Jamaican Easter Bun, also known as spice bun, is a sweet spiced bread dotted with rum-soaked fruit, coated in a delicious honey-fruit glaze. Serve this Caribbean delicacy with your Jamaican Easter feast or as an anytime snack with cheese!
Jamaican Easter Bun
Jamaican Easter buns are sweet and moist with a hint of savoury flavour. They are a traditional fare for Easter and I can’t imagine the Easter holiday without bun and cheese! Once March rolls around, you can be sure to find supermarkets in Jamaica stocked with all kinds of bun. Of course, it can be eaten throughout the year but it’s a special treat during the holiday.
There are two ways to make Jamaican Easter buns; with yeast or with baking powder/soda. We are using the latter in order to make a quick bread. Make this once and it will be requested for every holiday because it’s the best Jamaican Eastern bun recipe!
Here’s Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- So Delicious – this is moist and sweet, with subtle notes of warm spices. The rum-soaked fruit has sweet bursts of flavour that make this a mouthwatering snack.
- Jamaican Tradition – it’s not a Jamaican Easter without a spice bun and cheese! This is a holiday essential.
- Customizable – this recipe has many variations so make it to suit your preferences. (I have a few helpful suggestions for variations.)
Who Brought Easter Bun to Jamaica?
When the British colonized the island of Jamaica during the 1600s, they brought the tradition of the hot cross bun, a sweet spiced bread baked with raisins. The spice bun is the Jamaican version of the English hot cross bun.
What is the History of Easter Buns?
The British ate hot cross buns on Good Friday as a tradition. Jamaicans took that tradition and adapted it to create the spice bun. The Jamaican baked good has molasses, browning, stout, rum-soaked fruit and is baked in a loaf pan.
What’s Needed to Make This Recipe (Kitchen Tools and Equipment)
- 1 Loaf Pan – to bake the Jamaican Easter bun.
- 2 Mixing Bowls – in order to mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients individually before combining.
- Wooden Spoon – to stir ingredients.
- Spatula – to scoop out slices.
Ingredients and Ingredient Notes
* MEASUREMENTS AND INSTRUCTIONS ARE LISTED IN THE RECIPE CARD NEAR THE BOTTOM OF PAGE *
- All Purpose Flour – this provides a soft, tender, cake-like texture.
- Leavening Agents – Use baking powder and baking soda to help the bun rise.
- Spice and Seasonings – I use salt so the other flavours pop. Cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice add a warm, fragrant quality.
- Butter – it should be melted but not scorching hot.
- Stout or Malta – this adds a depth of flavour with subtle notes of caramel and cocoa. Use malta as a non-alcoholic alternative.
- Sugar – I use both brown sugar and granulated white sugar for a richer taste.
- Molasses – this adds sweetness and gives the bun that dark brown hue.
- Browning – I use just 2 tsp, too much and it will be bitter. This also adds a rich brown hue to the bun.
- Vanilla Extract – this enhances the other flavours.
- Eggs – this binds together all the ingredients.
- Soaked Fruit – check out my guide for How to Soak Fruit for Cake. I blend them for a smoother texture, but you can keep whole if that is your preference.
- Red Glacé or Maraschino Cherries – halved.
- Raisins – you can add the dried fruit directly to the batter, or blend them out with some fortified wine or rum. I recommend soaking them (in fortified wine/rum) to rehydrate before blending.
- Strawberry Jam – or any kind of jam will work.
How to Make Jamaican Easter Bun
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C), grease a loaf pan with butter and set aside.
Mix Wet Ingredients
In a medium mixing bowl combine the melted butter, dragon stout, brown sugar, granulated white sugar, molasses, browning, vanilla and whisk until combined and sugar dissolved. Then, whisk in the egg and set aside.
Combine Dry Ingredients with Wet Ingredients
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into a large mixing bowl using a sieve. Then combine your wet and dry ingredients gradually using a wooden spoon.
Add Soaked Fruit
Gently fold in your blended fruit, raisins and cherries. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and place in oven. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until a toothpick is inserted in the center and the toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven, and immediately glaze. Let cool completely, then slice and enjoy!
In a small saucepan, heat the ingredients for the glaze – honey, strawberry jam, butter and whisk until combined and keep warm.
Recipe Substitutions and Tips
- Omit the Alcohol – you can boil the stout or malta before using it to eliminate the alcohol content. Just make sure it comes to room temperature before adding it to the other ingredients.
- Jamaican Easter Bun Recipe with Yeast – this method will alter the texture and make it more bread like.
- Stout – you can use dragon stout or Guinness as an alternative.
- Make it Vegan – swap the eggs for ground flaxseeds and water instead. Ground chia seeds and water would work too. Don’t worry; it has no flavour but binds together the ingredients, just like eggs. However, not all stout beers are vegan so be mindful when choosing.
- Dried Fruit – if you don’t like chunks of fruit in the spice bun, you can blend the fruit until it’s smooth.
Serving Suggestions: What is Traditional Jamaican Easter Dinner?
Jamaican Easter buns can be enjoyed warm, cold, or at room temperature. Jamaican bun and cheese is a holiday tradition but here are some other foods to enjoy during Easter:
- Brown Stew Fish – steamed fish is perfect for Fridays during Lent.
- Hard Dough Bread – this bread is especially popular at Easter.
- Escovitch Fish – fried until golden and crispy, topped with a colourful medley of pickled vegetables.
- Jamaican Rice and Peas – a staple Carribean side dish.
- Jerk Pork – tender, well-marinated pork shoulder slow roasted then broiled for a crispy, flavourful meat entree.
- Stew Chicken – made with marinated chicken, aromatic spices, and vegetables that are braised down in one pot until tender.
- Jamaican Bammy – these flatbreads are made out of cassava/yucca root and are a delicious vegan, gluten-free side option.
Recipe Notes and Tips for Success
- Prepare the glaze right before the Jamaican easter buns are set because if it sits too long, it will harden. Then glaze the bun as soon as it comes out of the oven.
- Don’t skip sifting the flour because it makes the flour lighter and improves the overall texture of your buns.
- The color of the bun depends on the amount of browning and molasses used. It can vary from beige to dark brown.
Can I Make this Ahead of Time?
Yes. It can be made up to 3 days before consumption.
After the Jamaican bun has cooled, store it in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. It will last a week if stored in a fridge.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Jamaican Easter bun ingredients include flour, baking soda, baking powder, butter, stout, sugar, molasses, butter, browning, vanilla extract, soaked fruit, raisins, red glacé cherries, cinnamon, and allspice.
The Jamaican Easter bun is traditionally served with Tastee cheese. The loaf is sliced and Tastee cheese, a processed cheddar cheese, is sandwiched in between, for a sweet, savory snack. Tastee cheese is bright orange, comes in a can and has a rich, salty flavour.
It is tradition to eat spice bun during the Easter weekend; om Good Friday to mark the end of Lent and on Easter Sunday as a snack.
See My Story Below for Step-by-Step Instructions
Interested in more Jamaican Recipes? Check These Out!
- Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding
- Homemade Seasoning Salt
- Crispy Baked Jerk Tofu
- Jamaican Banana Fritters
- Cornmeal Pudding
- Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich
- BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches (Slow Cooker Style)
- Jerk Chicken Sandwich
- How to Soak Fruit for Christmas Cake
- Jerk Burgers with Pineapple Mango Salsa
Interested in more Delicious Side Recipes? Check These Out!
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Jamaican Easter Bun
- 1 Loaf Pan
- 2 Mixing Bowl
- Wooden Spoon
- 3 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Ground Allspice
- 3 tsp tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 cup Dragon Stout or malta
- 3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup Granulated White Sugar
- 1/4 cup Butter melted and slightly cooled
- 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 tsp Browning
- 1 tbsp Molasses
- 1 tsp Lime Juice or lemon juice
- 2 Eggs whisked
- 1/2 cup Soaked Fruit How to Soak Fruit for Cake, optional
- 6-8 Red Glacé or Maraschino Cherries if not adding soaked fruit, or for decorating bun
- 1/4 cup Raisins if not adding soaked fruit
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 2 tbsp Strawberry Jam optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a loaf pan with butter and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine the melted butter, dragon stout, brown sugar, granulated white sugar, molasses, browning, vanilla and whisk until combined and sugar dissolved. Then, whisk in the egg and set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into a large mixing bowl using a sieve. Then combine your wet and dry ingredients gradually using a wooden spoon – do not over mix the batter.
- Gently fold in your blended fruit, raisins and cherries. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan, ADD and place in oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted in the center and the toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven, and immediately glaze. Let cool completely, then slice and enjoy!
- In a small saucepan, heat the ingredients for the glaze – honey, strawberry jam (optional), butter. Whisk until combined and keep warm.
Note, the nutritional information is calculated using a nutrition facts calculator. It is a rough estimate and can vary based on products used.