Easy hot cross buns

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 15 mins Plus rising

More effort

Makes 8
Delicious warm from the oven, or lightly toasted for tea or breakfast

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per bun

  • kcal374
  • fat8g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs71g
  • sugars25g
  • fibre3g
  • protein10g
  • salt0.49g
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    For the buns

    • 500g strong white bread flour
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 2 heaped tsp mixed spice
    • 50g caster sugar
    • 50g butter, chopped into cubes



      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 200g mixed dried fruit
    • 7g sachet easy-blend dried yeast



      Yeast is a living, single-cell organism. As the yeast grows, it converts its food (in the form…

    • 200ml milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

    • 2 egg



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

    For the crosses & glaze

    • 3 tbsp plain flour
    • honey or golden syrup, for brushing



      Honey is made by bees from the nectar they collect from flowers. Viscous and fragrant, it's…


    1. Tip the flour into a bowl and stir in the salt, mixed spice and sugar.

    2. Rub in the butter with your fingertips. Stir in the dried fruit, then sprinkle over the yeast and stir in. Gently warm the milk so it is hot, but still cool enough to put your finger in for a couple of seconds. Beat with the eggs, then pour into the dried ingredients.

    3. Using a blunt knife, mix the ingredients to a moist dough, then leave to soak for 5 mins. Take out of the bowl and cut the dough into 8 equal pieces.

    4. Shape the dough into buns on a floured surface. Space apart on a baking sheet, cover loosely with cling film, then leave in a warm place until half again in size. This will take 45 mins-1 hr 15 mins, depending on how warm the room is.

    5. When the buns are risen, heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Mix the flour with 2 tbsp water to make a paste. Pour into a plastic food bag and make a nick in one of the corners. Pipe crosses on top of each bun.

    6. Bake for 12-15 mins until risen and golden. Trim the excess cross mixture from the buns , then brush all over with honey or golden syrup. The buns will keep fresh for a day. After that they are best toasted and served with butter.

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    Comments (48)

    sue_davies's picture

    Disappointed, although they looked great they were heavy and not pleasant.

    adnamabrown's picture

    Made these this morning. Didn't read the comments before I did though. I used the ingredients as stated, but kneaded the dough for 5 mins in my mixer, before leaving for approx 20 mins. I then divided into 8, shaped and left to prove under cling film for nearly 2 hours. End result was lovely buns that my husband kids have absolutely loved.

    jaynepearson's picture

    Forgot to rate - only gets five stars after all the tweaks.

    jaynepearson's picture

    After everyone's comments, I made these using the same ingredients, but kneading for ten minutes or so before the first rise, then again for a couple of minutes after knocking back. I left them to rise until doubled in size the first time, which took about two and a half hours, then about an hour the second time.

    I rolled into 12 buns, rather than the eight suggested, and they were still pretty generously sized.

    I glazed them with a sugar glaze made with one tablespoon sugar and one tablespoon water - either bring to a simmer in a tiny saucepan or (easier) stick in the microwave for about 20 seconds and then swish it round. Much nicer than glazing with golden syrup or honey, which would taste completely wrong.

    I added half a tablespoon of sugar to the dough for the crosses and they tasted fine.

    The buns were lovely and light, and tasted exactly as they should do.

    noble1234's picture

    I just made these today most people said they where a bit heavy mine turned about fine maybe just a bit more flavor was needed but overall they where good oh and also for the glaze instead of golden syrup or honey i just mixed water and sugar on a low heat just before they came out the oven the applied it while they where still warm. Enjoy :)

    katy_styles24's picture

    This recipe is a great recipe for hot cross buns as its easy and are quick to make for Easter. I decided not to leave them to rest and instead I kneaded for ten minutes or more as I usually do when I'm making bread type products. The cross I thought didn't taste bad as its only flour and water so what do you expect from a flour and water mixture. If you wanted to make it better you could add a bit of sugar for a sweetening. I used golden syrup on the top of the buns and I thought it was really nice and they are meant to be a bit sticky.
    Overall it's a really good recipe and I don't know what everyone is on about saying they aren't good.

    lindsey77's picture

    I can't give this recipe any stars as it is AWFUL! The end result was heavy and dull, and not from my baking skills!

    hitsme's picture

    I made this recipe yesterday and they were lovely great as easter is on its way i couldn't do the crosses . The flour and water paste just went lumpy. When we did this at school it was ok so why do the crosses not work?. Mine were not heavy so i don't no why other peoples were. I have got a suggestion for people who find them heavy. Kneed for more than five minuites then shape them. Also put oil on the cling film that is what we are taught at school. I don't know why but it works!
    Love them Thanks for the recipe

    ugm5efk's picture

    they tasted delicious but were quite heavy, probably due to the fact that they didnt require kneeding.

    juliebirchall's picture

    I've made lots of hot cross buns in the past (living in the US where I can't get them). I've never had any success if I don't allow a double rising...I can always hear my Grandpa's voice (he was a baker) telling me they have to prove twice!
    You can make your own mixed spice. Pumpkin Pie spice doesn't contain allspice (or at least the ones I have seen don't). Allspice is the most important part of the spice mix, you need equal parts of Allspice, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Ginger and Ground Cloves.
    As for the crosses, I think you just have to make the mixture as runny as you can without it being unmanageable.
    I'm going to make them now and hope everyone else in my apartments likes the smell as much as I do!

    spuddy67's picture

    I used this recipe for my first ever attempt at hot cross buns; it yielded good results, although this is due more to people's suggestions than to the original recipe.
    I was a little surprised that no kneading was required, so am thankful I checked all the comments. I kneaded the dough for ten minutes and the buns were the perfect texture.
    Having taken on board some people's comments about the crosses I added a little extra water and a tbsp of icing sugar to the paste - however it must have been too liquid as the crosses have 'faded' in to the buns themselves!
    Thanks also for the tip about the sugar glaze rather than honey or golden syrup; I felt both would have been too strong a flavour in this case, ALTHOUGH - and this is purely personal preference - I think the recipe can take at least another tsp of mixed spice.
    Finally - too much dough for just 8 buns - I got 12 from these quantity.
    I'm trying a different recipe next year!

    momojett1's picture

    After reading the comments about these buns, I made the recipe as stated above which I found to be incredibly wet at the leave for 5 minute stage, and found myself adding a lot more flour to get it to a dough stage. After kneading for 10min, I let it prove for an hour, punched it down, and kneaded for another few minutes before proving for another 30min or so where it rose fairly fast.

    Cutting it into 12 small pieces, I kneaded it again before putting on an oiled tray sprinkled with cinnamon, spacing them out, I covered with cling film and let them prove again on a warm surface for 20min, which changed their size up by about a 1/4.

    I added icing sugar into the cross mixture of flour and water, and piped it on.

    Result - well a lot of nom nom noms from my 17 year old niece, and very buttery lips by the end of it for both of us...they were amazingly good!

    italiansignora's picture

    I made these this morning and used my bread machine. Used the Pizza setting..........Brilliant!!!!!! Not so the crosses...............
    Try instead

    2 tablespoons of flour mixed with
    2 " " water
    Pipe across the tops of the buns..... va bene!!!!!!

    bruc044's picture

    I'm only giving this 2 stars because following the recipe as stated gave a very heavy bun even though the taste was quite good. I'd taken the recipe direct from the magazine so didn't have the benefit of all the comments here. One thing that did work though was the cross - you just need to add a bit more water to the flour than the 2 tbsp suggested. Will try again but will knead the dough next time and make smaller buns.

    diddydave's picture

    I made these over the weekend, everybody liked them but the flour/water cross was a disaster, sorry! I made a second batch and tried my grandmas tip. "Make them the same day you are using shortcrust pastry, using the pastry scraps roll it out as thin as possible and cut into strips. Egg wash the buns and lay the pastry in a cross, then eggwash again and bake". Worked a treet for me.

    gooseberrycrumble's picture

    Thank you for all of your recipe adaptation suggestions; I melted the butter and added with wet ingredients and left dough to prove for an hour before and an hour after dividing into buns. Made 12 comfortably and they're delicious - apparently!

    margaretjoan's picture

    Tried this recipe instead of my tried & trusted one ... good that I live 200 yards from a castle as I was able to supply them with cannon balls!!!!

    chris_scott1530's picture

    Hot Cross Rocks more like! The flavour was fine, but used in the correct way could have killed a donkey......maybe my fault with to little kneading - but still would not use this recipe again.

    marola's picture

    Thanks to everyone for the helpful tips. Really nice taste but I wish I had flatten the cakes more as they looked like 12 small footballs!

    garlicface's picture

    I made these this afternoon. They were a joy to make, easy to follow and i managed to keep the washing up under control.
    I was delighted with the result and Hubby and i ate one for our lunch, still warm from the oven.
    They were by far the best ones i have ever made, all the others recipes i tried turned out heavy and crispy, but these were perfick!


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