Chelsea Bun Christmas Tree

I think Christmas morning breakfast is one of the most fun and important parts of the day. Eating a wonderful breakfast with family while opening presents is such an indelible memory for me and I always want to carry it on. The best is having something baking and the whole house just smells like Christmas. So I started to work on a fabulous Christmas morning option with this absolutely gorgeous Chelsea bun Christmas tree! It is adapted from the recipe that Paul Hollywood made on British Bake Off Masterclass and I was just floored by how perfect it looked. So I had to make it and put my own spin on it. 

My stand mixer made forming the dough really easy using the dough hook. It was a simple mixture of flour, salt, yeast, warm milk, butter and eggs. For this recipe and any dough like this I much prefer to use a kitchen scale to be precise. It yields the best results. 
While the yeast worked its magic on the dough, I made the simple filling. I grew up loving mincemeat from my mom so I was so excited when I saw it was the base for Paul’s filling. I mixed it with some orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and chopped pistachios to really bring loads of flavor. 
Once the dough finished rising and the filling was done, this lovely Christmas tree came together quickly. I rolled the dough into a huge, thin rectangle and brushed it really generously with melted butter. That helped the filling stick when I spread it in a thin layer on top of the butter. Then I rolled it up tightly, cut it into 16 equal pieces and formed the tree on my sheet tray! It was looking pretty already. 
Once it rose for another hour, it became so golden in the oven after 25-30 minutes. To give it a nice, shiny finish I slathered the Chelsea bun Christmas tree in apricot glaze before I decorated it. 

The final touch was to drizzle orange flavored icing everywhere to look like the tree was covered in snow. Then I added cherries and more chopped pistachios on top for some lovely red and green color on top. Oh my goodness, as pretty as it was I couldn’t wait for Marc and I to try it. It was really fun to have this pull apart situation for the tree and it was so warm and gooey. I can’t think of anything more fun or yummy to make the morning magical. Hope you all enjoy it! xoxo

Chelsea Bun Christmas Tree
Chelsea Bun Christmas Tree
This is such an amazing and gorgeous Chelsea bun Christmas tree with lovely mincemeat filled sweet rolls formed into a tree. It gets decorated with orange flavored icing, cherries and pistachios for a festive Christmas morning!
Chelsea Bun Christmas Tree
5 from 2 votes
Chelsea Bun Christmas Tree
Chelsea Bun Christmas Tree
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Rising Time
2 hrs
Total Time
1 hr

This Chelsea bun Christmas tree is such a gorgeous, showstopping bake that will make Christmas morning so sweet and yummy. 

Course: Dessert
Keyword: Chelsea Bun Christmas Trees, Chelsea Buns
Servings: 16 Chelsea buns
Calories: 337 kcal
Author: Jeanie and Lulu’s Kitchen
  • 800 grams bread flour
  • 2 envelopes dry rapid rise yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3 cups jarred fruit mincemeat
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios plus additional for topping
  • 1 whole orange zested. Reserve the juice.
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 10 whole jarred maraschino cherries
  1. Set up a stand mixer and fit it with the dough hook. Add the flour to its bowl, then pour the yeast on top on one side and the salt on the other side. Combine the milk and butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat it up for about 2 minutes, until the butter is melted and it feels like hot bathwater. Pour it into the bowl with the dry ingredients and let it sit for a couple of minutes to bubble up. Then add in the eggs and run the dough hook on low to start mixing it all together until it starts to form a dough. Turn the speed up one more notch and let the hook kneed the dough for 3-4 minutes to really work it together. Then cover the bowl and let the dough double in size for an hour in a warm, dry area of the kitchen.

  2. While the dough rises, make the filling. Simply stir all of the filling ingredients except the melted butter together thoroughly in a medium bowl. When the dough is done rising, roll it out into a large, thin rectangle that measures about 20 x 14. Brush the melted butter all over the rectangle and spread the filling in a thin layer on top of the butter, leaving a small border. Roll up the short side really tightly and trim the ends off so that they’re neat. Then cut 16 rolls out of it that are about 1 inch. Get out a sheet tray and line it with parchment. Form the tree by placing 1 roll at the top, followed by 2 in the next row, then 3, then 4, then 5. Use the 16th roll and the two trimmed ends to form the trunk. Cover the tray and let the rolls rise again for 1 hour. 

  3. When the hour is almost up, pre-heat the oven to 350. Bake the tree for 25-30 minutes, until completely golden but still soft. While it bakes, start preparing the finishing items. Melt the apricot jam with a big dash of water in a small saucepan over low heat until it forms a glaze. Set it aside. Then stir the powdered sugar and orange zest together until it forms a thick icing. When the chelsea bun tree is done, brush it all over with the apricot glaze to give it a shine. Then drizzle it generously all over with the icing to look like snow and place the cherries and pistachios on top. Serve immediately and enjoy! 

Nutrition Facts
Chelsea Bun Christmas Tree
Amount Per Serving (1 Chelsea bun)
Calories 337 Calories from Fat 69
% Daily Value*
Fat 7.7g12%
Saturated Fat 3.5g22%
Cholesterol 34mg11%
Sodium 549mg24%
Potassium 141mg4%
Carbohydrates 59.5g20%
Fiber 2.5g10%
Sugar 12.7g14%
Protein 7.7g15%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 2.9mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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