The bread/cake concoction named the Boston Bun in Australia is also known as the Sally Lunn bun in New Zealand and is more often topped with pink colored icing as opposed to the white one in my photographs. Have you tried this sweet bread before? I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments below!
Australian Boston Bun Origins
The Boston Bun is uniquely Australasian and while the history of what it is today may in fact have only been created in the 1950's or 1960's, there is a much vaster history to this fair and humble bread here.
With so many similarities between New Zealand and Australia and so many cultural touchpoints in similarity it's no surprise we share this dish simply with different names.
Why you'll love this
Easy tea loaf
It's an easy tea loaf that comes together quickly, even with cooking your potato.
Coconut sprinkled icing
The icing with that desiccated coconut makes this loaf so good!
Ingredients for the Australian Boston Bun
- Potato: The finely mashed potato adds a soft texture to this bun and any mashing potato such as a Russet or Yukon Gold will be best here.
- Plain flour: Plain flour gives this bun a cake like soft texture that is best here so do not recommend subbing in bread flour which has a higher protein and helps create more of a crust in baked goods. You don't want that here.
- Sugar: Sugar in the bun helps sweeten whilst the sugar in the icing gives this bun it's beloved flavor.
- Baking powder and baking soda: The baking powder helps the loaf rise without needing the acid the soda does, however, working together they create a well risen and light loaf.
- Milk: Other than the potato, the milk is the only ingredient that adds moisture to the bun and you could sub in non dairy milk here like for like. A creamier milk closest to dairy milk that doesn't have an overly strong flavor would work best in creating the classic Boston bun.
- Sultanas or raisins: An often controversial ingredient in baking, these help add a classic element to this bun. Either sultanas or raisins work here, though if you hate them, they aren't essential so you could leave out. They do add caramel sweetness so you might want to add a further 2 tablespoons of sugar to ensure it's got the sweetness needed for a classic Boston Bun.
- Desiccated coconut: The icing is not complete without the coating of coconut, the sweet dry coconut doesn't just add texture and helps set the icing, it adds complimentary flavor to the bun. Though if you hate it or cannot eat coconut, leave it off without a comparative sub.
See recipe card for quantities.
FAQ's for the best Australian Boston Bun
What is Boston Bun made of?
Traditionally finely mashed potato is included in this fruity bun a light crumb before being topped with an icing that makes this part bun part cake.
Is Sally Lunn the same as a Boston Bun?
The Sally Lunn is the New Zealand name for the Boston Bun, so called in Australia. They are one and the same in using mashed potato and raisins or sultanas in the bun and topped with an icing finished with a coating of desiccated coconut. The British Sally Lunn bun is not the same as the New Zealand or Boston Bun in that it more closely resembes a brioche, therefore, would include butter in the dough.
What consistency should my fine mashed potato be?
Pressing the mashed potato through a sieve will give you the best result for this bun here.
What size should my cake tin be for this bun to rise correctly?
The cake tin used here is 20cm or an 8 inch cake tin. If your tin is smaller the loaf might be shaped more like a large burger bun. You could also bake on a tray instead.
Could I use the icing on other baked goods?
The icing recipe here is a great base for on top of Carrot Cake or a Banana Cake when you don't have cream cheese on hand.
More Australasian recipes you'll enjoy
How to make Boston Bun:
Greaseproof a round baking tin and preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl and stir together, making a well in the center. Set aside.
Press the mashed potato through a sift to get it nice and fine into a separate bowl and combine with the sugar until well combined and smooth.
Add in the milk and and sultanas or raisins and stir until the milk is fully incorporated.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold until combined and the mixture is slightly shaggy.
With floured hands lift the dough out of the bowl and shape into a round loaf.
Place into your tin and bake until golden all over, approximately 50 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
While the bread is still warm, prepare the icing by placing the butter, confectioner’s sugar and milk into a bowl and beat with a whisk until smooth and combined,
Smear over the top of your loaf and sprinkle over the desiccated coconut evenly.
Allow to cool fully.
Slice and serve with a cup of your favorite hot beverage on the side.
Australian Boston Bun
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: Serves 10 1x
- Category: Breads
- Cuisine: Australian, New Zealand
Part bread part cake with that essential icing, this Boston Bun or Sally Lunn Bun recipe that is a perfect accompaniment alongside your favorite hot beverage.
320 grams / 2 cups plain flour
8 grams / 2 teaspoons baking powder
3 grams / ½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
210 grams / 1 cup mashed potato
150 grams / ¾ cup superfine/caster sugar
155 grams / ⅔ cup milk
80 grams / ½ cup sultanas or raisins
30 grams / 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
170 grams / 1 ½ cups confectioner's/icing sugar
1 ½ tablespoons milk
22 grams / ¼ cup desiccated coconut
- Greaseproof a round baking tin and preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl and stir together, making a well in the center. Set aside.
- Press the mashed potato through a sift to get it nice and fine into a separate bowl and combine with the sugar until well combined and smooth.
- Add in the milk and and sultanas or raisins and stir until the milk is fully incorporated.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold until combined and the mixture is slightly shaggy.
- With floured hands lift the dough out of the bowl and shape into a round loaf.
- Place into your tin and bake until golden all over, approximately 50 minutes.
- Remove and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
- While the bread is still warm, prepare the icing by placing the butter, confectioner’s sugar and milk into a bowl and beat with a whisk until smooth and combined,
- Smear over the top of your loaf and sprinkle over the desiccated coconut evenly.
- Allow to cool fully.
- Slice and serve with a cup of your favorite hot beverage on the side.
Recipe by Roamingtaste
- Calories: 309 calories per serve
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