Ginger Up Those Dan Lepard Tea Cakes

dan Lepard teacakes

So I asked Brian what he would like in the way of baking and being a man of few words he said ‘Buns please’ – once more unto Dan Lepard’s top teacake recipe dear friends. This time I think I have  just about got the bake time for a smaller sized bun spot on. This batch are near enough perfect. I like this recipe because it is a proper light-on-the-sugar bun, relying on the fruit and spice for sweetness.  If you like buns drenched in sugary syrup and crammed with all sorts of bits, this is not the bun for you, but it is Brian’s favourite sweet bun and he would happily eat them all day.

I used organic cocoa butter instead of white chocolate and 100 grams of Buderim ginger, 150 g of sultanas and 50 grams of dried pears as the fruit. A teaspoon of cinammon, half a teaspoon each of ginger and mixed spice, and St Helens semiskimmed goats milk. I add the cocoa butter to the heated milk before pouring it over the other goodies so that it melts easily. I am getting quite into goats milk these days on account of the kefir which likes it better than cows milk, don’t ask me why, I hated everything goat when I was a child but my tastes have changed over the years.

I divided the dough into 16 balls of 90 g about half the size suggested in Short and Sweet,  and baked them for exactly 10 minutes in a fan oven at 200 C.  The buns come out soft and light if you keep the bake short and hot. If you leave them in too long they get dry and tough,  so if in doubt pull them out of the oven. The rich colour is from the egg wash, don’t forget the egg wash!

Fri am : Adding a couple of crumb shots for Charlie @

Crumb shot Top Tea Cakes Dan Lepard Buderim Ginger IMG_1721

…and they defrost beautifully and toast like a dream….

Maybe it was the fresh yeast, maybe the goat's milk, who knows, these are the  lightest, and most melt in the mouth teacakes I have ever made!

Maybe it was the fresh yeast, maybe the goat’s milk, who knows, these are the lightest, and most melt in the mouth teacakes I have ever made!

40 thoughts on “Ginger Up Those Dan Lepard Tea Cakes

    1. Joanna Post author

      I don’t know if it will be your perfect bun but it is a lovely recipe so do give it a try one day :)

  1. helenogorman2013

    Hi Joanna
    its funny looking at your pic of the tea cakes I think I have the same mixer and scales as you! I made the short and sweet huge versions of these with waitrose Italian peel mix which was good. They were nice I think I used shortening and soya milk. Where can you buy cocoa butter? It would be helpful to know as I like to try and cut down on dairy a bit . Will certainly try the smaller version . Thank you

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi Helen! Kenwood and the KD800 scales, with elastoplast over the button that has worn through, my one caveat on these scales. (And I know they are guaranteed but I have lost my receipt). The cocoa butter was instead of the beef fat/white chocolate which is what the original recipe has. Cooca butter is quite expensive stuff and I am not sure that it might just be less costly to buy a good quality white chocolate. I don’t know what exactly shortening is, is that a vegetable fat? I think I got this lot in a wholefood shop called Scoopaway on the Gloucester Road in Bristol and it has all gone up in price since I bought it last year. It keeps a long time though in a cool place, this is the only recipe I use it in.

      1. helenogorman2013

        Hi Joanna yes shortening is a white veg fat like Trex I use it to keep dairy free. Thanks for the info

  2. Misky

    I’ve made these buns also, and they’re very popular around here. I make them small so P isn’t subjected to too much sugar and fat all at once. They only slightly nudged his glucose levels after eating two, so no problem there. I’ve yet to make them with my new oven though. Perhaps I’m a bit frightened by it. :( Silliness, I know. My rye bread turned out beautifully, so I don’t know why I’m dancing about in hesitation mode.

    1. Joanna Post author

      They would be a good test for new oven though and make it smell nice of spice and baking and hygge xx

      1. Misky

        Off to buy that ginger at Waitrose this weekend. Tesco didn’t have it. No surprise; they usually don’t stock it.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi Lynne I am sure they would work fine, the syrup is glucose based I think. You might need to rinse and pat dry?

  3. Bread & Companatico

    wow, they look lovely. would love to make this English-type buns to be known also in Italy, I am hosting a collection of breads, so if you want to send these there that would be great. rules for participation here:


    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Barbara, I am not currently participating in hosted events but I wish you every success as it sounds like a great project, best wishes, Joanna

    1. Joanna Post author

      I must make them as giant teacakes one of these days as I like them like that too, split and toasted :)

  4. Claire @ Claire K Creations

    They look just lovely! Second reference to cocoa butter that I’ve read this week. I think it’s a sign. Time to buy some!

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Claire – I often use ingredients in my baking just to use them up. I have bought them in a fit of enthusiasm and then found them quite a while later on the shelves, that was what was going on with these buns :)

  5. hotlyspiced

    I would love to see how they look on the inside. They sound wonderful. And I love Buderim Ginger. When on the Sunshine Coast we always visit the ginger factory xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      Have added some photos for you (shame I had to eat a bun for breakfast to do it) I would love to visit your ginger factory, it always tastes of sweet sunshine to me :)

  6. Ann

    I haven’t tried that Dan L teacakes recipe yet but I think I would make it with all white chocolate and definitely with ginger. I love Buderim ginger and eat that naked stuff straight out of the packet! Mother’s Day here in Oz this Sunday and I will be seeing my grandson (the one who loved the Gibassiers ) so a good excuse to try them.
    Incidentally I was looking at a blog called “The Vicar Died Laughing” (love the name) and there is a recipe there for buns called Emneth Worthies (another great name) which I think would interest you.

    1. Joanna Post author

      My palate is not that sensitive that I taste the chocolate taste, so I think white chocolate will be fine, Dan Lepard discusses the reasons for using it as opposed to butter in the recipe. Brian asked if I could put chocolate chips in them this morning – I reckon so don’t you? I will look up the Emneth Worthies – thanks Ann xx

      1. Ann

        Just as I thought, my grandson loved them. I’m sure the addition of chocolate chips would be lovely – if not so good for the waistline!

        1. Joanna Post author

          Hooray! I think chocolate chips would be excellent and you could always tweak the other ingredients if you were really worroed! xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      It travels well and cheers us up when we find it on the shelves of the supermarket on a rainy day :)

  7. gillthepainter

    Oooo Top teacakes. I’ll have to whisper as Tony loves these as much as Brian. But I haven’t time to make them as I’m sewing …. yes sewing today. Patching a quilt cover that he tore on a handle hoiking it off the door where it was airing. Luckily the quilt is white with little coloured patches on it!
    Your breadly cakes look absolutely marvellous, Joanna.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I have done that catching on door handle thing too, Gill, sometimes my sleeve on one of my baggy cardigans slides over the handle and then I am jerked backwards like a man on a bungee rope in Star Trek Into Darkness.(See my sneaky link into the fact we went to the cinema!) We went and donned the 3D glasses last night and as I struggled to follow the action I came to a certain knowledge that I would be no good on a space ship as I would be permanently lost. Love that villain though :)

      1. gillthepainter

        Ha ha! You did it. That was quite a long film too. (You might already know her, but have a google and look up Benedict’s mother. He’s the spitting image of her).

  8. themondaybaker

    Another Dan Lepard recipe to add to my “To Bake” list! I love toasted teacakes and my freezer stash for that “emergency teacake” moment is running dangerously low…. PS I tried the semolina buns at the weekend with a generous amount of pulled pork – delicious!

    1. Joanna Post author

      Your weekend meal sounds great! Pulled pork isn’t something I have made, so I am going to hop over to your blog and see if you tell me how to do it there. Yes, these are mostly stashed in the freezer for those moments too! If you flatten them a bit, I do they would look more teacake like.

      1. themondaybaker

        It’s another Guardian recipe- I seem to use more recipes from that site than I do from “proper” food sites at the moment.

        1. Joanna Post author

          I think the Guardian does a pretty good job on the food side, Dan Lepard, Ottolenghi, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Angela Hartnett, Nigel Slater, Felicity Cloake etc… all good writers and more than enough for me most of the time. I have lots of their books.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I was so pleased to find it in the supermarket, such a lovely form of ginger. I like the one in syrup too but this is my favourite!

  9. bakecakecrumbs

    Ooh, yes please! I remember that recipe being particularly successful when I attempted it and being a fan of ginger these sound just perfect. I have a soft spot for dried pear too – the lovely grainy texture is what does it I think. Buns to me means slider buns at the moment… very good they are too!

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