At home, in the Netherlands, we always used to have Christmas bread during the holiday season. I always found the Christmas bread to be too dense for my liking. However, I’ve always loved the raisin bread buns. I decided to try adding the almond paste, that is typically in Christmas bread, to the middle of the raisin bread. By eliminating the extra fruit in the traditional Christmas bread it doesn’t turn out too dense. 

I have to say they turned out delicious!  Especially, with a finishing of powdered sugar on top they are drooling good! Combine it with hot cocoa or tea and you have yourself a nice treat in the morning, or any time of the day.



Raisin bread buns with almond paste

Also called rozijnen bollen in Dutch. They are bread buns with raisins and I added a little almond paste as a surprise in the middle.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Bread
Keyword: almondpaste, kerstbrood, Raisin, raisinbuns, rozijnenbollen
Servings: 24
Author: Ester van Boesschoten


Almond paste

  • 1 1/2 Cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 Cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white room temperature
  • 1 Teaspoon pure almond extract

Raisin bread bun

  • 4 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 Tablespoons active dry Yeast
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled down a bit
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup milk lukewarm (90 Fahrenheit)
  • 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cup raisins
  • 2 eggs
  • Zest of one lemon



  • Soak the rasins overnight in lukewarm water, in a closed container, on the counter.

Almond paste

  • Combine all the ingredients in a food processer or blender. Pulse to combine.
  • On a counter, lightly dusted with powdered sugar, place the combined ingredients. Gather them into a ball. Roll it and then shape it into a log that is about 2” in diameter.
  • Wrap it in kitchen plastic wrap and allow it to chill for at least 1 hour and up to one week.

Raisin bread buns

  • Sift the flour.
  • Warm up the milk. Mix the yeast and brown sugar into the warmed milk until dissolved. Let it stand for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  • Add the lemon zest to the flour, ensuring it is mixed in evenly.
  • After the 5 minutes, add the flour to the yeast mixture. Mix till combined.
  • Let is rise for 20 minutes.
  • Mix in the melted butter, 1 egg yolk, 1 whole egg and raisins.
  • Knead until it is combined and elastic. It shouldn't stick to your hands. Add more flour when needed.
  • Let is rise again for 20 minutes.
  • Form 24 balls out of the dough. Weigh out each dough ball of 35 grams. Gently, with your fingers, make the dough into a flat round circle. Into the circle place a small ball of almond paste. Gather dough around the paste and pinch it together. With the seamside down, roll the ball in your palm and gently press it a little while rolling it. This makes a beautiful ball shape.
  • Place each ball on a baking tray, covered with parchment paper, and let is rise for another 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven at 460 Fahrenheit.
  • Mix the saved egg white with a little bit of water and powdered sugar. Gently brush this on the buns before baking. It gives it a nice shine.
  • Bake the buns in the warm oven for 12-15 minutes or until they are a nice golden brown.
  • Cool on a cooling rack.


Inspired by: Amsterdamse huishoudschool cookbook from CJ Wannee