Hot cross buns on a baking tray

Hot cross buns

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(151 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…

    • 50g butter



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

    • 500g strong bread flour
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 75g caster sugar
    • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
      Sunflower oil

      Sunflower oil

      Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

    • 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 sultanas
    • 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 300ml full-fat milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add 50g butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Put 500g strong bread flour, 1 tsp salt, 75g caster sugar and 7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add 1 beaten 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 75g sultanas, 50g mixed peel, zest of 1 orange, 1 finely chopped apple and 1 tsp ground 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). 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 75g plain 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. Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.

    6. Gently heat 3 tbsp 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.
    16th Apr, 2019
    Delicious! A couple of tweaks as per others comments: 1.5 tsp each of cinnamon and mixed spice, a good grating of nutmeg, substitute dried cranberries for the mixed peel and semi-skimmed milk.
    3rd Apr, 2019
    I used active yeast which should have been activated first with warm I think this inhibited the rise..bit of a faff though and I didn't even manage a cross, mine are secular! Definitely not enough spice, I doubled the amount of cinnamon and added nutmeg but they still lacked flavour. I would use mixed spice if I made them again but they were so much faff that I think I'd stick to shop versions.
    Caro Hewitt's picture
    Caro Hewitt
    13th Mar, 2019
    This is a heck of a faff for a bun that doesn’t have a lot of flavour in the dough - it’s missing the classic ‘hot cross bun’ taste. The texture is very nice and all the fruit is lovely but it needs more spices than a single teaspoon of cinnamon.
    29th Jun, 2018
    My first hot cross buns, and they were success thanks to this amazing recipe.
    28th May, 2018
    This is the best hot cross bun recipe I have found. I have been making it for over two years, and now try new fruit and spices and even a bit of chocolate each time I give it another try.
    VanillaSpice81's picture
    24th Apr, 2018
    First time making buns, these turned out lovely, after about 15 mins baking. Increased spice to 2tsp cinnamon, 1tsp mixed spice and pinch of grated nutmeg which seemed perfect, and added to flour mix to ensure even distribution. Dough was therefore brown and very sticky; but limited use of flour to make the balls and the texture was perfect. Increased the sultanas to 100g and soaked for 30 min before, drained and dried with kitchen towel. Left to prove in house where sun shined in. Rose well. Got 16 large buns on two baking trays baked at same time. I really like the mixed peel and sultanas but easily adaptable. A nice weekend bake!
    Cristoforo De Andriano's picture
    Cristoforo De A...
    1st Apr, 2018
    Good recipe I left out the mixed peel and took lemon instead of orange as I had none. For the spices I took nutmeg and mixed spice additionally. The tip with soaking the raisins was good the buns turned out very juicy...
    scarola's picture
    1st Apr, 2018
    The best recipe ever .,, and my family and friends loved it....and I was a proud baker
    23rd Feb, 2018
    Tried these hot cross buns today and I am very happy with the result.The dough was very sticky to handle maybe because I used skimmed milk instead of full fat but they came delicious.They took only 15 minutes to cook in a non fan oven.Thankyou Paul Hollywood for this recipe as I will be making them again and again.
    Linda Clews's picture
    Linda Clews
    29th Dec, 2017
    Beautifully light, but no flavour, WAY more spice required. Also brown sugar may have helped. Cooking time about right, as I made mine closely packed (after rising) in a large cake tin.


    Weezie Woo's picture
    Weezie Woo
    1st Apr, 2018
    I used semi skimmed and they turned out fine - I don't know about skimmed though.


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