Currant Rolls

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

These rolls are good for breakfast or an afternoon tea snack. Mixed essence, often found in West Indian baked goods, is essential to the flavor. It is available in Caribbean markets and online. See for a delicious coconut variation.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • cups (3 sticks) butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • ¼ cup ice water plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


  • cups currants
  • ⅓ to ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon mixed essence
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water


  • 2 tablespoons sugar plus extra for dusting


Make Dough

Sift together the flour, salt, and sugar. Using a pastry cutter or a food processor fitted with a plastic blade, cut 1 cup of the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size pieces. Combine the ice water and lime juice, and gradually add to flour mixture just until it comes together in a ball. Allow the dough to rest in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Dust a clean work surface and a rolling pin with flour. Roll out the dough into a 12 × 7-inch oval. Dot half of one of the short sides with about 2 tablespoons butter and fold other half over it and roll out slightly. Dot half of the dough with some butter again, and fold over and roll out slightly. Repeat this two more times, until the butter is used up, but do not roll out the last fold. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

Make Filling

Combine the currants, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and mixed essence.

Assemble and Bake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice dough in half and roll each half into an 18 × 7-inch rectangle. Spread half the currant mixture over each rectangle leaving a 1-inch margin all around. Brush edges of pastry with water and then roll the rectangles up from a short end away from you to make two logs. Place both logs on an ungreased baking sheet and brush with the egg wash. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

While the pastries are baking, make the glaze: Combine the sugar and ½ cup of water in a small saucepan and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool. Brush the cooled currant rolls with the glaze, then lightly dust with additional sugar. Slice and serve.

Variation: Coconut Rolls

Substitute 1½ cups freshly grated or frozen grated unsweetened coconut and 1 cup of light brown sugar for the currants and white sugar.