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Sweet Orange and Vanilla Custard Buns for Easter

Apr 8, 2020

Easter is a big, celebratory event in Norway and observed in a big way, much like Christmas. This year will be quite different for all of us, whether you’re in Norway, the United States and anywhere else in the world. Most are in quarantine, due to the global coronavirus outbreak and many of us won’t be able to see or spend time with our loved ones.

What’s the next best thing we can do? Try to recreate the wonderful memories of this special holiday by making something special to put on your table. I couldn’t think of anything more festive and delicious than these sweet, fluffy buns filled with decadent vanilla custard and a glaze made with fresh orange juice.

Oranges are a staple at Easter in Norway, whether it’s just as a plain snack to bring along on ski trips, or added into various sweet or savory dishes. Why are oranges so popular this time of year? In the earlier days, oranges were only available in Norway during the winter months, and around Easter, they were especially sweet. I’ve read stories about people stuffing a sugar cube into the flesh of oranges to make them sweeter, this was around the 1960s.

Today, Norwegians are one of the top importers of oranges in the world, and paired with the Norwegian chocolate ‘kvikklunsj’, they are a mandatory staple in Norwegians’ diet during this holiday.

20 million oranges will be consumed this week most likely and then some. I think it’s safe to say the c-vitamin requirement will be met!

The key to the deliciousness of these buns is to press your own orange juice for both the dough and the glaze from fresh oranges. The flavor is just so much better (and sweeter!), plus you can also save the orange zest and add into your tea or even add some into the dough of the buns.

Sweet Orange and Vanilla Custard Buns for Easter

Put the kettle on, have some fun in the kitchen and start baking! Wishing you all a safe, healthy and joyous Easter!

SWEET ORANGE AND VANILLA CUSTARD EASTER BUNS

Makes 12 buns

2 1/4 lbs (1 kilo) all-purpose flour
1 stick + 6 tbsp (200 grams) vegan butter, chilled, diced small
1 1/4 cup (3 dl) granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
½ cup Just Eggs or applesauce
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
1 ¼ cup (3 dl) non-dairy milk like oat, cashew or almond milk
¾ cup (1.75 dl) orange juice
Melted vegan butter for brushing the buns

Orange filling:
1 ¼ cup (3 dl) freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup (2.25 dl) sugar
3 tbsp (50 g) butter

Vanilla Custard:
2 cups non-dairy milk (I like Oatly oat milk)
3 – 4 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp granulated sugar or maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp turmeric (optional for coloring)

Confectioner’s Glaze:
About 2 cups (150 grams) organic confectioner’s sugar
1-2 tbsp fresh orange juice

Directions
Make vanilla custard first:
Pour the milk into a shallow medium saucepot and add the cornstarch, whisk together well. Turn the heat to medium and add the sugar or maple syrup, along with the vanilla extract. Make sure to constantly whisk so it doesn’t form lumps, and continue until the mixture starts to thicken. This will take somewhere from 8-12 minutes.

You may need to add in a little more cornstarch. Add in a pinch of turmeric at the end. Make sure your custard is thick before you remove from heat and pour into a non-reactive bowl and let cool for a few minutes before placing it in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

To make the dough:
Add the flour, sugar, dry yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.

In a separate bowl, combine the Just Eggs or applesauce with the non-dairy milk and orange juice.

Attach the dough hook to the bowl and make sure dry ingredients are mixed well. Slowly add in the liquid mixture and knead for about 10 minutes until you have a smooth dough separated from the sides of the bowl. Add in the chilled butter gradually and knead for another 5-6 minutes until you have a smooth, elastic dough. Cover the bowl and set aside to rest until doubled in size, or for about 1-2 hours.

While the dough is rising, make the orange glaze:
In a medium, shallow saucepot, add the orange juice and sugar over medium heat and simmer until the liquid is thick and reduced in half. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Let cool completely.

Continue on to the dough:
Preheat the oven to 400°Fahrenheit (200°Celsius). Dress an 11×9-inch (or around 30x40cm) baking dish by lining it with parchment paper.

Roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 25 long and 12 inches wide. Spread the chilled vanilla custard evenly over the surface, followed by a thin layer of the orange glaze (you will most likely have extra glaze leftover, so go easy on this). 

Starting with the long edge closest to you, roll the dough tightly into a ‘sausage’ link, then carefully, using a serrated knife, cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Place them next to each other in the prepared pan.

Cover with a towel and let rise again for another 30 minutes while the oven is heating up.

Brush the top of the buns with a little melted vegan butter and sprinkle with the optional sliced almonds.

Bake in the middle of the oven for about 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven. Check them after 15 minutes, they may be browning on the edges but still need some time to finish cooking in the center. You can place a piece of parchment paper on top until they are done baking.

Remove from oven and let cool on a rack while you make the confectioner’s glaze.

To make glaze:
Add confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl and add in the orange juice one tablespoon at a time, whisking with a fork to make a smooth paste. You may need a little more liquid.

To finish the buns:
Drizzle the glaze on top of the slightly cooled buns. Cut into them and enjoy!!

Sweet Orange and Vanilla Custard Buns

Sweet Orange and Vanilla Custard Buns

SWEET ORANGE AND VANILLA CUSTARD EASTER BUNS

In recreating the wonderful memories of Easter, I couldn’t think of anything more festive and delicious than these sweet, fluffy buns filled with decadent vanilla custard and a glaze made with fresh orange juice.
The key to the deliciousness of these buns is to press your own orange juice for both the dough and the glaze from fresh oranges. The flavor is just so much better (and sweeter!), plus you can also save the orange zest and add into your tea or even add some into the dough of the buns.
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 12 buns

Ingredients

  • 1 stick + 6 tbsp (200 grams) vegan butter, chilled, diced small
  • 2 1/4 lbs all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup (3 dl) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup Just Eggs or applesauce
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ cup (3 dl) non-dairy milk like oat, cashew or almond milk
  • ¾ cup (1.75 dl) orange juice
  • Melted vegan butter for brushing the buns

Orange filling:

  • 1 ¼ cup (3 dl) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup (2.25 dl) sugar
  • 3 tbsp (50 g) butter

Vanilla Custard:

  • 2 cups non-dairy milk I like Oatly oat milk
  • 3 - 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar or maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric optional for coloring

Confectioner’s Glaze:

  • about 2 cups (150 g) organic confectioner’s sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh orange juice

Instructions

Make vanilla custard first:

  • Pour the milk into a shallow medium saucepot and add the cornstarch, whisk together well. Turn the heat to medium and add the sugar or maple syrup, along with the vanilla extract. Make sure to constantly whisk so it doesn’t form lumps, and continue until the mixture starts to thicken. This will take somewhere from 8-12 minutes.
  • You may need to add in a little more cornstarch. Add in a pinch of turmeric at the end.
  • Make sure your custard is thick before you remove from heat and pour into a non-reactive bowl and let cool for a few minutes before placing it in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

To make the dough:

  • Add the flour, sugar, dry yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the Just Eggs or applesauce with the non-dairy milk and orange juice.
  • Attach the dough hook to the bowl and make sure dry ingredients are mixed well.
  • Slowly add in the liquid mixture and knead for about 10 minutes until you have a smooth dough separated from the sides of the bowl.
  • Add in the chilled butter gradually and knead for another 5-6 minutes until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
  • Cover the bowl and set aside to rest until doubled in size, or for about 1-2 hours.

While the dough is rising, make the orange glaze:

  • In a medium, shallow saucepot, add the orange juice and sugar over medium heat and simmer until the liquid is thick and reduced in half.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the butter.
  • Let cool completely.

Continue on to the dough:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°Fahrenheit (200°Celsius). Dress an 11x9 inch (or around 30x40cm) baking dish by lining it with parchment paper.
  • Roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 25 long and 12 inches wide. Spread the chilled vanilla custard evenly over the surface, followed by a thin layer of the orange glaze (you will have extra glaze leftover, so go easy on this).
  • Starting with the long edge closest to you, roll the dough tightly into a ‘sausage’ link, then carefully, using a serrated knife, cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Place them next to each other in the prepared pan.
  • Cover with a towel and let rise again for another 30 minutes while the oven is heating up.
  • Brush the top of the buns with a little melted vegan butter and sprinkle with the optional sliced almonds.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for about 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven. Check them after 15 minutes, they may be browning on the edges but still need some time to finish cooking in the center. You can place a piece of parchment paper on top until they are done baking.
  • Remove from oven and let cool on a rack while you make the confectioner’s glaze.

To make glaze:

  • Add confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl and add in the orange juice one tablespoon at a time, whisking with a fork to make a smooth paste. You may need a little more liquid.

To finish the buns:

  • Drizzle the glaze on top of the slightly cooled buns. Cut into them and enjoy!!

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