The Pretend Chef

Newfoundland Tea Buns

soft, flaky, tender newfoundland tea buns

I love peaceful, scenic St. John’s, Newfoundland, with its friendly, laid-back folks. I also love Newfoundland Tea buns.

This bun is a staple in practically every home in Newfoundland with the recipe handed down generations. Every family has a family recipe for their tea buns just like we do in Nigeria with some of our dishes like Jollof rice, Ogbono soup etc.

cape spears lighthouse (newfoundland tea buns)

Cape spears lighthouse

Eventually, it boils down to taking different routes to arrive at the same beautiful and delicious place. 

st john's nl (newfoundland tea buns)

They are light, flaky and tender. Not too rich or too buttery, just the right blend of ingredients. 

I never say no to plain tea buns or any of its variations, cheese tea biscuits, ham and cheese, raisin, coconut etc.

st. john's regatta (newfoundland tea buns)

St. john’s regatta

These buns are not actually buns as most people know them, but the Newfoundlanders (Newfies) of Canada call them buns. Very different from the Nigerian buns, but more like the English scones or American biscuits. In coffee shops, they are mostly called tea biscuits.

sunshine park st. john's nl (newfoundland tea buns)

Sunshine park, St. john’s NL

These buns can be made either sweet or savoury (cheese or ham and cheese), and each type is totally yummy. It can be eaten with butter or jam and a cup of tea.

Here is a basic recipe for Newfoundland tea buns:

1/4 cup raisins
4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup margarine
1 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 egg

Preheat your oven to 190°C, grease a baking sheet with butter or oil or line with parchment paper or lightly oiled aluminium foil.

In a small bowl, soak raisins in hot water for 5 minutes, drain and set aside.

raisins soaking for newfoundland tea buns

Mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl till they are well combined.

Rub in margarine till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add milk and mix till just combined, do not overmix or the tea buns will be tough.

newfoundland tea buns dough mix

Add the raisins, stir till evenly distributed.

Roll the dough out to 1-inch in thickness on a lightly floured surface.

newfoundland tea buns rolled dough

Cut with a 3-inch cookie cutter or the rim of a glass cup, dipping the cutting edge in flour from time to time, to stop the dough from sticking to the cutter.

Place each bun on the baking sheet with little or no space between them.

egg wash on newfoundland tea buns

Mix the egg and milk for the glaze and brush the top of the buns with it.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden.

soft, flaky, tender newfoundland tea buns


  • The dough can also be cut and rolled into about 16 balls then place on baking sheet and flattened slightly. Better still, cut into squares.


  • Newfoundland tea buns can be stored at room temperature covered in foil, plastic bag or wrap for 1 to 2 days, in the refrigerator, for 1 week and 2 to 3 weeks in the freezer tightly wrapped.
  • The raw cut dough can be frozen. Lay the buns out on a tray, cover and put in the freezer for a few hours till frozen solid. Throw frozen buns dough into a plastic or freezer bag and store in the freezer. Bake when needed without defrosting.

Serve Tea buns with Tea, Coffee or any drink of your choice.

Leave a comment to let us know how much you enjoyed the Newfoundland tea buns.


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