Easter Home Baking: Raisin, Orange and Pistachio Swirls

Being at home for Easter can mean plenty of time or baking, if you are able to find some flour, that is. It seems like I can find everything apart from flour in the shops at the moment!

I shared lemon and raisin scone recipe a couple of days ago, but here is another raisin recipe, as South African raisins are perfectly in season at the moment, and full of lots of goodness.

South African Raisin, Orange and Pistachio Swirls

These gorgeous buns look amazing – and taste even better! They make a great alternative to the Easter Hot Cross Bun.

Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus 1 hour to rise

Cooking time: 18-20 minutes

Serves 9


  • 225g strong plain white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 25g butter
  • 2 tsp fast-action yeast
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 75ml warm milk


  • 50g butter, melted
  • 50g light muscovado sugar
  • 120g South African raisins
  • 50g pistachio nuts, finely chopped
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • Few drops of vegetable oil


  • 25g caster sugar


  • 50g icing sugar
  • 2-3 tsp orange juice
  • Fine shreds of orange zest and chopped pistachios, to decorate


  • Put the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips. Stir in the yeast and sugar. Beat the egg and milk together, then stir into the flour mixture. Bring the mixture together to form a soft dough. 
  • Dust a work surface with a little flour. Turn the dough onto this and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes while you make the filling, by mixing together the melted butter with the muscovado sugar, South African raisins, pistachio nuts and orange zest.
  • Roll out the dough into a rectangle measuring approximately 25x30cm. Sprinkle the filling evenly on top. Roll up from one long end and cut into 9 slices.
  • Grease a 23cm (9in) cake tin with a few drops of vegetable oil, then arrange the buns in it (cut sides up), spacing them apart. Cover with cling film and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour, or until roughly doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 210°C, fan oven 190°C, Gas Mark 7. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes until the buns are risen and golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack.
  • For the glaze, put the caster sugar and 3 tbsp water into a small saucepan. Heat to dissolve, then boil for 40-60 seconds. Brush over the warm buns. Cool completely.
  • To decorate, mix the icing sugar with the orange juice to make a thin icing. Drizzle over the buns, then sprinkle them with fine shreds of orange zest and chopped pistachios. Leave to set, then serve. 

Cook’s tip: Another time, use finely chopped pecan nuts with lemon zest and juice instead of orange. 

It would be great other what you think and if you give this a go!

*post in collaboration with South African Raisins.

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