Happy Easter – Traditional Hot Cross Buns

homemade hot cross buns

Hot Cross Buns for Easter

There are a lot of amazing Hot Cross Bun recipes out there and I have sampled several delicious variations (my favourites involve cranberries, orange or chocolate) but every year at Easter I really look forward to them in their traditional incarnation, with mixed spice, mixed peel and raisins (or sultanas). Maybe I’m a traditionalist at heart. I have had a couple of attempts at making them this year. The first time I changed my mind and tried an Iced Cinnamon Swirl Loaf instead. It wasn’t entirely successful. The second time I realised once I had started that I didn’t have any mixed spice or mixed peel. So they were more of a un-crossed cinnamon and sultana bun. Still good, though.

So I might be a bit late with these but at least I managed it before Easter! And after Easter maybe I will be attempting some of the variations, just without the crosses…

I used my mixer with the dough hook for these because the enriched dough is very sticky and difficult to work with.

homemade hot cross buns

Happy Easter!



200ml warm milk

20g fresh yeast

55g caster sugar

450g strong white flour

½ teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons mixed spice

85g butter, softened

2 eggs, beaten

115g currants or sultanas

30g mixed peel

For the crosses

100g plain flour


To glaze

A little sweetened milk

Apricot jam


Mix the yeast with 1 teaspoon of the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the warm milk.

Put the flour, salt, mixed spice, butter and the remaining sugar into a large mixing bowl.

Make a well in the centre and tip in the yeast mixture, eggs and enough milk to make a soft dough.

Mix, and knead either by hand for about ten minutes, or with a dough hook for around 6 minutes. The dough should be smooth and silky.

Put the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm.

making hot cross buns

Cover and leave to rise

Leave until is has about doubled in size. I left mine a little too long because I was out longer than I thought I would be and it was trying to escape from the bowl.

making hot cross buns

Add the sultanas and mixed peel after the first rise

Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and add the sultanas and mixed peel. Knead until the fruit is incorporated evenly into the dough.

Divide the dough into twelve equal pieces. I weigh the dough, divide the weight by 12 and weigh each piece to get them as close to even as possible. Unless you have a life, in which case you could also do it by eye…

hot cross buns

Divide the dough into twelve equal pieces

Shape each piece into a round bun.

Place on a well oiled baking tray and cover again with oiled clingfilm or a tea towel.

hot cross buns

Ready for the second rise

Leave to rise again until they have doubled in size.

Set the oven to 200ºC. Brush with sweetened milk (I forgot that stage).

Make the paste for the crosses by mixing the flour with enough water to make a smooth paste the consistency of toothpaste. Put the paste in a piping bag and pipe a cross across the tops of the buns.

homemade hot cross buns

Ready to bake

Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes, then brush again with the sweetened milk and bake for another 5 minutes.

Glaze with apricot jam: use a little water to thin it and brush over the tops of the buns.

homemade hot cross buns

Homemade hot cross buns

Allow to cool on a wire rack.

The perfect excuse to eat buns for breakfast.

Happy Easter!

Categories: Baking, Bread, Recipes

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

25 replies

  1. These look simply amazing! Yum!

  2. They are brilliant – you’ve got an amazing rise on that dough. I bet they were really soft. I’ve just made a second attempt at the Brioche ones that failed last time. An improvement but I think the baking temp/time they give is wrong.

  3. Ps. I’ve just noticed the index tabs across the top of your site. Love the simplicity of navigation. I’m not sure how long they’ve been there so apologies if I’ve been slow off the mark.

  4. These look absolutely perfect… so fluffy and light, full of fruit, golden and delicious on the top! I can’t always get the crumb right in my baked goods, maybe I need to invest in a dough hook. Gorgeous. Happy Easter!

  5. How gorgeous and glossy to they look? Wow! I am maybe going to try my hand at paleo hot cross buns this year, but will no doubt miss that pillowy softness of the more traditional kind. Enjoy yours! 🙂 x

  6. These look wonderful! I tried making sourdough buns, which look much less impressive, oh well.. 🙂

  7. Beautiful buns! I like the traditional ones too! Happy Easter!

  8. These are beautiful! I wouldn’t have been able to keep my hands off of them!

  9. You’re right about the enriched dough being difficult to work with! Mine took at least 20 minutes kneading, and in the end I gave up. Pleased to say they turned out surprisingly well. But I would’ve preferred mine to look more uniform, like yours.

  10. Hope you had a great easter weekend! Your hot cross buns does look really great. I bet they were absolutely scrummy.


  1. Easter recipe ideas from all over the place | Tales of pigling bland
  2. Dark Chocolate and Apricot Buns – add a cross and they’re good for Easter too! – lovinghomemade

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