Serves 12 buns
⅔ cup (150 ml) whole milk
2 tsp (10 ml) active dry yeast
3¼ cups (810 ml) all-purpose flour, divided
½ cup (125 ml) dried cranberries
¼ cup (60 ml) roughly chopped candied orange peel (available at specialty grocery stores)
¼ cup (60 ml) roughly chopped dried apricots
2 tbsp (30 ml) brandy
¾ cup (175 ml) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided, plus extra for greasing
¾ cup (175 ml) raw cane sugar, divided
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ tsp (2.5 ml) fine sea salt
½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground cardamom
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon
¼ tsp (1 ml) ground nutmeg
½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground allspice
⅓ cup (75 ml) marzipan, grated on large holes of a box grater
½ cup (125 ml) roughly chopped blanched almonds
icing sugar, for garnish


  1. In a small saucepan, heat milk until just starting to steam. Remove from heat and pour into a medium bowl. Cool to about 110 F (43 C), and whisk in yeast and ½ cup (125 ml) flour. Cover bowl with a clean tea towel and set aside for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, wipe out saucepan used to heat milk and in it combine cranberries, candied orange peel, apricots and brandy. Warm gently over medium-low heat until just starting to steam. Remove from heat and set aside, allowing fruit to soak and cool to room temperature.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together ½ cup (125 ml) butter and ½ cup (125 ml) sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, followed by salt and cardamom, until thoroughly combined. Add yeast mixture and another ½ cup (125 ml) flour. Mix on low until dough just comes together, about 30 seconds.
  4. Switch to dough hook attachment and add remaining 2¼ cups (560 ml) flour, ½ cup (125 ml) at a time, mixing on low speed until a soft dough forms. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Remove dough hook, cover mixing bowl with a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) sugar with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Set aside.
  6. Tip out dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 12 x 16-in (30 x 41 cm) rectangle. Spread remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) softened butter evenly over entire surface of dough. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over butter, then sprinkle on crumbled almond paste, almonds and soaked fruit. Starting from a short end, tightly roll dough into a log. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 12 sections, each roughly 1-in (2.5 cm) thick.
  7. Generously butter two 13 x 18-in (33 x 46 cm) rimmed baking sheets. Place 6 buns on each sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight (12 to 16 hours).
  8. When ready to bake, allow buns to rise in a warm place for about 1½ hours, or until doubled in size.
  9. Position oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Preheat to 350 F (180 C). Discard plastic wrap and bake buns, rotating once halfway through baking time, until golden brown, about 22 to 25 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm. Buns are best served on day they are made, but can be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, place in a 275 F (140 C) oven until warmed through, about 5 to 10 minutes.
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