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Food for Thought

Jamaican Easter Spice Bun

The Easter holiday in Jamaica is marked by the enjoyment of Easter bun and cheese. During the Easter season, the supermarket shelves are stacked with different brands of bun. Eating bun and cheese was a British tradition during the 1600 and 1700s. The Europeans brought Christianity to Jamaica in the 17th century and over time Jamaicans started observing Easter and developed their own traditions.  


In the UK, round, small, and slightly sweet buns known as hot cross buns were made with a cross baked into the tops. The cross symbolized the crucifixion of Jesus. The British brought the hot cross bun custom to Jamaica in the mid-1600s. Since then, the bun has changed from the round shape into a loaf, molasses was substituted for honey, and dried fruits were added to the batter to make it uniquely ours. Jamaicans added cheese and began the tradition of a bun and cheese sandwich.

There are various recipes to bun making, the following is just one of them.


2 ounces butter (melted)
1 bottle stout
½ cup wine
8 ounces brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. browning
1 egg
1 pound flour
2 ½ tsp. mixed spice
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
4 ounces raisins (soaked in wine)
4 ounces mixed peel
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. water



•    Add stout, wine, vanilla, browning and egg to melted butter
•    Stir in the sugar and mix until the sugar is dissolved
•    Mix together all the dry ingredients 
•    Combine the liquid mixture with dry ingredients and mix well
•    Add raisins and 3 ounces mixed peel to mixture
•    Scrape batter into a greased loaf pan
•    Add remaining mixed peel on top on mixture in loaf pan 
•    Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
•    Combine 2 tbsps. honey and 2 tbsps. water and bring to a boil 
•    Using a pastry brush, apply glaze to surface of cool bun

Serve bun with slices of cheese.

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