Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

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(49 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 15 mins Plus rising and proving

Moderately easy

Makes 12
Make the most of the long Easter weekend and fill the house with the smell of spiced buns baking

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per bun

  • kcal242
  • fat6g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs44g
  • sugars14g
  • fibre1g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.46g
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For the dough

  • 450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting



    Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…

  • 2 x 7g sachets easy-blend yeast



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

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 150ml warm milk



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

  • 1 egg, beaten



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

  • 50g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • oil, for greasing

The spices and dried fruit

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 100g currant

To decorate

  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar


  1. Put the flour, yeast, caster sugar and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl with the spices and dried fruit and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk, 50ml warm water, the beaten egg and the melted butter. Mix everything together to form a dough – start with a wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water; if it’s too wet, add more flour.

  2. Knead in the bowl or on a floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and springy. Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size – this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.

  3. Tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few secs, then divide into 12 even portions – I roll my dough into a long sausage shape, then quarter and divide each quarter into 3 pieces. Shape each portion into a smooth round and place on a baking sheet greased with butter, leaving some room between each bun for it to rise.

  4. Use a small, sharp knife to score a cross on the top of each bun, then cover with the damp tea towel again and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 mins until almost doubled in size again. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

  5. When the buns are ready to bake, mix the plain flour with just enough water to give you a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag (or into a plastic food bag and snip the corner off) and pipe a white cross into the crosses you cut earlier. Bake for 12-15 mins until the buns are golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. While still warm, melt the granulated sugar with 1 tbsp water in a small pan, then brush over the buns.

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Comments (49)

joannathomas's picture

Great hot cross buns - I put the dough in the fridge overnight which saved time in the morning. I then let them rise for about an hour before going in the oven. I also added a bit more cinammon and some ginger.

icook's picture

Very good recipe but I also found the fruit content too meagre, I will add more next time as well as some dried mixed peel.
I only added 1 sachet of yeast, I think 2 is unnecessary and mine rose perfectly well with just 1.

Teresagreen's picture

Came out well, though the dough was a bit stiff, I think I'll add more fluid next time. The recipe is very stingy with the dried fruit, I added more than the recipe and it still wasn't enough, needs double the fruit.

dbtor's picture

They were really nice, but I would double the spices (cinnamon, mixed spice and nutmeg) as they were a bit plain.

I also had a lot of trouble with the dough at first, it was really really sticky and hard to work with. It was fine and very easy to make after the first proving.

KateB's picture

Made a batch of these today and personalised them for Mother's Day to spell out a message instead of the traditional crosses! Absolutely lovely, tasted delicious and will definitely be making them again!

leo-in-france's picture

After making hot cross buns for a lifetime. I thought I'd try a modern recipe rather than the one I have been using for years and years - and these were a revelation! They were exactly, 'right'. The smell was tantalizing, and the taste .....
Having read all the reviews,I agree with all who said, ' more spices' I doubled up, and that seemed about right.. I also glazed them with orange juice & sugar, plus a little orange blossom water, which worked well.
I'll be making them again soon!

bonnebouffe's picture

Excellent - they have the flavour I remember from childhood, and are especially good split in half and toasted under the broiler. However, I find that the buns should be scored just before baking, not before the second rising, because otherwise they tend to open out too much. Also, I found the paste crosses became unpleasantly tough and chewy after a few hours (although they seldom last that long if I have the family at home!)

erinmw's picture

I have these in the oven ready to take round to my father in law this afternoon, I am soo excited, they smell wonderful and are looking great!

solentgreen's picture

These are delicious to eat on Easter Sunday. We have a family tradition of watching Mel Gibson's wonderful film "The Passion of The Christ" and we eat these whilst watching, beats popcorn any day, yummy!

planetbake's picture

This very strange - the best I've always made

mdej123's picture

Very nice texture and not too tricky to make, with the help of my 11 year old. Needed more spice for me though, hence the 4 stars, would use 1 tsp mixed spice next time.

mrshendo77's picture

I added 1.5 times spices as we liked the spicier flavours. Keeping the cross paste really thin with an icing pen also helped with the cross part. Love them!!

rebeccafalknerjones's picture

a great success everytime and always gone within a day of making them! Perfect!

mcinnes4's picture

Easter is tomorrow, so i am making t he dough now and cooking them ready fro tomorrow morning. Kids are going to love them, I omit the currants. Happy Easter to All.

wendywoo1973's picture

Tasted great and easy enough to make. Prefer the taste of shop-bought ones though - oops sorry!

fayscafe's picture

I was a bit hesitant at making an "easy" version of hot cross buns but WOW they are great and the white paste beats all the pastry lays.

littlefarmgirl's picture

I made them for the first time for my husband who loved them so mush that i had to make them again 2 days later, I have one question can you use fresh yeast or do you have to use dried.

esmilky's picture

My 4yr old girls and i have made these hotcross buns three times now, and not only are they really easy to make, they are delicious! All the family love them and we will certainly be making them on a regular basis!

beautifuljulie's picture

Very good!

Julia S's picture

Made these for Easter using my bread machine. Although the first batch turned out really well, my husband does like them spicy so I increased the mixed spice to 1 tsp and added ½ tsp salt to bring out the flavour further. I had to substitute raisins for currants (these do not appear to be available here in India at the moment) but still had a lot of very happy expatriate Brits! I also batch-baked them in a 23 cm square cake tin, Australian style, rather than making individual buns which everyone also liked. Lovely toasted the next morning and incredibly filling!


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