Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(114 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 20 mins Plus proving

More effort

Makes 15
Follow master baker Paul Hollywood's ultimate step-by-step guide to creating perfectly decorated fruit buns

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal226
  • fat4g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs41g
  • sugars14g
  • fibre2g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.5g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


    For the buns

    • 300ml full-fat milk, plus 2 tbsp more



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

    • 50g butter



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

    • 500g strong bread flour
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 75g caster sugar
    • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
      Sunflower oil

      Sunflower oil

      A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

    • 7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast



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

    • 1 egg, beaten



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

    • 75g sultana
    • 50g mixed peel
    • zest 1 orange



      One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

    • 1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped



      Grown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are…

    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

    For the cross

    • 75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

    For the glaze

    • 3 tbsp apricot jam


    1. Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast (see Tip, below) into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.

    2. Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.

    3. With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and cinnamon. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size, again covered by some well-oiled cling film to stop the dough getting a crust.

    4. Divide the dough into 15 even pieces (about 75g per piece – see Tip below). Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.

    5. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix the flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses (see Tip below). Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.

    6. Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.

    You may also like

    Ads by Google

    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    31st Mar, 2015
    Nice idea, loved the extra cinnamon.
    18th Apr, 2014
    Just made these today - followed the recipe and 3 proving times, I did however add more cinnamon and some mixed spice - really think this made them better flavor wise. This was my first time making them, and yes although they were time consuming, they are defiantly worth the wait. Really soft and light inside - will be making them again. I did however only need 15 minutes in the oven, they were actually more ready at 13 minutes.
    18th Apr, 2014
    I made these last night for my French collegues for a 'traditional English easter snack' here in France. They have gone down a storm this morning. I followed the recipe almost to the letter but added some extra spice. 3 provings/2 kocking back helped as my mixture was quite dry. I had never made hot cross buns before, but will definitely make them again. I also made the chocolate hot cross buns from the April magazine. Equally as good, though that mixture was wetter.
    18th Apr, 2014
    Love this recipe, shame I hadn't read the comments here first, as I followed the recipe almost to the letter (swapped in raisins for mixed peel) doing three rises. I will never buy HCB from the shops again. Although my dough was wet I persisted, even kneading by hand, and they turned out perfectly. I am tempted to add in more spice as these were delicately flavoured, and to play around with the fruit combinations, but definitely a recipe to do again and again, at any time of year!
    17th Apr, 2014
    I made it once and I plan on making more of it. I followed the recipe, it was perfect for everything but the cross. I would strongly recommend to add a bit more water as it make it easier to pipe it. Also if like me you are baking in a very powerful oven I would recommend to keep an eye on them 2 or 3 minutes before they finish cooking. They were crusty on the outside and soft on the inside so delicious. You can't compare to anything available in supermarket.
    16th Apr, 2014
    I too did only 2 provings, added more cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice left out mixed peel (because I didn't have any) therefore doubled-up on raisins/sultanas ..... crosses made with 2/3 flour 1/3 icing sugar and about 3 tblsn water was enough for correct piping consistency...17 mins in oven brushed with melted honey.....superb...don't think they'll last till Good Friday though...made today ..Weds!!!!!
    marmiteetponpon's picture
    16th Apr, 2014
    check this mega simple and delicious brioche recipe at marmite et ponpon
    veritypinkney's picture
    15th Apr, 2014
    Tasty hot cross buns. These were a definite improvement on a previous recipe I have used. I added a lot of extra spice (including some mixed spice and a small grating of nutmeg) to give these plenty of flavour and put in chopped dates and cranberries rather than the mixed peel and apple. I also soaked the fruit first in some alcohol. I didnt have a problem with the dough being too wet as others have mentioned but then I guess this largely depends on the flour you are using. In order to get a bit more of a rise, I will try to get hold of fresh yeast next time or I will activate the dried yeast first, although these were by no means too small! Also keep an eye on these in the oven, mine needed only 12-15 minutes to bake. Great recipe, will look forward to trying again.
    14th Apr, 2014
    Never made HCBs before but have had success with Mr H's recipes for other stuff so thought I'd try these. So glad I did! Used my kitchen aid to take some of the strain out of mixing. Great results, will make again before Easter.
    14th Apr, 2014
    These are a sticky, sweet alternative to hot cross buns, perfect during the easter season for people who don't like dried fruit!


    Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
    Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.