Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

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(116 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
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    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.

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    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    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.
    21st Apr, 2013
    Tried this recipe today and noted it doesn't follow the same format as Paul demonstrates on the GBBO. The recipe above states in step 2 that the mixture should be left for 1 hr before adding the fruit and spices, whereas Paul adds these to his mixture once he has combined the flour, milk, butter and egg salt and yeast. This means he only leaves the dough to rise twice, not the three times as advised here - confusing !
    23rd Mar, 2014
    Yes, I've wondered that too. That would cut a third of the preparation time. I've seen other recipes online that only require proving twice.
    19th Apr, 2013
    The tastiest hot cross buns ever. Yes , there were lots of steps to making them but so worth the effort.
    16th Apr, 2013
    Tried to make these Hot Cross Buns, and although they were very fiddly and time consuming they were easy to do and delicious!
    14th Apr, 2013
    Sorry forgot to do the stars
    14th Apr, 2013
    My first attempt at HXB and was not disappointed. Left out the mixed peel but added extra sultanas and doubled the cinnamon and added 1tsp mixed spice.
    5th Apr, 2013
    Very time-consuming but worthwhile! Modifications: 1) added mixed spice. 2) cooked for 15 mins. 3) glazed with diluted golden syrup. Deliciously light texture. Excellent.
    4th Apr, 2013
    I found the dough far too wet so, like another of the reviewers, I added more flour. Again like others I found that the buns got too brown, even after just 15 minutes and needed more spice too. Personally I think that they are much better eaten like toasted teacakes rather than just as they are. I don't think that I'll be making them again, but searching for another hot cross bun recipe instead.
    3rd Apr, 2013
    Takes a bit of time but the end result is delicious! I can't wait to make them again!!!


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