Hot Cross Buns Recipe: Easter Special!

hot cross buns recipe
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Homemade Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Hot cross buns are traditional Easter treats, cherished for their soft, spiced dough and symbolic cross topping.

Hey! Welcome to my little online kitchen. Today, I’m excited to bring you a special recipe for homemade Hot Cross Buns through Beyond the Bayou Blog. These delightful buns hold a special place in my heart because they remind me of my grandma’s kitchen. I remember the smell of warm spices filling the air as she lovingly kneaded the dough, and the anticipation of biting into a freshly baked bun straight from the oven. It’s amazing how food can evoke such vivid memories, isn’t it?

I’ve always been drawn to the comforting warmth of the kitchen, especially during the holiday season. Easter, in particular, holds a special significance for me. It’s a time for gathering with loved ones, sharing stories, and of course, indulging in delicious treats like hot cross buns. There’s something about the combination of soft, fluffy bread, fragrant spices, and sweet raisins that makes these buns irresistible.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a baking adventure with me, grab your apron and let’s dive into the wonderful world of hot cross buns. So let’s get baking! But before we start, don’t forget to check out my other favorite recipes like Honey Buns and Delicious Piaya.

What is Hot Cross Buns?

Hot cross buns are a type of sweet bun that are popular around Easter time. They’re soft, fluffy bread rolls made with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and often contain currants or raisins for sweetness. What makes them special is the cross on top, made either with icing or by scoring the dough before baking. This cross symbolizes the Christian faith, reminding people of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. These buns have a long history, dating back centuries, and have become a tradition in many parts of the world.

Overview: How to Make Hot Cross Buns?

To make hot cross buns, start by combining the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. This includes flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Then, warm up some milk and melt butter in it. Add this mixture along with beaten eggs to the dry ingredients and knead everything together until you have a smooth dough.

Once the dough is ready, add in the raisins or currants and knead them in evenly. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. After rising, divide the dough into equal-sized portions and shape them into balls. Place these balls on a baking sheet, leaving some space between them, and let them rise again until they puff up. While they’re rising, make a paste with flour and water to pipe crosses on top of each bun. Once the buns have risen, pipe the crosses on top and then bake them in the oven until they’re golden brown and cooked through.

Finally, brush them with a glaze made from sugar syrup to give them a glossy finish. Enjoy your homemade hot cross buns warm or toasted with butter.

hot cross buns recipe

Homemade Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Hot cross buns are traditional Easter treats, cherished for their soft, spiced dough and symbolic cross topping.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Calories: 400kcal
Author: Jacob Allen
Servings: 5 people


  • Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups
  • Cutting Board and Knife
  • Oven
  • Baking sheet
  • Baking Pan
  • Piping Bag or Ziplock Bag
  • Cooling Rack


  • 4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbos active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs


  • Mix dry ingredients, add warmed milk and melted butter, then knead until smooth.
  • Knead in raisins or currants evenly into the dough.
  • Let the dough rise until doubled in size in a warm place.
  • Divide dough, shape into balls.
  • Pipe crosses onto buns with flour-water paste.
  • Bake until golden brown.
  • Brush buns with sugar-water glaze after baking.
  • Cool on wire rack before serving.


  • CHECK YOUR YEAST expiry date! The problem because most people don’t bake with yeast very often, and yeast does go off! If your yeast is past its expiry date OR you’ve kept it in hot humid conditions (instead of fridge or freezer), your dough will not rise.
  • Yeast test if you’re concerned: in tiny bowl, mix 2 tbsp very warm tap water with pinch of sugar and 1/4 tsp yeast. Leave in very warm place for 5 – 10 min. If surface gets foamy like the below, your yeast is alive and fine to use.


Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 5g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g
Keyword best hot cross buns recipe, easy hot cross buns recipe, hot cross buns recipe easy, simple hot cross buns recipe

Time for the Tips!

  1. Knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic for fluffy buns.
  2. Don’t overwork the dough once you’ve added the raisins or currants.
  3. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for the best results.
  4. Pipe the crosses gently to avoid deflating the risen dough.
  5. Bake the buns until they’re golden brown for a crisp exterior.
  6. Brush the glaze while the buns are still warm to help it stick.
  7. Allow the buns to cool completely before storing to prevent sogginess.
  8. Enjoy fresh or toasted with a spread of butter for extra flavor.

What to Serve with Hot Cross Buns?

  1. Long Island Iced Tea
  2. Coffee Milk Punch 
  3. Ricotta Dip
  4. Whipped Feta Dip 

What to do with leftover?

Here are some ideas for what to do with leftover hot cross buns:

  1. French Toast: Use sliced hot cross buns to make delicious French toast by dipping them in a mixture of eggs, milk, and cinnamon, then frying until golden brown.
  2. Bread Pudding: Transform leftover hot cross buns into a rich and comforting bread pudding by tearing them into chunks, mixing with a custard mixture of eggs, milk, sugar, and spices, then baking until set.
  3. Trifle: Layer sliced hot cross buns with fruit, custard, and whipped cream to make a delicious trifle dessert.
  4. Ice Cream Sandwiches: Slice hot cross buns in half and sandwich a scoop of ice cream between the halves for a tasty ice cream treat.
  5. Bread and Butter Pudding: Similar to bread pudding, this dessert involves layering sliced hot cross buns with butter and a custard mixture, then baking until golden and set.
  6. Savory Stuffing: Cube leftover hot cross buns and use them as a base for savory stuffing, adding vegetables, herbs, and broth before baking.
  7. Toasted Snack: Simply toast leftover hot cross buns and spread them with butter or your favorite jam or preserves for a quick and tasty snack.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How can I tell when hot cross buns are done baking?

A: Hot cross buns are typically done baking when they are golden brown on the outside and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. You can also insert a toothpick into the center of a bun – if it comes out clean or with a few crumbs, they’re ready. Be sure to avoid overbaking, as this can result in dry buns.

Q: What if my hot cross buns don’t rise?

A: If your hot cross buns don’t rise properly, it could be due to several factors, such as inactive yeast, improper kneading, or not enough time for the dough to rise. Make sure your yeast is fresh and active, knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic.

Q: Can I make gluten-free hot cross buns?

A: Yes, you can make gluten-free hot cross buns using gluten-free flour blends or alternative flours such as almond flour or rice flour. There are many gluten-free hot cross bun recipes available online that cater to different dietary needs.

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