Hot cross buns on a cooling wrack

Spiced hot cross buns

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(56 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 15 mins Plus rising and proving

More effort

Makes 12

Make the most of the long Easter weekend and fill the house with the smell of spiced buns baking

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per bun

  • kcal242
  • fat6g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs44g
  • sugars14g
  • fibre1g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.46g
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    For the dough

    • 450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting



      Flour is usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As the main…

    • 2 x 7g sachets easy-blend yeast



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

    • 50g caster sugar
    • 150ml warm milk



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

    • 1 egg, beaten



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

    • 50g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
    • oil, for greasing

    The spices and dried fruit

    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • ½ tsp mixed spice
    • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg



      One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

    • 100g currant

    To decorate

    • 4 tbsp plain flour
    • 2 tbsp granulated sugar


    1. Put the flour, yeast, caster sugar and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl with the spices and dried fruit and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk, 50ml warm water, the beaten egg and the melted butter. Mix everything together to form a dough – start with a wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water; if it’s too wet, add more flour.

    2. Knead in the bowl or on a floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and springy. Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size – this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.

    3. Tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few secs, then divide into 12 even portions – I roll my dough into a long sausage shape, then quarter and divide each quarter into 3 pieces. Shape each portion into a smooth round and place on a baking sheet greased with butter, leaving some room between each bun for it to rise.

    4. Use a small, sharp knife to score a cross on the top of each bun, then cover with the damp tea towel again and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 mins until almost doubled in size again. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

    5. When the buns are ready to bake, mix the plain flour with just enough water to give you a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag (or into a plastic food bag and snip the corner off) and pipe a white cross into the crosses you cut earlier. Bake for 12-15 mins until the buns are golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. While still warm, melt the granulated sugar with 1 tbsp water in a small pan, then brush over the buns.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    3rd Apr, 2010
    Has anyone tried using this recipe in a bread machine??'s picture
    3rd Apr, 2010
    Only used 1 sachet of yeast as well's picture
    3rd Apr, 2010
    Forgot to give it the 5 stars it deserves!'s picture
    3rd Apr, 2010
    These were fantastic - the best I've ever made - light and with a lovely texture and colour. I followed a tip from Elizabeth David as well and added 1/4 tspn of ground cumin to the spice mix. You can't taste it but it definitely adds that little something!
    3rd Apr, 2010
    Living in Finland where you can't get hot cross buns I've tried a few recipes over the last couple of years was keen to try these. The buns have turned out lovely and soft, without being stodgy and the fruit content seems just right to me. But they don't seem to be spicy enough to me, which is why I only gave them 4 stars. Now it could just be my memory playing tricks on me, but I'll just have to keep tweeking the seasoning a bit until I get the result I want!
    3rd Apr, 2010
    I made these this morning and they turned out perfectly!!!! I haven't ever bothered to do Hot Cross Buns before but will definitely be making these again. The 4 clean plates were a giveaway that the kids wouldn't mind eating these again too!
    3rd Apr, 2010
    This was my first ever attempt at hot cross buns. I was very pleased with the results and got great feedback from everyone who tried them. I did have to make a couple of changes though (my own fault for not checking the cupboards!) - I used granulated sugar instead of caster and sultanas instead of currants. On the day I made them they were soft and springy but the next day they had become rather dry and compact and therefore only good for toasting - is that to be expected? Am I just too used to the supermarket stuff?!
    3rd Apr, 2010
    These were easy to make, but mine have a very strong yeasty taste, so I was wondering whether 2 sachets is too much? They were nice, but wouldnt make again.
    2nd Apr, 2010
    I made these today, they were OK, but will try another recipe next year, to me they were more like rolls than buns! You no what they say 'you never no I until you try'
    2nd Apr, 2010
    I made these today for easter. What can I say there lovely, especially hot from the oven. Light and Yummy. Easy recipe to do.


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