Finger Buns

By / Food / March 29th, 2023 / Like

Excerpted with permission from Lune by Kate Reid published by Hardie Grant Books, February 2023, RRP $40.00 Hardcover.


If you grew up in Australia or New Zealand, you’re probably no stranger to the original Finger Bun.

For those of you that are less acquainted with this ANZ delicacy, let me describe it for you. A finger bun is a sweetened white bread bun, similar in size and shape to a hotdog bun. Traditionally it also included dried fruit, but the ones that featured in my childhood were (thankfully) sans fruit. The best bit, by far, was the sickly-sweet icing that came in a couple of varieties; good old fondant, or my personal favorite, the whipped coconut icing. Before eating them, you would cut them in half and slather them with butter (and if your sweet tooth was feeling particularly demanding, also a generous lick of strawberry jam).

No doubt the finger bun has a lot of sugar highs to answer for.

In recent times there has been a bit of a revival of the old finger bun, and there was no way we were missing that boat. So the Lune ‘Finger Bun’ twice baked was created, and I was instantly in love. Some time after this I went back to the source of the inspiration and bought a finger bun, excited for the imminent nostalgic wave I was about to ride. Oh, the disappointment. 

I only eat Lune finger buns now.


  • 6 day-old croissants
  • strawberry syrup
  • milk and coconut frangipane
  • coconut whip icing
  • desiccated coconut, to garnish 

For the jus fraise:

  • 500 g (1 lb 1 ¾ oz) frozen strawberries
  • 50 g (2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar 

For the strawberry syrup: 

  • 120 g (4¼ oz / ½ cup) strawberry puree
  • 250 g (8 ½ oz) jus fraise
  • 500 g (17 oz) water 

For the coconut whip icing:

  • 100 g (3 ½ oz) milk
  • 100 g (3½ oz) thickened cream
  • 15 g (½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 100 g (3½ oz) coconut milk powder, sifted
  • 300 g (10½ oz) double (heavy) cream

For the milk and coconut frangipane:

  • 200 g (7 oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 200 g (7 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g (3 ½ oz) milk powder
  • 75 g (2 ½ oz) desiccated coconut
  • 75 g (2 ½ oz) blanched almond meal


For the jus fraise:

  1. Place the strawberries and sugar in a heatproof bowl and toss the strawberries to coat them in the sugar. Cover the bowl tightly with cling film.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan filled one-third with water to the boil, then reduce the heat to keep the water at a simmer. Place the bowl of strawberries and sugar over the pan of simmering water and cook for 2–3 hours, until the strawberries are mushy, discolored, and liquid has begun to leach out.
  3. Remove the bowl from the pot carefully (both will be very hot) and allow to cool. Once cooled, strain the strawberries, separating the fruit pulp from the liquid. Reserve the liquid (the jus fraise) and the strawberry pulp. Puree the strawberry pulp. Both will be required for the Strawberry Syrup.

For the strawberry syrup: 

  1. Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over a medium heat, allowing the syrup to come to the boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat.

For the coconut whip icing: (Start a day in advance) 

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, cream and sugar until just simmering. Add the coconut milk powder and whisk constantly until the mixture comes to the boil. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes, whisking, allowing the mixture to thicken.
  2. Take off the heat and pour into a clean heatproof bowl. Place cling film over the surface of the coconut ‘base’ to prevent a skin from forming, then store in the fridge overnight.
  3. The following day, just before you plan to serve the finger bun twice bakeds, put the bowl of your stand mixer in the fridge for a few minutes to chill it, then transfer the coconut base into the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, along with the double (heavy) cream, and whip until it forms stiff peaks. Keep a close eye while it is whipping because there is a fine line between perfectly whipped and split!
  4. This recipe makes white icing for the finger buns. If you’d prefer pink icing, add a tiny drop of pink food coloring just before whipping the coconut base and double cream.
  5. Transfer into a piping bag fitted with a size 11 round nozzle.

For the milk and coconut frangipane: 

  1. Beat the butter, sugar and salt in a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, continuing to beat and waiting until each one is incorporated fully before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl after the incorporation of the first egg. Finally, with the mixer on low speed, mix in the milk powder, almond meal and desiccated coconut. Once again, scrape the bowl down well, giving it a final mix by hand (with a spatula) to ensure all the ingredients are well incorporated. Transfer the frangipane into a piping bag fitted with a size 11 star nozzle.

For assembling, baking, and finishing: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C fan (350F) and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Using a large, serrated knife, cut the croissants in half. Brush the cut side of both halves of each croissant generously with the warm strawberry syrup. Pipe a healthy wiggle of milk and coconut frangipane on the bottom half of each croissant.
  3. Cut a small hole in the tip of the strawberry jam piping bag (3–4 mm), then pipe a squiggle of jam on top of the frangipane. Repeat for each of the 6 croissant bases.
  4. Replace the top half of each croissant, cupping your hand and gently securing each top. The finger bun is a unique twice-baked at Lune, as it does not get any garnish before being baked.
  5. Place the prepared croissants on the lined baking tray and bake for 20–25 minutes, until the frangipane inside is set. Check this by carefully lifting the lid of one of the croissants with a fork and checking the doneness of the frangipane. If it still looks like cake batter, it is not yet ready. Bake for a few more minutes and check again.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely to room temperature. If you try to ice the finger buns while they are still warm the icing will simply melt and slide off.
  7. Once cooled, the finger buns can be iced. Holding the piping bag with coconut whip at one end of the croissant and begin piping, zigzagging left to right, making your zig-zag bigger as you approach the ‘nose’ of the croissant, then reducing it as you reach the other end, aiming for a diamond shape. Repeat for each of the 6 baked croissants.
  8. The piece de resistance of the finger bun is the chewy desiccated coconut that coats the coconut whip icing. Very carefully holding the pastry from beneath, dip the icing into a bowl of desiccated coconut, making sure to dip as gently as possible – you don’t want to flatten your beautiful squiggle of icing. Serve immediately!

Kate Reid wasn’t always a baker – far from it, in fact. After studying Aerospace Engineering at university, she followed her lifelong passion for Formula 1 racing and became an aerodynamicist for the Williams F1 team in the UK in the mid-2000s. In 2008, though, she wanted to change direction, and returned to her native Melbourne to find her new niche – pastry. After working in the cafes and bakeries of Melbourne and a stint in Paris, she knew that she wanted to create something perennially popular, and take her skills to a new level, and so, Lune Croissanterie was born. Since opening Lune in 2012, it has amassed a cult, global following, with celebrity devotees and an Instagram following of 232k. It’s gone from a one-person show to a five-site bakery with queues around the block from dawn and The Cube, where Kate and her 120-strong team develop regularly changing recipes for everything from takeaway breakfasts to tasting menus of croissants.

Photography credit: Pete Dillon


Looking at the small things that make life great and the people who create them.

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