A Jamaican Tradition: Honey Glazed Easter Bun

Growing up in Jamaica, I knew nothing of the Easter bunny. We never hunted for colourfully wrapped chocolate, and we definitely didn’t waste our food by painting it. Our tradition called for a good Friday fish fry and a day at church with the grown folks. It also called for Easter Bun, a spiced bun eaten with cheese. Just like Sorrel is a favoured drink at Christmas in Jamaica, Easter Bun is a Jamaican’s favourite Easter snack.

Easter Bun & Cheese

The custom of eating this fruity, rich, spiced bun with cheese during the Easter Holiday is prevalent in Jamaica. This custom is likely practiced throughout the world wherever you would find a Jamaican. The bun eaten today is an adaptation of the British hot cross bun that was brought to the island. Today’s recipe is one of many variations.

What is Jamaican cheese? I’ve yet to find a list of ingredients, however it is said to be made with a blend of top quality cheddar cheese from New Zealand. I should point out that this cheese is known and loved for its taste!

The Many Meanings of “Bun” in Jamaica

Although the official written and spoken language of Jamaica is Standard English, many Jamaicans also speak Patois which is a separate dialect/language. Jamaican Patois (also known as “Patwa”, “Patwah” or “Jamaican Creole”) is the language that is used by most Jamaicans in casual everyday conversations while Standard English is normally reserved for professional environments.

It is quite difficult to acquire the accent of a Jamaican, unless you’ve lived in Jamaica for many years but at a Canadian university, their Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics offer an “Introduction to Jamaican Creole” as a course. Jamaican Patois has been gaining ground as a literary language for almost a hundred years.

Bun; it’s not just for eating. The word “bun” has at least four different meanings as found in the Jamaican Patios and Slang Dictionary.

Definition 1
English Translation: burn

Definition: To contain a fire

Example Sentences
Patois: Di fyah bun dem!
English: The fire burned them!

Definition 2 
English Translation: annoy

Definition: to be annoyed

Example Sentences
Patois: A wah yu do bun mi.
English: What you did annoyed me.

Definition 3 
English Translation: cheat

Definition: to be unfaithful to one’s partner.

Example Sentences
Patois: Mi cyan believe that Sarah gi mi bun.
English: I can’t believe that Sarah cheated on me.

Definition 4
English Translation: spiced bun

Definition: A sweet spicy bun in which spice and raisins are added during the making process. This bun is dark in colour and shaped liked a loaf of bread. It is commonly eaten with cheese during the Easter season.

Example Sentences
Patois: Mi luv nyam bun and cheese durin the easta holiday.
English: I love to eat bun and cheese during the Easter holiday.

Honey Glazed Easter Bun

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This fruity, rich, spiced bun served with cheese is a favourite Easter snack!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons margarine, softened
  • 1 ½ cups stout
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ tablespoon browning
  • 2 tablespoons guava jam
  • 1 medium egg (optional, I bake without the egg as I like to be able to taste that the batter is just right)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup mixed peel, chopped (optional)
  • ½ cup raisins

Directions

Step 1: Preheat oven at 350°F/180°C.  In a large bowl, mix together the margarine, stout, wine, vanilla, browning, guava jam and beaten egg (if used).

Step 2: Stir in the sugar and mix until all the granules are dissolved.

Step 3: Mix together all the dry ingredients.

Step 4: Combine liquid mixture with dry ingredients and mix well. Add the chopped mixed peel and raisins.

Step 5: Scrape the batter into a greased 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pan.

Step 6: Bake in a preheated for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Step 7: Cool on a cooling rack.

Step 8: To Glaze: Combine 3 tablespoons honey with two tablespoons water and bring to a boil; remove from flame and use a pastry brush to apply it over the surface of the bun.

Tips:

Serve with slices of cheese.

Use this bun to make delicious French Toast! Whisk together 2 eggs, 1 cup almond milk, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Heat a little butter in a skillet until sizzling. Dip slices of bun in mixture, place in skillet and fry both sides until crisp and lightly coloured on the outside. This bun is naturally sweet. Layer on your favourite toppings like spoon sweets, fresh fruit, warm maple syrup, icing sugar.

Here’s are some other tips worth noting. If the tips and edges of the bun start to blacken close to the end of baking it, cover the bun with foil. Continue baking until cooked through. Allow the bun to cool and settle for at least 2 hours before serving. If you can wait 24 hours to serve it, even better!

You can now print this recipe card. Just hit ‘Print’ on the above to keep it handy.

Here’s what Jamaica Culinary had to say when I tweeted that I made French Toast with “leftover” Easter bun.

They are correct, there really is no such thing as “leftover” Easter bun. Thanks for stopping by and checking out today’s post.

46 thoughts on “A Jamaican Tradition: Honey Glazed Easter Bun

  1. Such a beautiful loaf, I LOVE Jamaican food and the island is one of the most gorgeous places on earth. This reminds me a little of the fruit cake I had when I was visiting there, your loaf looks super moist and delicious. Saving this one for sure, and serving with a slice of cheese is brilliant.Happy Easter Eartha.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful post sweetie! Some of these Patois must sound so funny! Loved your traditions as well as the yummy recipe! We don’t have guava jam here, but we bet apricot should also work, right?:)
    Sending you lots of sunshine,
    Mirella and Panos

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Mirella (Nutella according to today’s auto correct) & Panos! Thanks for the sunshine wish. We finally have some ☀ here along with nice weather – 20°C today. Yay! It could snow tomorrow though. This is Canada. 🇨🇦
      Apricot jam is a great substitute!
      Thanks for stopping by. ☺

      Like

    • Haha 😁 Hi Felicia, I don’t know one person who likes fruit cake, including me! So I get it. I was excited when I saw fruit cake in stores thinking it would be similar but that’s not the case at all. Once you taste a Jamaican Easter Bun you’ll know what I mean. Fruit cake does not compare!

      You can absolutely make this cake without the dried fruits (mixed peel) and get the same Easter Bun experience. My better half is not a fan of it either so I make a second bun with the raisins only. Both options are also sold in stores.

      Appreciate the questions. ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It also looks like the fruit cake that is so prevalent around Christmas! I’m not a huge fan of it though…although you’ve now got me wondering what it might taste like with cheese.

    And if the Jamaican New Zealand cheddar is anything like the Barbados New Zealand cheddar….then MMMMM!!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Jess! Funny you should mention butter because it does taste great with it. It’s one of those things where I could eat slices upon slices spread with butter – in one sitting. Gets dangerous. 😁

      Like

    • Happy to hear you enjoyed the post Leslie. Jamaica’s a beautiful place with so much good history not to mention food that is loved worldwide. I used to waitress a Jamaican restaurant in Toronto and travellers from all over the world would be so excited to be there so they could try foods like oxtail, curried goat and jerk chicken. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to share some things about Jamaican culture in this space.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for commenting. ☺

      Liked by 1 person

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