Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

1 h
With their intoxicating smell, pillowy freshness and distinctive design, the hot cross bun is traditionally eaten over the Easter holidays. Their popularity, however, has made them a year-round favourite with most batches not making it far from the oven.


  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a dough bowl.
  • Melt the butter and add the milk. Allow to cool to about 37°C.
  • Pour the milk mixture and the egg into the dry ingredients and work into a smooth dough for about five minutes. Cover the dough and leave it to rise for about 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured workbench. Spread the raisins and cranberries on the rolled-out dough.
  • Roll into a length, cut into 15 pieces and shape into round buns.
  • Place the buns on a baking tray with baking paper and leave to rise for a further 40 minutes.
  • Set the oven to 200°C.
  • Mix the flour and water for the topping.
  • Spread the topping over the buns and bake in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes.
  • Brush the buns with a beaten egg immediately after they come out of the oven.

Hot cross buns

What is the best way to heat hot cross buns?
Eating them fresh out of the oven will give you the ultimate experience of pillowy, spicy goodness. If you were able to save some for later, you can either pop them back in the oven for a few minutes, or split them, slather each half with butter and toast them to crispy perfection under the grill.
Why won't my hot cross buns rise?
There could be a few reasons for a flat dough. Starting with ingredients, check the best before date of your yeast. Anything close to, or after, this date won't be as active. Under-kneading could also be the culprit and the general rule of thumb is to work the dough for about five minutes. Lastly, make sure the room is warm enough for the yeast to grow, anything between 24 °C and 26 °C is ideal.
Why are my hot cross buns so dense?
This can be due to both over, and under-kneading. A good window to stick to is no less than five, but no more than 10 minutes of kneading.
How do you keep homemade hot cross buns fresh?
Storing them in an airtight container will keep them light and fluffy for up to three days.


540 g
Dry yeast
1 package
1 tsp
Caster sugar
90 g
Ground cinnamon
1 tsp
Ground ginger
1 tsp
50 g
300 ml
100 g
Dried cranberries
100 g
2 tbsp
2 tbsp
Whisked egg

Hot cross buns – an English Easter treat

Dating as far back as the 12th century, this fruity bun with its subtle sweetness and unique spice blend is as traditionally English as an afternoon tea. Once considered too special to be eaten every day (Queen Elizabeth I went so far as to limit their sale to Good Friday, Christmas or funerals), the average Briton today eats 4.5 hot cross buns every Easter weekend.

Why making your own hot cross buns is worth the extra work

When it comes to baked goods, nothing is ever as good as the homemade kind. Hot cross buns are no different. Relatively easy to make, the first plus of creating these at home is their intoxicatingly sweet and spicy scent that will float through every room. Then eating them straight out of the oven, piping hot, wondrously fluffy and slathered with butter: a life affirming experience that can simply not be bought in a store.

How to store hot cross buns

Wait for them to cool completely before transferring them to an airtight container. From there, you can keep them in a cool, dry spot for up to three days. If you have made a larger batch, you can also keep them in the freezer for up to a month. To thaw, simply place on a wire rack at room temperature for about an hour.