Hot Cross Buns

"These small yeast buns, freckled with currants or raisins, and sometimes fruit and nuts, are traditionally served on Good Friday. They are slashed with a cross just before baking and the cross is filled with icing after they've cooled. I usually make them and freeze them unfrosted, ahead of time. Then on Easter morning I warm them in the oven and frost them for breakfast or brunch."
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Ready In:




  • Measure the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and lemon zest into a large mixing bowl or into the work bowl of a food processor.
  • Heat milk to boiling in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Remove from heat and add the butter.
  • Stir until the butter is melted.
  • Stir in the eggs.
  • Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, and process or mix with an electric mixer until the dough is smooth but soft, about 2 minutes.
  • Mix in the raisins, almonds, and candied fruits.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
  • Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Turn the dough out onto an oiled surface.
  • Dust the dough with flour and knead to express air bubbles.
  • Divide the dough into 16 equal parts.
  • Shape each into a round ball.
  • Place the balls of dough, smooth side up, about 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Let rise in a warm place, lightly covered, until almost doubled, for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • Brush the tops of the buns with the egg glaze.
  • Slash a cross in the center of each bun with a sharp knife.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden.
  • While the buns bake, mix the icing ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Place the icing into a pastry bag with a small tip.
  • Slide the parchment onto the counter top to cool or transfer the rolls onto a wire rack to cool.
  • Pipe the icing into the shape of a cross on top of each bun.
  • Serve warm.
  • Makes 16 buns.
  • Beatrice Ojakangas.
  • The Great Holiday Baking Book.

Questions & Replies

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  1. FrannyZ
    Overall success. Unusual recipe where yeast goes in with dry ingredients. So it is fast. But a little slow to rise. I added 2t of ground cardamon, and a touch of nutmeg; I used candied kumquats (because I had some) in place of orange peel. Actually quite delicious. Bottoms got too brown because I put them too low in the oven, so watch carefully while baking. But the cardamon and nutmeg, and the almond flavoring in the frosting made these really yummy, if a bit denser than I had hoped.
  2. Missy Wombat
    Nice hot cross bun although I am used to a cinnamon based bun. If you have a small oven you probably will need less baking time - the glaze browns very quickly. I found the icing was too runny - I would halve the amount of liquid at least and then very cautiously add more as needed.



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