Jamaican Easter Bun

Apr 5, 2012 by

I wanted to make something Jamaican for Easter. I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate than Bun and Cheese. It’s a Jamaican tradition! I’ll be cooking all this weekend so this is the first of interesting things to come. I remember as a child living in England, my parents made Easter Bun and it made our home smell so fragrant. I was super excited when my Mom found the recipe that she had used all those years ago. I’m using some of the ingredients for the first time with this recipe. I’m glad I now have things like Anise Seeds in my pantry for future recipes. And I would have never guessed that I would be cooking with Dragon Stout again so soon!

This Bun smelt good in a traditional way. I personally prefer my bun with just raisins and not the mixed peel. But I really wanted to make it as traditional as possible. After looking at a few other recipes, this particular recipe uses Anise Seeds which is not included in modern Bun recipes. I’m fine with that. That means my recipe is special.

In Jamaica, Bun is a big deal. It is generally available throughout the year. If you usually buy Bun at the store, and have not yet purchased some by now – you may very well have missed out. Good thing I have this here recipe for you to actually MAKE Bun :-) That way, you won’t miss out. :-)

I was asking some friends and family about the origins of Jamaican Easter Bun… it’s a tradition that not too many people are familiar with. Thanks to my Bestie for sending me the info as to how Jamaican Bun came about. The British traditionally had Hot Crossed Buns on Good Friday. This same custom was brought to Jamaica and transformed into what we know today as Easter Bun. Jamaicans spiced it up!

“Jamaica’s version is made with molasses, while the buns from England were made with honey. In Jamaica, you eat the bun with cheese, a combination that has become ingrained in island culture. British custom has waned when it comes to eating hot cross buns as fasting food on Good Friday, but in Jamaica the practice is as prevalent as ever. Today the custom is seen as more Jamaican than British. And eating cheese is now a year-round practice, while the bun and cheese dish is prevalent primarily during the Easter holiday.” – An excerpt from an article found on Jamaicans.com


Bun & Cheese


Jamaican Easter Bun

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 10-12 slices


  • 1 ½ Cups Brown Sugar
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 2 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 Cup Dragon Stout
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tsp Anise seed, divided
  • 4 Tbsp molasses
  • ¼ Cup honey
  • 2 Tsp Allspice
  • 1 Cup mixed fruits and raisins
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Water


  1. Dissolve sugar, butter, honey syrup and spices into Stout over medium heat
  2. In a large bowl, sift in flour then fold in fruits
  3. Beat egg then add to the flour mixture. Stir to combine
  4. Add Stout mixture to flour and half of Anise seeds
  5. Put in a greased pan lined with parchment paper
  6. Sprinkle rest of Anise seeds on top
  7. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour or until done
  8. Remove from oven.
  9. Make a glaze – Combine¼ Cup sugar and 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl
  10. Brush on to bun


Once Bun has cooled, cover with saran wrap or keep in a zip lock bag in order to maintain moisture




This is the one cheese I have a severe weakness for. I’ll eat it any day of the week! It’s so terribly expensive here in Canada though. If it wasn’t for this post, I would have left it right there on the shelf. I’ve been delaying my cheese fix for when I visit Jamaica.


Only the BEST Cheese in the WORLD!


Dragon Stout, Guinness or Red Stripe Beer can all be used to make Bun.


Dragon Stout


Stout mixture reduced to a simmer.


Stout Mixture



Flour, Mixed Fruits, Raisins and Anise Seeds



Flour, Mixed Fruits and Anise Seeds



Stout mixture combined with flour mixture



Stout added to flour


Ready for the oven.


Easter Bun Batter sprinkled with Anise Seeds


The house smelled wonderful!


Bun – Fresh Out The Oven



Sugar & Water Glaze



First Slice



Bun and Cheese


Making this for the first time was great. The kids loved it. My husband was appreciative. He LOVES this stuff. I bet you next year, he’s going to be looking out for his Easter Bun.


Shout out to my Mom! Thanks for keeping this recipe safe so that I could do the unexpected and actually use it!!! *hugs*

I love my Mom.


For those that celebrate, have a happy and blessed Easter.



Other Buns you may like to try:

Sweet Potato Bun

Jamaican Easter Spiced Bun

Zucchini Spiced Bun

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  1. Oh this looks so good! I would love to try more Jamaican food. This would be a good start…

  2. Lyn, I can’t wait to hear about the rest of Jamaican stuff you’ll be making this weekend … makes me wish I was in Canada :'( … But … this post “sell off” as we would say in Jamaica. I’m not a bun eater as you know, but this one looks beautiful and smooth! And thanks for the mention :) :)

    • I’m in the kitchen trying to get as much done as possible so that I can spend some time with the family this weekend :-) I’m excited! Cooking some of these things for the very first time. I’m not a bun eater either but id I can find a bun that I actually like, I may be converted. Perhaps I’ll try to convert you too :-) Love you Bestie!!! <3

  3. Juli

    Hey My lovely cousin Lyn! I just love this blog. Your photography is genius, Just so Beautiful and I Love it! I haven’t started using any of the recipes YET, as I’m not the cook like mommy, but I am very much inspired. Have a blessed Easter weekend with the Family. Give my babies and of course Hubby a kiss for me! LOVE YOU ALWAYS!

    • Thank you Juli!!! Don’t worry, I was never the one to cook either and when I’m around the more experienced family cooks, I’ll fall back and make the salad LOL! I’m so glad you love what I’m doing. You know, I don’t do this for myself. It has always been to show others that cooking at home IS possible, even without having a lot of experience in the kitchen. Sit back, enjoy the posts and when you are comfortable, join me! :-) I’ll be here waiting to help in any way you need me. Love you forever! xoxo I’ll share the love with the hubby and kids :-)

  4. Bun – Yum! I’m going to be making this. Your photos are lovely.

  5. Kim from AZ

    Love the look of this recipe! My teenage son is researching Caribbean food as part of a history project and this looks amazing to try. Can you suggest any substitutes for the alcohol? I know it is supposed to bake out, but we don’t keep alcohol in the house and I don’t want to make an exception for a recipe. Would love to try it if I could figure out a substitute though – something that would still allow the rise without taking away from the flavor.

  6. Hi Kim, thanks for stopping by. I totally understand where you are coming from regarding using alcohol. I don’t know of a substitute however, I did come across a traditional Easter Bun recipe that uses yeast. Let me know and I’ll email it to you :-)

  7. Carla

    I got through baking 3 loaves… Very yummy… I do not live in jamaica anymore, so I have to keep my culture in check all the way in California… Thx great recipe!

  8. Love your blog! So nice to find it through this post, which is particularly near and dear to my heart. I’m not brave enough to try baking my own bun thought!
    Zabe Bent recently posted..Jamaican Easter = BUN!My Profile

  9. Lisa

    Hello Lyn, I have been looking for a bun recipe and was so happy to come across this one, however I have tried it and have had a bit of a disaster. The outside was baked but the inside was raw, I think the dragon mixture might have been too hot, I can’t think what else might have happened. Could you tell me if the dragon should be completely cooled before adding it to the flour? Thank you


    • Lisa, I’m so sorry to hear that it didn’t turn out as you had hoped. There are so many factors to why baking can go wrong. Allowing the stout mixture to cool is certainly a good thing to do. But I’m not sure if that could have caused your bun to come out that way. For what its worth, try it again with cooled stout and see if the results are different. Others have tried this recipe with success. Give it another go, Lisa!

  10. Lisa

    Hi Lyn

    I gave it another go and it was much better, I made the stout mixture cool down for a few minutes and then added to the flour. It was just a little bit sticky inside but then I was wondering if it was because I used currants and raisins that I have pre-soaked in wine but just like everything else, its all about trial and error.

    Thanks so much for your reply


  11. This is going to be my first time taking a stab at making bun. This one looks like a good recipe :)

  12. This is going to be my first time making Easter Bun! Thanks for the recipe
    Kamilah recently posted..Chic Geek LookMy Profile

  13. A. Smith

    I am about to try this recipe. Will let you know how it turns out. A quick query….didn’t see where and when the molasses is added.


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