Vegan Mofo Day 2: Newfoundland Tea Buns

To kick off my Canadian extravaganza, you just had to know I was going to post about something close to home for me. I’m sure that not many people who grew up in Newfoundland would be unfamiliar with raisin tea buns, they were (and probably still are) a staple in most kitchens when I was growing up and a total must-have to serve to guests when having someone over for a cup of tea. As a kid, I used to love when my nan would whip up a batch of these light little biscuits of sweetness, sans raisins of course, because as every child knows, raisins are gross. My contempt for raisins has changed over the years but my love for tea buns has never waned.

These are the easiest things in the world to throw together, and if you choose to take the modern approach as I do and use a food processor, they’ll be ready by the time your tea has finished steeping. You can of course take the alternative route and make them the traditional way, just like Nan used to do. Warm from the oven with a spot of margarine or jam and a hot cup of Tetley tea, I’m pretty there’s not much better in this world.

Newfoundland Raisin Tea Buns
Makes 8 biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons vegan margarine, cold (EarthBalance buttery sticks)
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat.

In a food processor or bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut margarine into chunks and add to flour mixture, tossing to coat. If using food processor, blend in short bursts until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, or use a pastry cutter to cut the margarine into the flour.  Mix in raisins. In a separate bowl, mix together remaining wet ingredients. Form a well in the center of your flour mixture and pour wet ingredients into the well, mix just until all the ingredients are combined and form a rough ball of dough.

Roll dough to 3/4″ thickness and cut out buns with a 3” biscuit cutter, place on baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until tops begin to turn a golden brown.  Let cool slightly on pan then transfer to wire rack. Consume with a pat of margarine while still warm.

17 thoughts on “Vegan Mofo Day 2: Newfoundland Tea Buns

  1. My mum used to make a non-vegan version of these all the time — and she’s from Winnipeg so maybe it’s not just an East Coast thing? I don’t know — but I do remember just how delicious they were. I think I’ll try this recipe later this week. Thanks for sharing it (and Happy VeganMoFo)!

  2. I’ve never heard of these but they sound lovely and just like scottish baking which I guess is because Newfoundland had a lot of scottish (or british) migrants – would be great with a cuppa

  3. These look entirely too delicious. Wait, what am I saying? There is no such thing as too delicious. Also, something about the name “tea buns” is endlessly appealing to my belly and I! Yum!

  4. These look just like scones, yummo! My next door neighbour always used to bake us scones with raisins but it’s been years since I’ve made any. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  5. These are wonderful. They taste very much like a currant scone I used to drive an hour for at the Heron’s Nest Tea Room in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia. I am not vegan and opted to use ingredients I had on hand with perfect results; buttermilk and butter. I’m making them again this morning for a friend who is coming over for tea – I think I’ll use currants this time. Thank you for sharing the recipe, I’ve been searching for it for years.

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