Hot cross bun ring with spiced honey butter

Hot cross bun ring with spiced honey butter

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(10 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 25 mins Plus rising and proving

More effort

Makes 1 ring with 11 buns
Make these cinnamon-spiced fruit buns into a pretty centrepiece for your Easter table, and serve with a sweet butter

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per bun

  • kcal409
  • fat14g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs58g
  • sugars18g
  • fibre2g
  • protein10g
  • salt0.7g


  • 300ml whole milk
  • zest 1 orange



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

  • 50g butter, cubed



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

  • 500g strong white flour, plus 140g for the crosses, and extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 large egg, beaten, plus 1 egg to glaze
  • oil, for greasing
  • 100g dried mixed fruit

For the spiced honey butter

  • 200g salted butter, softened
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 4 tbsp clear honey


  1. Warm the milk and orange zest in a small saucepan until steaming. Remove from the heat and add the butter, swirling the pan until the butter has melted and the milk has cooled to hand temperature.

  2. Mix the flour, cinnamon, sugar, yeast and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl. Pour in the milk mixture and the beaten egg, and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture clumps together. Tip out onto your work surface and knead until smooth and elastic – the dough should bounce back when pressed with your finger. Transfer to a clean oiled bowl, cover with cling film or a tea towel and leave to rise for 2 hrs or until doubled in size.

  3. Dust your largest baking tray with flour. Tip the dough back onto your work surface and knead again to knock out any air bubbles. Add the dried fruit and knead to incorporate into the dough. Divide the dough into 11 equal pieces. Roll each lump of dough into a smooth ball. Arrange the balls on your tray in a ring, leaving a small gap between each one. Cover loosely with a piece of cling film and leave somewhere warm to prove again for a further 1 hr or until doubled in size, the buns should be just touching.

  4. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Brush the buns with a little beaten egg. Mix the remaining flour with enough water to make a thick paste, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle, or use a sandwich bag and snip off one corner. Use the paste to pipe crosses over the buns – this is easiest if you pipe in one big circle, then put a line across the middle of each bun. Bake for 25 mins until golden and cooked through.

  5. Meanwhile, make the spiced honey butter. Put the butter, spices and honey in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. When the buns are cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 mins on the baking tray. Serve the bun ring warm with the butter in the centre for spreading. The buns will keep for up to 3 days in a tin or freeze for up to 3 months.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Julsy79's picture
15th Apr, 2017
Great recipe. Takes a while but so worth it.
Petite Risa
24th Feb, 2015
Absolutely delicious! Made these last easter and me and my fiancé loved them! The buns are soft and full of flavour and the butter is heavenly. Mine were a little less even than the ones in the picture (or rather they were giant blobs) but tasted so good. Will definitely make these again!
27th Apr, 2014
Really delicious! Making them again today, even though it's not Easter, why not! Not going to bother fiddling around to create a ring though. The butter is super yummy, and I was quite happy to enjoy the leftovers on some lovely crunchy wholemeal toast and a cup of coffee.
marmiteetponpon's picture
16th Apr, 2014
check this mega simple and delicious brioche recipe at marmite et ponpon
13th Apr, 2014
Worked really well, although I divided the dough into 16 and used 11 from those for the ring, which filled my largest baking tray. It was my first attempt at anything bread related but was a success, and am pleased with how they look and taste. Hope my work colleagues agree as it's my entry for our Easter bake off!
4th Apr, 2014
These just didn't work for me. The dough was so sticky, I wasted most of it trying to get it off my hands. I added a lot more flour when kneading thereby changing the recipe. Even so, it was still sticky.
23rd Jun, 2013
Mine tasted good, but looked nowhere near as neat as the photo... the butter is a lovely extra.
31st Mar, 2013
Made these on Good Friday and they were very well-received. Dad said it was nicest he'd ever tasted. Although it looked nice assembled as a ring, it was more difficult to find room for when proving second time and once cooked. Far too much butter made, though, for us- I'd make quarter of that next time.
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