Alison Holst's Hot Cross Buns

Total Time
Prep 45 mins
Cook 15 mins

From the doyenne of NZ baking...

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Measure the yeast mixture, flour, brown sugar and salt into a large bowl. Stir to mix and then add the cold milk followed by the boiling water. Stir thoroughly to mix.
  2. Leave to stand for 3 minutes. Melt the butter and assemble the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Once the 3 minutes is up, stir in the rest of the ingredients except for the flour.
  4. Now add as much flour as need to make a dough just firm enough to turn out on a board and knead. [The original recipe suggests 3 cups. I needed 4.].
  5. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until smooth and satiny and it springs back when you press it with a finger.
  6. Oil a large bowl and turn the dough ball in this until it is all coated. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and leave to stand until it doubles it original bulk.
  7. Turn out on a floured board, knead lightly and cut into 30 evenly sized pieces.
  8. Form each piece into a ball and arrange the buns in rows in a dish or pan with at least 1 cm between them. A roasting dish works well and takes about 15 buns.
  9. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F and when ready turn the heat down to 200°C/400°F.
  10. Put crosses on the buns.Make a paste of the flour and oil and then add enough water to make a dough that can be forced out of an icing bag. Pipe the crosses on the buns.
  11. Put the buns in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until they brown slightly and feel firm. Remove from oven and glaze with a hot syrup made by heating sugar and water.
  12. Cool buns on a rack. Store in airtight containers when cold.
  13. If you want to make a smaller quantity, halve the ingredients except for the egg. You may need more flour.


Most Helpful

Fantastic recipe that I highly recommend. Ignore the previous two reviews not giving it 5 stars as it is TRULY worth 5 - I nearly didn't try this based on them but no no no. These turned out perfectly and were light and absolutely delicious! Competes with the best bakeries any day!! I found it really easy to make and quick. I didn't use the mixed fruit I just used raisins - just personal preference.
They were a real hit and will be highly recommending this recipe and using it for years to come. I doubt we'll ever buy these again knowing this recipe is so easy.
Can't recommend this highly enough! TRY IT!!!

treenzs April 22, 2011

Produced lots of very fluffy buns although I did end up using more flour than the recipe called for in order to get the right consistency.

Omnomnom March 17, 2009

this really didn't work out well for me.. proberly the cook was the problem here not the recipe.

martinswench October 23, 2007

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