Shropshire Butter Buns

Shropshire Butter Buns

If you have been on my sweet dough course it is very likely that you will have made Shropshire Butter Buns with me. If not, you have been missing a treat. I used to dream about butter buns until I finally worked out how to make them in 2015. I used to buy them from Sidoli’s in Wellington and was a tiny bit heartbroken when Sidoli’s sold their cafes and bakeries and moved to wholesale desserts and ice cream only. You can still buy a butter bun from Hignetts, the Ludlow Food Centre, Bread & Loaf, Shrewsbury and the Shrewsbury Market Hall but making your own is even better.

My recipe was based on my best approximation of a butter bun from my happy memories. Last week, I was contacted by Edward Aston who some seventy years ago apprenticed with Thomas Wedge Bakers in Broseley and he wanted to share the original recipe that he says came from Tom Wedge’s father-in-law Mr Rhodes, a baker from Market Drayton before the recipe was lost. The video below shows you how to make a Shropshire Butter Bun according to Edward Aston with changes to the filling and the way that they are set out for baking.

The recipe reminds me of what a small world it is. When I was first trying to work out the recipe in 2015 I went to see a very good friend for lunch and there on her kitchen wall was a framed certificate for an award won by Sidoli’s. Her husband, of Italian descent is closely related to the Sidoli family. (By the way before this I only ever knew Sidoli to be pronounced in true Shropshire style as Sid’oh”li, it is pronounced by the Italians as Sid’uh”li, I still pronounce it with an ‘oh’ sound, old habits die hard). I didn’t dare to ask my friend’s husband if he knew the recipe in case I was stealing a trade secret. Yesterday, I shared that I was filming the recipe from the Tom Wedge Bakery on social media only to have my youngest daughter’s best friend’s mum (are you still with me?) tell me that she is the great-granddaughter of Tom Wedge. I have asked her if it is OK that I share their trade secret and as the recipe has probably altered over the years and her father retired and closed the Wedge bakery in 2008 she assures me that it is ok (phew, thank you Lucy).

I hope you enjoy the recipe. Maybe try it with both fillings and let me know which one you prefer. My butter bun recipe that I pieced together in 2015 is available on The Ordinary Cook blog.

You can watch the video of me making these gorgeous buns on my YouTube channel.


For the dough:
300g strong white flour (bread flour)
250g plain white flour
10g fine salt
7g easy bake yeast (instant yeast) or 10g fresh yeast (the fresh yeast can be dissolved in a little of the warm water that you will be using for the recipe)
50g caster sugar
150ml milk
150ml warm water
50g butter
1 egg

For the filling:
150g unsalted softened butter
150g light soft brown sugar
60g lemon curd

For the glaze:
50g caster or granulated sugar
50g water


Warm the milk and the butter together in a pan over a gentle heat. Yeast dies at 55C so you don’t want the water to get too hot. 

Place the flours, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Keep the salt and yeast separate as salt can kill yeast. If you are using fresh yeast dissolve in a small amount of the water that you are using for the recipe before adding it to the flour. 

Add the egg, warm milk and warm water and mix well. You can now use a stand mixer to mix the dough, knead for 10 minutes or use the stretch and fold method to develop the gluten in the dough. Leave the dough to ferment until it has become light and airy and has doubled in size. This can be at room temperature and will take between 1-2 hours depending on how warm your room is or in the fridge overnight. 

Meanwhile make the filling. Beat the sugar and butter together until soft and fluffy. Add the lemon curd and mix to combine. Set aside.

Make the glaze by placing the sugar and water in a small pan over a gentle heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and then simmer for a couple of minutes. 

When the dough has become light and airy turn it out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 8 large pieces or 12 smaller pieces. I like the bigger bun but you might prefer the smaller size. 

Roll each piece into a circle. Place a teaspoon of the filling not each circle. Fold the circle over and seal the edges. Place another teaspoon of filling onto the half moon shapes and fold in half again so that you now have a triangular shape. 

Place four of the triangles onto a baking tray (you can use baking parchment on the tray to save the washing up effort) to make a circle and repeat with the remaining triangles.

Leave in a warm place to prove or place in the fridge for several hours or overnight. 

When the buns have risen by about half preheat the oven to 200C, gas mark 6, 400F or use the roasting oven of the Aga and bake for 20-25 minutes. depending on your oven. 

As soon as they come out of the oven brush them with the simple syrup glaze generously and leave them on the tray for 10 minutes to soak up any excess butter and allow the treacly toffee to stick to the bun. Finish cooling on a wire rack and eat the toffee bits stuck to the tray as a cook’s bonus. 

Try both this recipe and my version and let me know which one you prefer or which one brings back happy memories of enjoying butter buns. 

Want to learn how to make bread?

My online Bread Made Easy Membership takes you from a novice to a confident bread maker.

11 thoughts on “Shropshire Butter Buns”

  1. Oh my goodness I am so happy to find you! I am a avid baker and love to see new methods to improve my skills. These butter buns look heavenly and I am going to bake them tomorrow.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. I am very glad you have found me. I hope you enjoy the butter buns. They are my favourites.

  3. I used to work at T O Williams in Wem as a Saturday girl & Butter Buns were the best. Pop them in the microwave for a few seconds, makes for an even ooooozzziiier bun!

  4. Pingback: Sunny Easter Weekend – Fred Hart: Radio Producer

  5. I remember butter buns as a child from a local bakers in Edgeley, Stockport – I’ve searched for a long time for a recipe and am so glad I’ve found it, thank you so much

  6. My younger son ( now 30 ) as a child used to come back to my shop ( clothing not a bakery!) in Ludlow – Shropshire – after school to wait for me to close to take him home at 5.30 when we closed. Aged around 6 back then he used to trot over the road to the now sadly closed wonderful De Greys cafe and bakery with a 10p piece to bargain with the lady behind the counter for the last remaining Shropshire Butter Bun. With bright blond hair and brown eyes and a winning smile he usually got his 10p bun. His very favourite. Roll on around 25 years, he has a business providing amazing pizzas – – for the big festivals – such as Glastobury – they make all their own dough and take great pride in their produce.
    I recently looked up Shropshire Butter Buns – and found you! I made my first ones for 17 ladies from the village of Knowbury nearby who came for Afternoon Tea at my place – Crow Leasow -last week. They ate them all ! and raved. I am about to put my 2nd batch in as aforementioned son ( now living in Bristol ) is coming tomorrow. He shall have Butter Buns.
    Thank you very much for sharing. They are going to be baked regularly now for my guests to celebrate all things Shropshire especially as we have just been given such amazing publicity as THE place to visit by ABTA !

  7. Aw lovely, I am so pleased you have found the recipe. A butter bun for 10p! Lucky lad. I hope it brings back happy memories for him.

  8. In the 1950’s there was a bun shop in Oswestry which sold honey buns. They are the same as butter buns but have a bit of honey in the filling. I also fondly remember DeGrays buns. Yum!!

  9. We had a bakery near to us in Cheshire where we used to get ‘Honey Buns’. The recipe was a closely guarded secret, and even my mum-in-law who worked behind the counter couldn’t find out what it was! When the owner/baker retired, many of us begged him for the recipe, but to no avail, so we’ve had to resign ourselves to living honey bun free lives!
    Our son and daughter in law have just returned from a break in Ludlow, and brought with them a Shropshire Butter Bun for us. Son is gluten intolerant, so he couldn’t have any, but as soon as he saw them he knew they were very honey-bun-esque!
    We’ve just eaten ours with a cup of coffee, and he’s right, they’re very, very close to a honey bun. I shall be attempting to make my own honey buns within the next few weeks, but will also look out for your variety too.
    We miss De Grey’s terribly as husband and I had a few holidays in their accommodation next door to, and above the shop. I can’t remember the name of the room we used to book, but it was at the very top of the building, with an enormous Chester four poster canopied bed, a large bathroom and a separate seating area with a sofa and TV etc.
    The breakfasts for residents were amazing, served in a room above the café, with a log fire going in the colder weather, and were without doubt, the best breakfasts we have ever had. They started with cereals, fresh juices, yogurts, fresh fruits, sweet pastries, croissants, bread rolls, cooked meats, cheeses and preserves, followed by either a Continental breakfast, or a full English. Basically you were provided with a Continental breakfast followed by another of the same, or a Continental breakfast and a full English!
    We were heartbroken when De Grey’s closed, as we had been very regular visitors, on first name terms with all the staff, and had stayed for four or five nights at least four times per year, we loved it!
    We have very happy memories of De Grey’s, and now the chance to possibly experience Honey Buns again!
    Thank you so much for your recipe!

  10. I hope you love the butter buns and they taste like honey buns. I replace the sugar with honey if I want a softer bun. They are delicious. De Greys is a sad loss it was a wonderful cafe. Thanks for the lovely story.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top