Honeybuns – Sweet buns lightly scented with a hint of cinnamon and robed in a thin layer of sticky glaze are sold in convenience stores and grocery aisles throughout the US by many companies such as Hostess, Little Debbie, Tastykake and others. The original, however, belongs to Flowers Foods, who acquired the rights to the Griffin Pie Company. Most people still think it’s the best. Honeybuns are one of those items people love or hate – a spongy, slightly dry yeast bread made sticky and ‘moist’ by more sugar than imaginable, each bun weighs in between 2oz (200 calorie) and 4 oz (400 calories) and each bun is loaded with fat and refined sugar. Not diet fare! But for fans of the honeybun, the experience is worth every calorie and the inevitable sugar crash that follows. Recipes on the web are rare (gluten free ones almost nonexistent) and those that exist are often way off base in terms of how to make a true copycat version.
Naomi contends that a real honeybun is fried, not baked, and completely robed in glaze. This recipe replicates the method of making and coating the buns for the home cook and will make about 10 5oz honeybuns or 15 3.4 ounce honeybuns.
You will need to follow the instructions EXACTLY to get truly brilliant results.
We estimate the cost of each bun at $.29 to $.49 apiece.
2 c water, room temperature
1/3 c honey (you may use sugar if you’d prefer a vegan version)
1/4 c oil or melted shortening
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
6 c Better Batter Gluten Free Flour (about 24oz – 1.5lb – or 68g)
2 tsp yeast
4 c confectionary/powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c water +/- for consistency
oil and deep skillet or pan for deep frying
wire rack for draining, with cookie sheet underneath to catch drips of grease and frosting
bowl for glaze
two metal spatulas for transferring the buns
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and grease well. Lightly flour the surface of the greased paper/foil.
In the bowl of your electric mixer using the paddle attachment, combine the water, honey or sugar, and oil or melted shortening. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt, flour, and yeast, stirring until well combined. Turn speed to high and beat for 5 minutes. The dough will resemble drop biscuit or drop cookie dough and will be very sticky.
Flour a rolling surface. Divide the dough into 2 or 3.4/4 oz portions (you should get about 10 to 15). With floured hands VERY lightly roll each glob of dough on the floured surface, turning to coat all sides – this will remove the tackiness from the surface. Use more flour as needed to maintain a dusted surface. DO NOT KNEAD FLOUR INTO THE DOUGH!! the interior should be sticky.
Using very gentle pressure and floured hands, slowly and gentrly roll each ball of dough into a 15 inch long rope, about 1/2 inch thick. This dough is very delicate so do not attempt to stretch or pull it into shape – roll it as if it were delicate play dough!
Shape the buns by rolling the dough ropes horizontally – make the first turn 1 inch in to the rope, and gently continue to slide the rope around until it forms a slightly oval coil, about 2 to 4 inches in length. Using a FLOURED spatula, gently transfer the roll to the greased and floured cookie sheet and very lightly flatten with your hand to 1/2 inch thick. If you prefer thinner honebuns, feel free to flatten to 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with remaining buns.
With a clean spray bottle of water or very wet hands, spray or flick water all over buns until the surface of each is glistening and there are droplets of water on the cookie sheet. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place (no no less than 75 degrees and no more than 109 degrees) for 30-45 minutes. These will not look like they double.
Get oil ready for frying: pour at least 1/2 inch and up to 1 inch of oil into a skillet. About 15 minutes before the rise time is complete, heat the oil to 350 degrees.
Make glaze: combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and water, making a thick but pourable glaze. be sure the bowl you use is small enough to allow you to submerge the hot buns at least halfway.
Get ready to fry – in an assembly line fashion, place the rising buns, the heated/heating oil, the wire rack, and the bowl of glaze – for best results you will need to work fast from ‘station’ to ‘station’.
Fry the buns: Remove the plastic wrap from the buns. These buns will be VERY delicate. Using two floured spatulas – one to support the bottom of the bun and one to position it, very gently transfer one bun from the cookie sheet to the hot oil. Use the second spatula to slide the bun off the first spatula into the oil. You may do a few buns at a time (we recommend no more than two). Fry until golden brown on one side. Flip with the spatulas very gently and fry on the other side until golden brown. You will see the buns expand as they fry.
Remove the bun(s) from the oil to the rack for 30 seconds to allow the excess oil to drip off. Immediately plunge the hot buns into the glaze, turning to coat entirely, and return to the rack to cool – be warned that the buns are EXTREMELY hot to handle, so you may want to use wide tongs along the edges, but do not sqeeze the buns at all! Repeat with all buns.
These buns are best when completely cool but still fresh (the same day) since they do not have any preservatives.
After 24 hours, you may lightly refresh in the microwave for 10-15 seconds per bun.
These buns will keep for about a week at room temperature if well wrapped – like normal honeybuns they will get stickier and more spngy/tough with age.