Makes: 8 buns. Prep: 20 minutes. Rise: about 1 1/2 hours. Bake: at 325° for 18 to 20 minutes.
Combine the 1/2 teaspoon sugar and warm water in small cup. Sprinkle yeast over top; let stand until foamy, for about 10 minutes.
Heat butter, remaining 1/3 cup sugar and the salt in small saucepan over low heat until butter is melted. Pour into large bowl and cool to lukewarm. Beat in eggs and extract until well blended.
Stir together the cake flour, potato flakes, ground cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium-size bowl.
Stir yeast mixture into the butter mixture. On low speed, beat in flour until soft dough forms. Stir in raisins.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place dough in lightly greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with waxed paper; let rise in warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Punch down; knead a few times. Let rest about 5 minutes.
Divide dough into 8 equal pieces; shape into balls. Place balls on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled in volume, 30 to 45 minutes.
When ready to bake, heat oven to 325°F. Bake buns in 325°F oven for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Mix the confectioners' sugar, hot water, salt, vanilla and lemon extract in small bowl until smooth. When buns are completely cool, top with the glaze.