hot cross buns

Hot cross buns are sweet, spiced buns traditionally marked with a cross on the top. They are often associated with Easter but can be enjoyed year-round. Here’s a recipe to make classic hot cross buns:


For the Buns:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup warm milk (about 110°F or 43°C)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup mixed dried fruit (raisins, currants, sultanas)
  • Zest of one orange (optional)

For the Cross:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water

For the Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup apricot jam or orange marmalade (for brushing)


  1. Activate Yeast:
    • In a small bowl, combine warm milk and a teaspoon of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture, stir, and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. Prepare Dough:
    • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Make a well in the center and add the activated yeast, melted butter, and egg. Mix until a dough forms.
  3. Knead and Rise:
    • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  4. Add Fruits:
    • Punch down the risen dough and knead in the dried fruit and orange zest (if using).
  5. Divide and Shape:
    • Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and shape each portion into a ball. Place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  6. Make Cross Mixture:
    • In a small bowl, mix the flour and water to form a thick paste. Transfer the paste to a piping bag or a plastic sandwich bag with a corner snipped off. Pipe a cross onto each bun.
  7. Second Rise:
    • Cover the buns with a cloth and let them rise for another 30-45 minutes, or until they have doubled in size.
  8. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  9. Bake:
    • Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
  10. Glaze:
    • While the buns are baking, heat the apricot jam or marmalade in a saucepan until it becomes liquid. Strain to remove any pieces.
  11. Brush and Serve:
    • Once the buns are out of the oven, brush them with the warm glaze while they are still hot.
  12. Cool and Enjoy:
    • Allow the hot cross buns to cool on a wire rack. Serve and enjoy!

Hot cross buns are best enjoyed fresh, and you can serve them toasted with butter or as is.

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