Sweet Bread

Hot Cross Buns

Before you say it… I know these are always seen as a pain to make. Why spend a whole day waiting for these when you can just pick some up in a shop? All I have to say is try these once and you will know why! They are DELICIOUS and so much better than the shop bought ones, trust me!


These amazing hot cross buns are perfect for Easter and the smell fills the entire house with a spicy, fruity aroma and thankfully after the long wait for all the proofing, the cooking time is short and they are perfect straight from the oven! Read on to follow the recipe!

Now I have to apologise for the images you are about to see. My camera battery has died and the charger is no where to be found so I’m sorry for the poor quality from my iPhone, I tried my best!


There are quite a few ingredients for this recipe, but thankfully a lot of them are household items such as milk, eggs and spices which can be used in a lot of recipes, especially Easter ones! You can also make quite a few batches of these and freeze them for a later date.


As always, sift all your dry ingredients! I know it’s not a necessity for some but I just always do it and it has never failed me! Firstly start by sifting together the flour and salt.


Next add in the cubed cold butter and mix using your fingertips to form a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs. Make sure the butter is cold! You do not want melted or warm butter as this will turn your mixture into a paste rather than form into breadcrumbs so take out the butter from the fridge when you are at this stage.


Once you have your “breadcrumb-like” mixture you want to sift in the remaining dry ingredients as well as the orange zest the dried fruit. I used a bag of mixed dried fruit however you can choose your own dried fruit if you like such as dried apricots and currants chopped into small pieces.


Then it’s time to form the dough! With your eggs and milk whisked, you want to make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and pour the entire mixture into the well.


Now you can use a spoon to mix this together but I used my KitchenAid with a dough hook attachment to combine this all together. If you do this, make sure you do not turn your electric mixer any higher than number 2! This is important as the mixer cannot handle the dough mixture on any higher speed.


Once you’ve ended up with a combined mixture like this, it is time to knead! You can either knead in the machine for another 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic or you can knead the old fashioned way with your hands! I tend to combine in the mixer and then knead with my hands as I get a lot of satisfaction from throwing the dough around! And it’s good exercise! You want to knead by pulling, folding and pushing like in the image below.


Once the dough is ready, place into an large oiled bowl (I used the same one I mixed it in) and cover with clingfilm. Leave to proof for 45 minutes to an hour to make sure it doubles in size. You want to find a warm, dark area such as a cupboard (or if you’re like me, under the bed).


After its first proof, you want to knead the dough for a few minutes to get rid of excess oil. Then shape the dough into 12 large buns or around 16 smaller buns. Cover with clingfilm again and leave to proof for another 45 minutes to an hour to double in size. During this time, you can create the flour paste that creates the infamous cross on the buns. Or if you like, you can use white chocolate to make the cross and therefore you will need to melt some white chocolate.


After proofing again, make a deep cross in the buns using a knife.


The buns are now ready to be piped! Either using the flour and water paste or your melted white chocolate, pipe along the lines you made in the buns to form the cross.


These are now ready for the oven, finally! Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Unlike cakes or other breads, hot cross buns are quite a deep brown colour so don’t be afraid of how quickly the buns are going golden.


While they bake, make the glaze. I used honey and hot water but many people use golden caster sugar instead. It is up to you what you would like, I prefer honey as it makes them even sweeter and sticky! You want to glaze the buns as soon as they come out of the oven.


Once all the buns have been glazed, transfer them to a wire rack to cool, or eat one straight away, no one will know!


These hot cross buns are just a fantastic treat and nothing makes Easter feel closer than one of these toasted and then smothered in butter! They will last around a week in a sealed bag/container. They can also be frozen for around a month and then thawed and baked in the oven for 5 minutes if you want to eat them at a later date! Finally, if any of them are stale you can give them a new life by making a hot cross bun butter pudding!


These may take a bit longer and a bit more effort but trust me they are worth it! So give them a try and let me know how you get on. Have a lovely Easter week everyone, bank holiday is nearly here!!

Hot Cross Buns

  • Servings: 12 large or 16 small
  • Difficulty: Average
  • Print

Hot Cross Buns perfect for any Easter treat. These can be eaten warm from the oven, toasted the next day or even frozen to save for a later date.


  • 750g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 100g Cubed Cold Butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Mixed Spice
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • 50g Light Muscovado Sugar
  • 250g Dried Mixed Fruit
  • 7g Easy Bake Dried Yeast
  • 300ml Warm Milk
  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 90g Plain Flour
  • 2 tbsp Honey


  1. Line two large baking trays with parchment paper. To keep the baking parchment in place, add small cubes of butter in each corner before placing the parchment on top.
  2. In a bowl sieve the flour and salt together. Add in the butter* and mix using fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir in the mixed spice, cinnamon, orange zest, sugar and yeast. In a separate bowl, heat the milk* in the microwave for around 20-25 seconds. Add in the eggs and whisk together. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add in the milk and egg mixture.
  4. Using an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment, mix until the ingredients have combined and it forms a dough. Continue to knead the dough with the electric mixer* or your hands for around 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Place the dough into a large oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to proof in a warm, dark area for around 45 minutes to 1 hour until doubled in size.
  6. Once the first proof is complete, knead the dough for a few minutes to get rid of excess oil and remove some of the air. Shape the dough into 12 buns (or 16 smaller buns) and place onto the prepared baking trays. Cover these with clingfilm and leave to proof again in a warm, dark place for around 1 hour until doubled in size again.
  7. After the second proof, preheat the oven to 180ºC Fan/200ºC/390°F. Make deep cuts into the buns to form the cross shape. Make the flour paste by mixing 70g plain flour and around 5-6 tbsp of cold water until most of the lumps have disappeared or melt 90g of white chocolate if you prefer. Using a piping bag, pipe across the cross lines.
  8. Place into the preheated oven for around 15-20 minutes. Hot cross buns are usually a dark golden brown so do not worry about the buns if they are turning golden quickly. Remove from the oven and leave on the trays while you make the glaze. Mix honey and 3-4 tbsp of hot water together to make a syrup. You can use Golden Caster Sugar instead of honey if you like. Glaze the buns while they are still hot and then transfer to a baking tray to cool.
  9. These buns are perfect to eat warm from the oven or toasted the next day covered in butter and jam for an Easter treat.
  10. Recipe adapted from: http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/522003/how-to-make-hot-cross-buns#disqus_thread

  • Butter needs to be cold when mixing as you want to create breadcrumbs, not a paste!
  • Milk is warmed due to the yeast which reacts better in warmth. Do not overheat the milk as too high of a heat can actually kill the yeast and stop it from working. You want milk that is only slightly warmer than room temperature. You can leave the milk out of the fridge for around 30 minutes if you prefer and this should work fine.
  • If you are using an electric mixer to knead the dough, do not use over level 2 as this can ruin the machine.
  • These buns stay fresh for around one week in a sealed container or can be frozen, thawed and baked for 5-10 minutes. If you find that some have gone stale, try making a hot cross bun butter pudding – delicious!
  • Finally, once you’ve got the hang of these try adding some cocoa powder and chocolate chips instead of fruit to give these a naughty twist!

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