This Jamaican Easter bun recipe with stout is a yearly Jamaican tradition during the Easter holiday. This delightful piece of Jamaican culture comes from the evolution of the English hot cross bun.
History of Jamaican Easter Buns
During the 1600s, the British brought their tradition of hot cross buns to Jamaica. Traditional hot cross buns are sweet bread, similar to fruit cake, that have a cross drizzled in icing on the surface of the bun meant to represent the crucifixion of Jesus.
I was surprised to see this recipe called a bun as I would call it a bread. Jamaican Spice Bun is served with slices of cheese, preferably Tastee Jamaican cheese, which is a popular brand that makes processed cheese similar to Velveeta.
This is a popular Jamaican food year-round but is most requested during the Easter season on Good Friday.
I made this Jamaican Easter Bun recipe with stout beer last week to try it out ahead of the holiday, and it was a definite keeper! This would be great to serve on Easter morning or anytime of year.
Why This Recipe Works
Jamaican Easter spice bun tastes similar to a denser banana bread with dried fruits. It incorporates spices like nutmeg and ground cinnamon with Guinness stout and guava jelly.
This recipe also uses plantains to keep with tradition, but you are welcome to use bananas. The difference between the two is bananas are higher in sugar, which can give a sweeter taste to the Easter spice bun, and add on more calories.
This recipe smells as delicious as it tastes. While baking, the spices will have your entire house smelling of brown sugar, molasses, allspice, and citrus zest. Every time you make this Jamaican Easter bun recipe it will have you thinking of Easter time or even Christmas time.
What Goes Into This Recipe?
Guinness Stout - This dry Irish stout has notes of bitter coffee and sweet chocolate.
Dried fruit - Golden raisins and regular raisins give this recipe sweetness and texture.
Spices - Allspice, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg are perfect spices for holiday baking.
See recipe card for quantities and full directions.
How to Make This Recipe
Preheat oven to 350º
Microwave butter in a small bowl. Set the melted butter aside.
Beat egg. Set aside.
Add Guinness, molasses, vanilla extract, guava jam, and egg to a large bowl.
Add brown sugar and stir until it's completely mixed in and sugar has dissolved.
Blend plantain in a food processor until mashed well.
Add plantain, zests, and ginger to the Guinness mixture and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, and spices until well combined.
Add raisins and golden raisins.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
Spoon batter into a prepared loaf baking pan.
Bake loaf for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.
Let sit for 10 -15 minutes in pan until cool enough to handle.
Move to a wire cooling rack to bring to room temperature.
Optional: use a pastry brush to apply melted butter or icing.
Instead of a cup of raisins, you could use other mixed fruits like dried cherries or cranberries.
If you can’t find guava jam, you can substitute it with strawberry jam. It won't be traditional and will give it a different flavor, but will still be delicious!
If you are not a fan of stout, you can replace it with equal parts coconut milk or regular milk. This will give it a different flavor and a lighter color.
You can also make a thin sugar and milk icing and drizzle over the top of the bun.
Frequently Asked Questions
We used our favorite, Guinness Stout, but you can use a milk stout or Dragon Stout. I would not use a chocolate stout. You can use Guinness Draught in a can, too.
In Jamaica, this is often served with Tastee Cheese from Jamaica or cheddar cheese and eaten like a sandwich.
You don’t have to use plantain if you can’t find it. You can replace it with a banana or leave it out completely, which is actually more traditional.
Your Easter Bun may need longer to bake depending on your oven. Start with the recommended time and gently check on it every 10 minutes or so. This is a very dense bread so it can take an hour and a half.
Make sure your plantain is ripe, but not too overripe as it will add a lot of extra moisture.
More traditional Jamaican Easter bun recipes use mixed peel, which is candied fruit similar to what’s found in fruit cake. You can add mixed peel along with the raisins if you prefer.
Jamaican Easter Bun with StoutPrint this Recipe Pin this Recipe Rate
- Loaf pan
- 4 Tablespoons butter unsalted
- 11.2 ounces Guinness Stout 1 bottle
- ½ tablespoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon guava jam
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon ginger fresh, grated
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3⅔ cup flour all-purpose
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ plantain large or 1 small
- Preheat oven to 350º
- Melt butter and set aside.
- Beat egg. Set aside.
- Add Guinness, molasses, vanilla, and guava jam, and egg to a large bowl.
- Add sugar and stir until it's completely mixed in and sugar has dissolved.
- Blend plantain in a food processor until mashed well.
- Add plantain, zests, and ginger to Guinness mixture and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder, and spices until well combined.
- Add raisins and golden raisins.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
- Spoon batter into a prepared loaf pan.
- Bake loaf for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.
- Let set for 10 -15 minutes in pan until cool enough to handle.
- Move to a wire rack to completely cool.