter all over the ball of dough.
- Place the dough in the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel, and let rise for 1 hour, or until double.
- Turn the dough out of the bowl and knead gently to deflate the dough.
- Generously grease a 10-inch pie pan or a 9-inch round cake pan.
- Roll the dough into a cylinder about 20 inches long.
- Brush with the honey simple syrup.
- Place one end of the coil in the pan against the side.
- Coil the dough "rope" around the pan, ending in the center.
- Brush with more simple syrup.
- Sprinkle with more Honey Granules.
- Let rise for 30 minutes, or until light and nearly doubled.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Bake the Honey Bun for 20 minutes, or until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
- Let cool slightly before slicing.
- Bring the water, Honey Granules, and orange juice to a boil.
- Stir constantly until the granules are dissolved.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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First published October 8, 2015, Last updated May 16, 2023 for structural and editorial improvements.
✍🏻 A note from Marye...
I know y'all don't always like the stories bloggers tell so when I have one I try to put it at the very bottom so you can read or skip as you like.
I stalk old cookbooks. Thrift shops, antique stores, garage sales, online venues - I don't care how stained and falling apart it is I will buy it.
Let me define old though. My favorite cookbooks are those written between 1920 and 1970, especially if there are notes jotted alongside the recipes. Anything before 1920 tends to be a pain to convert and anything after 1970 is just... eh.
During those five decades people knew how to entertain, families sat down for two and sometimes three meals a day together.
Men wore suits, women dressed up, and children knew how to behave in stores. (Ok, full disclosure on that statement - last week I was shopping for clothes at Nordstrom's and these three boys were running in and out of the clothes "shooting" each other while the mom calmly continued to shop.
I just think that for the most part people had a more gracious lifestyle and I love it.