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.
    13th Apr, 2014
    I read all the comments before making this recipe, and they were extremely helpful, so many thanks to all previous posters. I took on board some of the advice, and made the following amendments to the recipe: Gave the dough 2 rises instead of 3 Left out the mixed peel Increased the cinnamon Added 1 tsp mixed spice Soaked the sultanas in Grand Marnier Used fresh yeast The buns came out beautifully, the best ones I've ever made.
    9th Apr, 2014
    Used the recipe but made them in my bread machine on dough setting. Made 15 fantastic, light buns. Took about two and half hours start to finish. Added more spice and some cranberries. Very good results
    8th Apr, 2014
    In my opinion the best yeast to use is fresh from your local baker unfortunately this as far as i know is not available in supermarkets but is 100% better than dried yeast
    18th Apr, 2014
    Fresh yeast is sometimes available on Ocado (I presume in Waitrose too) so worth taking a look.
    20th Apr, 2014
    Morrisons also sell fresh yeast
    7th Apr, 2014
    Like others I added fruit and spice at beginning and therefore missed out on one prove. Also, they were a tad too wet and sticky, so maybe just the 500g flour and not the additional 2 tablespoons would suffice. Delicious though and definitely recommended. The Kenwood dough hook makes light work of kneading too.....though not as therapeutic as doing it oneself!
    6th Apr, 2014
    The last time I made HXB you could of used them as doorstops! This recipe is fantastic but I must admit I have made a few tweaks, Soaked my fruit in a little warm brandy with my Christmas spice mix, then added 50g of walnuts instead of mixed peel.
    1st Apr, 2014
    Delicious. I doubled the cinnamon & added 1 tsp of mixed spice. The next time I'd double the raisins to make them fruitier. Btw : I only did 2 risings, not three as suggested. Also they were done in 15 mins. Worked well for me.
    28th Mar, 2014
    Alright, so I'm not a Hollywood fan because I don't like people who are that arrogant, however I do have to concede that he is a hero for putting this recipe up here. These hot cross buns are delicious, the spices are wonderful and they taste infinitely better than any you can buy. However, the best thing about them is the texture. I, like so many other people I have spoken to, have tried making hot cross buns before and they're so chewy and horrible, but these were light and beautifully soft. Will make these every year since this recipe really does produce the best hot cross buns you could want!
    23rd Mar, 2014
    I love the addition of apple and the apricot jam brushing. I've made these for 2 years in a row and they have been a great success. A couple of things I would alter here: Addition of all spice or a mixture of ginger/nutmeg would greatly improve the taste. I found these a bit bland. Also, for the piping mixture, I mix 1 part icing sugar with 2 parts flour.


    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.