Easy hot cross buns

Easy hot cross buns

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(22 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 15 mins Plus rising

Moderately easy

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

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition per bun

  • kcalories374
  • 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…

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  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, questions and tips

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Comments (47)

chill2007's picture

You might like to try Nigella Lawson's recipe from her book "FEAST".

Her take on the crosses is to first brush the buns with eggwash after they have proven. Then mix 3 tbsp A.P. flour with 2 tbsp water and
half a tbsp superfine sugar into a smooth paste and dribble two lines of the cross into the indentation in the dough before baking.
Very good indeed.

Does anybody know of a resource where I can find good quality dried candied peel that doesn't taste synethic and chemical?
In the UK we used to buy lovely peel which wasn't too sticky or sugar crusted, but all the ones I have tried since coming to the US taste artificially flavored.

snoogans888's picture
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I didn't realise the comments section was working again, otherwise I would have read them first!

I agree it would have been better to make more than 8 buns as they were massive!

Easy recipe to make. MUCH better when toasted.

I didn't think the crosses were horrible, but I did add more water to make the flour paste as I thought it was too thick.

Also needed more mixed spice.

janicejourdain's picture

I live in France & had a longing for Hot cross buns toasted with butter on ! I made the dough in the bread machine & then left to rise again once shaped. The texture was very light. I would make smaller portions next time as they turned out quite big ! Crosses were very chewy......

jinty32's picture

These were really heavy and not what I had expected
Would not make them again

cristalcarolyn's picture

Having now read more comments I agree that the mixture for the crosses was too thick and the crosses were not good so will amend that the next time too. Perhaps I will go with the American suggestion and use icing - yummy!

cristalcarolyn's picture

I was disappointed that the flavour was lacking - definitely needs more spice, and feel that the dough should have been kneaded for a good 10 minutes to aid a lighter bun. But the recipe was easy to follow and I will make them again with adjustments.

dawnehewson's picture

We always make icing crosses, just with icing sugar and water - very tasty!

rhfrancis's picture

I've not made these particular buns but made another recipe yesterday. The crosses were made from 25g of butter/marg rubbed into 50g plain flour and then mixed to a paste and then piped onto the buns before baking. Result, perfect crosses!!

mandinga's picture

I haven't made this recipe, but with regards to the cross issue, I would only ever use buttercream icing, piped on once the buns are cool, to make the cross. As mentioned above, this is an American custom, which I inherited from my Chicago-born mother, and always goes down a storm when I make them for others. You can add vanilla to the icing, or almond essence, which gives a simnel cake edge to the buns.

cheryl654's picture
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Glad I've read this and everyone elses came out heavy! Do not drop these on your toes!!! They were really tasty though and lovely toasted for breakfast this morning and will probably keep me going all day!

dernieremiette's picture

I think the trick is to leave the mixture to rise in a covered bowl for 30mins-hour, knead for 5-10 minutes, and then cut dough into equal parts and shape into buns. I got 11 medium-sized buns from this quantity of dough. And they came out light, and quite delicious. I added some maple butter I had in the fridge to the cross mixture and it came out fine. Happy Easter!

mamaminou's picture

I also wish I'd read the comments before making these; flavour was fine but the texture seemed wrong in comparison with bakery bought buns. Couldn't get the paste mixture to pipe out at all, so ended up adding flour and rolling it out, then cutting strips. Used a different glaze (1/3 cup water and 2 tbsp caster sugar, boil for 5 mins) as I thought the honey would make them too sticky and sweet. I'm about to get a bread maker, so will try again using the helpful tips.

bowdery's picture
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OOh, one other thought with the crosses, I did water down the flour/water mixture, it seemed too thick with only 2tbsp of water - maybe that's the problem...

bowdery's picture
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I've never made Hot cross buns before so when I saw there were a few comments that the buns are heavy, I put all the ingredients in the bread maker on the dough setting before cutting them up and baking in the oven - they're very light, no problems there.

The crosses problem is an odd one, I did the flour and water method as directed and you can't taste them, (after all there's flour and water in the buns too) they look just like the ones in the shops (in the UK). We live in the US and if you buy them here, they do the crosses with icing - it's another option....

petergander's picture

I'll be giving this a go with the kids, hopefully at the weekend and will see if we can come up with a cross-making solution that leaves us not cross, but happy ;)

janeluther's picture

To those of you cross with the crosses: I made some hot cross buns with crosses like this last year or the year before (I think it was this recipe, but couldn't swear to it), and the crosses really were horrible. I'm in the middle of making Delia's hot cross buns at the moment, which have always come out great. She suggests either cutting a cross into the buns or adding strips of shortcrust pastry to form a cross before cooking. I'm doing the former but only because I can't be bothered to make some shortcrust pastry just for a couple of crosses!

april0304's picture

Has anyone come up with an idea for the crosses which taste OK and don't have to be peeled off?

cakey-caz's picture
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I wish I had read the comments before making these. Made them last night and was quite disappointed. Far too heavy and the crosses were not very nice either. Am going to attempt them again at the weekend using some of the tips above though!

2m1fmx's picture

I made these hot X buns in the bread maker - I omitted the fruit and set the bread maker on the pizza setting. I then removed the dough and added the fruit, knocked down and kneaded just to disperse the fruit. I made 10 smallish buns, left them to prove for 30 minutes before baking for 12 minutes. Everyone said they were the best hot X buns they have ever had.

farahh's picture

I wanted to make these buns but was so glad that I read the other comments. The problem everyone had was that they were too heavy. I used the ingredients stated in the recipe but let them rise before adding the fruit. I left them for 2 hours. I then added the fruit and let them rise again. They were fantastic. Would make them again for sure.


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