Celtic Homemade Hot Cross Buns

Total Time
2hrs 12mins
Prep 2 hrs
Cook 12 mins

I'm not a huge fan of sweet breads like these, but all the men in my family rave about this recipe! This is yet another one from that amazing book, Celtic Folklore Cooking, by Joanne Asala. Holidays associated with this recipe: Ostara, spring festivals, Good Friday.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour with the yeast and cinnamon.
  2. Heat milk, vegetable oil, sugar, and salt in a saucepan until warm; stir constantly. Remove from heat and beat for 3 minutes at high speed. Add all at once to the flour mixture, along with the eggs. Beat at low speed for 1 minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat 3 more minutes at high speed. Stir in currants and as much of remaining flour as possible.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in enough of remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to coat surface. Cover with a towel and place in a warm spot. Let rise until double, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Punch dough down and turn out onto lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into 18 pieces and form each into a smooth ball. Place on a greased baking sheet 1 1/2 inches apart. Cover; let rise until nearly double (30 to 45 minutes).
  6. With a sharp knife, cut a cross (to represent either the cross of Christ, the sun, or the combination of male and female energies) onto each. Brush tops of each bun with some of the slightly beaten egg white (reserve remaining white).
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly.
  8. Meanwhile, combine powdered sugar, vanilla, dash of salt, and the reserved egg white. Add more milk if necessary to give it piping consistency. Pipe crosses on top of buns with a pastry decorator.
Most Helpful

Yummy! Not a super-sweet bun. I happened to have currants but next time will try chopped dried cherries or cranberries. Vegetable oil I think keeps the bread from being dry. I piped cream-cheese icing instead of cutting the cross in the buns. Thanks for posting this recipe!

Victoria2 April 09, 2009