This could have been an entry for Sam's fabulous "Fish & Quips" event on the occasion of St. George's Day, to prove that English food is not a joke, but I miserably failed in my time management, despite the fact that I made these fabulous buns ages ago. I never knew that they were something British either, or at least, that they would be, had I stuck to the original recipe. In principle, the dish behind this delicacy are Chelsea Buns which in turn are American cinnamon rolls. I wouldn't be surprised if a similar bun existed somewhere in Polynesia or the deep dark forests of Amazonia in one way or another, as many cultures seem to nurture a similar concept of a yeast dough spread out in a square, topped with stuff, usually dried fruit, rolled up and cut into individual rounds which are then baked separately. In Austria, they are called "Nussschnecken" or "Zimtschnecken", ie nut or cinnamon snails.
My Mum brought a recipe for a very plain variation on this bun, called butter rose: it does without all the fruit and uses nothing but butter (and plenty!) and cinnamon as a filling, and also stacks the buns neatly in a round baking dish to make the individual buns appear as flowers in a bouquet. When she came over, we decided to have a bit of a bake-off and, using the same dough, come up with our own individual flavour variations. Having spotted Hot Cross Buns with apple and cinnamon in the stores before Easter, I saw this as a way to circumvent all that candied peel I so loathe - and what can I say, my version won hands down. Seeing how incredibly easy they are to make, I don't know why they're not a staple in every household, but I am only saying that because I have made peace with yeast dough over these past few weeks... and because my Mum made the dough and all I had to do was stuff it and roll it up!