Hot cross bun cupcakes

Hot cross bun cupcakes

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(12 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 20 mins


Makes 12

These cakes have all the fruit and spice of the traditional bun but are quicker to make. Finish with spiced cream cheese frosting crosses

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per cupcake

  • kcal360
  • fat22g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs36g
  • sugars26g
  • fibre1g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.4g
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  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 175g light soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 100g ground almond
  • 3 large eggs, beaten, at room temperature
  • zest ¾ orange



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

  • 100g raisin, sultanas or a mix of both
  • 1 medium eating apple, peeled then grated



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

  • 1 tbsp apricot jam, warmed with a splash of water

For the spiced buttercream

  • zest ¼ orange



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

  • 50g full-fat cream cheese
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 25g butter, softened



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • ¼ tsp mixed spice


  1. Combine the lemon juice and milk in a large jug, and set aside for 5 mins. Meanwhile, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and melt the butter in a saucepan. Use a little of the butter to grease a 12-hole muffin tin.

  2. Put the flour, baking powder, sugar, spice, almonds and a pinch of salt into a large bowl, then sift through it with your fingers to squash any lumps of sugar. Beat the eggs, zest and melted butter into the thickened milk. Pour this into the dry ingredients, then beat with a balloon whisk until even. Stir in the dried fruit and apple, scoop mix into the tin (the holes will be full; see tip below), then bake for 18-20 mins until golden and well risen. Cool for 10 mins in the tin, then remove to a rack.

  3. When the buns are cold, cut a cross from the top of each one using a serrated knife, then brush the tops with the apricot jam. For the spiced buttercream, beat everything together until creamy and pale. Pipe the buttercream into the crosses. Alternatively, simply glaze the buns and pipe crosses across the tops.

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Comments, questions and tips

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26th Mar, 2020
I love these. A great way of getting hot cross bun flavours without the faff of making a yeast dough. I reduced the sugar to 100g as we don't like overly sweet things and sweetness comes from the sultanas anyway.
15th Apr, 2019
Made quite a dense cake, but tasted delicious. Icing a bit thin for me too so add more icing sugar next time!
21st May, 2017
Essy to make a cupcake. Additionally, these toppers are made using hard sugar which makes it easy for them to be eaten.
7th Mar, 2015
These cakes are delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and the sponge is lovely and moist with a hint of spice, and they're really easy to make. I found my icing was a little thin again, but adding a little more icing sugar thickens it nicely. Will definitely make again!
22nd Apr, 2014
These were utterly delicious. I did mine in paper cases in smaller bun tins rather than big muffin tins and the recipe made exactly 24. I didn't do the apricot glaze (only because I forgot) and used buttercream crosses flavoured with on top. They were a big hit, will definitely make again.
17th Apr, 2014
These were amazing - but I never did the apricot jam glaze, and instead of piping a cross with the buttercream, I just spread a little over the top (and left out the mixed spice). One warning - just because the packet of ground almonds says it should contain 100 g, it didn't - it had a lot more, so weigh it just in case.
11th Apr, 2014
Totally yummy a very big hit in our house!
9th Apr, 2020
If you like Hot Cross Buns you'll love these! Delicious and moist cakes with a hint of spice. I didn't bother with the apricot jam glaze or with the cream cheese in the frosting, I simply flavoured my buttercream with a bit of the orange zest and a dash of the juice to soften and they tasted divine. Went down a storm at work with lots of people asking for the recipe.
23rd Feb, 2014
Nice and easy. Icing a bit thin so needed to add a lot more icing sugar. Overall worth making
Patti LeBlanc's picture
Patti LeBlanc
31st Mar, 2018
What is mixed spice I live in Canada and not familiar with that phrase/ingredient
goodfoodteam's picture
1st Apr, 2018
Thanks for your question. Mixed spice generally contains a combination of ground cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. You can make up your own, using a combination of these.
esme1576's picture
18th Apr, 2014
I swapped the currants for chopped apricots as my LO doesn't like currants or raisins... worked a treat :)
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