Naturally flavoured vanilla sugar buns is an all-time family favourite.  My mother especially loves the uncomplicated flavour of vanilla over and above all others. Which is why I thought of adding a sprinkling of authentic vanilla seeds to the cute sugar buns I made for her few weeks ago.

On my last visit to Mahebourg market I bought several pods of vanilla at a much cheaper cost than what I see in shops and supermarkets. The chap selling them claimed that they were authentic stuff from Madagascar but I did not quite believe him. At any rate they were far better than the artificial extract.

I love the delicate dark specks of vanilla seeds throughout the white batter. The recipe I experimented with is taken from the wonderfully inspiring site CookingBread which I followed to a T except for the egg wash in the end. The original recipe comes with a very useful step-by-step guide as well as a printable recipe card. 




For the Dough

1 cup milk

1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup melted butter

1/3 cup vanilla sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoon instant yeast

1 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 – 4 cups all purpose flour

For the Filling

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup vanilla sugar



  • If you’re using a vanilla bean, slice down the center and scrape each side of the bean to remove the seeds.
  • Place the seeds and the bean along with the milk in a saucepan. Slowly bring the milk to a scald. Do not boil.
  • Remove vanilla bean stock. Pour the scalding milk into a large bowl. Allow to cool to 105 oF – 110F.


  • Add the melted butter and vanilla sugar.
  • Add in about one cup of flour and the beaten eggs and mix till smooth. Now, add in the salt and instant yeast.
  • Sprinkle about a half a cup of flour on a flat surface. Pour out the sticky dough and add another half cup of flour on top.


  • Begin to knead in the flour slowly, add a little at a time till you get a slightly sticky dough but workable.
  • Continue to knead for 8 – 10 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.  You can use a food processor or bread machine for kneading if you are of the lazy type.


  • Pour a little oil into a clean bowl. Place dough into the bowl and flip over so all sides of the dough is coated with oil.
  • Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to set for 1 hour or till double in bulk. After dough has risen, pour out onto a flat surface.
  • Cut dough in half, place one piece back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.


  • Using the piece of dough on the flat surface, cut into 8 equal pieces.If you want your buns to be all the same size you need to weigh each piece so, they are all equal in weight. This will give you the best look and results.
  • Roll out each piece of dough to a 6″ x 4.5″ rectangle.


  • Brush the top with a little butter and sprinkle with about 3/4 tsp of vanilla sugar. Do the same with the next piece.
  • Now place that piece on top of the other one. Brush with butter again and add a little vanilla sugar.
  • Do the same with the next two pieces of dough.


  • After you should have 4 pieces of dough stacked on top of each other. Use your rolling pin and carefully roll out the dough into a rectangle that is roughly about 6″ x 4.5″.
  • Starting on the longest end roll up the dough tightly. Pinch the ends and seam closed. Place the dough seam side down.


  • Set aside and continue to do the same with the next 4 pieces of dough. You will have two rolled doughs now.
  • Take out the other half of dough in the bowl and do the same with that half. At the end you should have 4 rolled doughs. 
  • Cut each rolled dough into about 6 triangles. You will end up with 24 pieces of dough.


  • Place into a 11 inch round flan pan or tart pan. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 1 hour or till double in bulk.
  • Brush with some more melted butter. Bake in a preheated oven  at 375 oF for about 30 mins till top is golden brown.


  • If the top browns too quickly cover loosely with aluminium foil. Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack. Keeps well for a couple of days if stored wrapped in foil in a moisture free container.
  • Reheat leftover buns for a min in the microwave before you make yourself a cup of strongly brewed organic tea.


Soft and Silky Vanilla Sugar Buns