Easy hot cross buns

Easy hot cross buns

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(24 ratings)

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 eggs



      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, questions and tips

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    3rd Apr, 2010
    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!
    1st Apr, 2010
    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.
    30th Mar, 2010
    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.
    14th May, 2009
    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......
    16th Apr, 2009
    These were really heavy and not what I had expected Would not make them again
    13th Apr, 2009
    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!
    13th Apr, 2009
    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.
    11th Apr, 2009
    We always make icing crosses, just with icing sugar and water - very tasty!
    11th Apr, 2009
    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!!
    11th Apr, 2009
    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.


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