Baking, Dessert


Hot cross buns, a beloved pastry with a rich history, have transcended their humble beginnings. From the warmth of the oven to cultural celebrations worldwide, these buns have become more than just a treat; they are a symbol of tradition and festivity.

An enticing image capturing the golden-brown perfection of freshly baked HOT CROSS BUNS. The cross atop each bun adds a visual appeal, while the warm aroma wafts through the air, inviting you to indulge in the delightful combination of spices and soft, fluffy texture. A perfect batch ready to be served and enjoyed, elevating any moment with a touch of culinary bliss.
An enticing image capturing the golden-brown perfection of freshly baked HOT CROSS BUNS. The cross atop each bun adds a visual appeal, while the warm aroma wafts through the air, inviting you to indulge in the delightful combination of spices and soft, fluffy texture. A perfect batch ready to be served and enjoyed, elevating any moment with a touch of culinary bliss.

What are Hot Cross Buns?

Easter Buns are spiced sweet buns, often containing currants or raisins, marked with a cross on the top. These delights are typically enjoyed during the Easter season but have found a place on tables year-round.

History and Origin

Tracing the roots of hot cross buns takes us back centuries. Originating in England, these buns were initially associated with pagan rituals before gaining prominence in Christian traditions.


The traditional recipe for Hot Cross Buns includes flour, sugar, currants or raisins, spices, milk, and yeast. However, modern bakers have embraced variations, incorporating ingredients like chocolate chips, dried fruits, or even adding a citrus twist.


Creating the perfect batch of Hot Cross Buns requires attention to detail. Begin by mixing and kneading the dough until it reaches the ideal consistency. The rising time is crucial for that light and fluffy texture, followed by a meticulous baking process. Don’t forget to brush with a sweet glaze for that enticing finish.

Symbolism of the Cross on this recipe

The iconic cross atop these buns isn’t just for decoration. It holds historical and religious significance, with ties to ancient traditions. Understanding the symbolism adds a layer of depth to the enjoyment of Easter Buns.

Around the World

While England may be the birthplace of Easter Buns, these delightful treats have found their way into various cultures worldwide. Each region has its own unique take on the classic recipe, adapting to local tastes and traditions.

Health Benefits of Easter Buns

Despite their indulgent taste, Hot Cross Buns can offer nutritional benefits. Ingredients like raisins provide fiber, and the spices used can have antioxidant properties. Moderation is key to enjoying these treats as part of a balanced diet.

Tips for Perfect Easter Buns

Achieving the ideal texture and flavor requires attention to detail. From the dough’s consistency to the glazing technique, these tips will guide you towards baking Easter Buns that are a delight to the senses.

Hot Cross Buns in Popular Culture

Easter Buns have made appearances in literature, music, and popular culture. Their association with festive seasons and joyful moments has cemented their status as more than just a baked good.

DIY Hot Cross Buns: A Fun Family Activity

Get the whole family involved in the kitchen! Making Easter Buns can be a delightful family activity, creating not only delicious treats but also lasting memories. Let the children join in the mixing and shaping for a wholesome experience.

Easter Buns and Seasonal Celebrations

While Easter is the most prominent occasion for Hot Cross Buns, these treats have found a place in other seasonal celebrations. Discover the joy of sharing these buns during various festivities throughout the year.

Innovation in Hot Cross Buns

Bakeries worldwide are putting their unique spin on Easter Buns. From inventive flavor combinations to specialty varieties, the world of Easter Buns is evolving. Explore the latest trends and discover a new favorite.

Social Media and Hot Cross Buns

Join the online community of Hot Cross Bun enthusiasts! Social media platforms are buzzing with hashtags and trends dedicated to sharing recipes, tips, and the joy of baking and enjoying Easter Buns.

Interview with a Master Baker

Gain insights from a master baker who has perfected the art of Hot Cross Bun making. Discover expert tips and tricks to elevate your baking skills and create buns that rival those of a seasoned professional.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Making Hot Cross Buns

Don’t let common pitfalls ruin your baking experience. Learn about the mistakes to avoid, from overlooking crucial steps to troubleshooting tips for common issues that may arise during the process.


In conclusion, Hot Cross Buns are more than just a delicious treat; they are a symbol of tradition, joy, and celebration. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with innovative variations, the joy of indulging in freshly baked Easter BunsHot Cross Buns is unparalleled.

FAQs About Hot Cross Buns

  1. Can I freeze Easter Buns?
    • Absolutely! To enjoy them later, freeze the buns in an airtight container and thaw when needed.
  2. What’s the significance of the cross on Easter Buns?
    • The cross represents various meanings, including religious symbolism and a traditional method of scoring the dough.
  3. Are there gluten-free options for Easter Buns?
    • Yes, many gluten-free recipes and pre-made options are available for those with dietary restrictions.
  4. Can I use different spices in Easter Buns?
    • Certainly! Experiment with spices like cardamom, nutmeg, or even a hint of ginger to add your unique touch.
  5. How do I achieve a shiny glaze on my Easter Buns?
    • Brush the buns with a warm apricot jam glaze right after baking for a glossy finish.


This article delves into the captivating world of HOT CROSS BUNS, offering a comprehensive exploration of their origins, ingredients, and cultural significance.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 7 peoples
Calories: 338kcal



  • 2 packets dry instant or rapid rise yeast, 1/2-oz. or 14 grams (just over 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk 12.6 fl. oz or 375 ml
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar (or caster sugar), divided (4.5-oz. or 130 grams)
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour or plain/all purpose (22.7-oz. or 645 grams) PLUS up to 1/4 cup extra if needed
  • 2 teaspoons all spice or mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sultanas (5.4-oz. or 155 grams)
  • zest of an orange or 2 tablespoons mixed peel
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter melted and cooled slightly (2.1-oz. or 60 grams)


  • 1/2 cup all purpose or plain flour (2.6-oz. or 75 grams)
  • 5 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 1 tbsp jam (orange marmalade or apricot jam — you can also use honey, maple syrup, agave or golden syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons boiling water


  • Place yeast, milk and 2 teaspoons of the sugar in a small bowl to activate. Set aside until frothy on top, about 3-5 minutes.
  • While yeast is activating, grab a large mixing bowl and combine flour, remaining sugar, all spice, cinnamon and salt. Give those dry ingredients a light whisk to combine, then add in the sultanas and zest.
  • Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients; pour in the yeast, cooled melted butter and egg.
  • FOR STANDMIXER: Mix until a smooth elastic dough forms, about 5 minutes on low speed (setting 2). Add extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time while mixing, ONLY if needed, until the dough JUST pulls away from sides of bowl (not too sticky).
  • BY HAND: If you don’t have a stand mixer, lightly dust a work bench with flour. Lightly oil your hands (to prevent it from sticking to your fingers), and knead dough until soft and smooth, about 10 minutes.
  • TEST DOUGH: Hold dough in your hands and pull slightly outwards. It should have a smooth top and not tear when stretched.


  • LIGHTLY oil the same mixing bowl you worked with. Place dough inside bowl, cover with plastic cling wrap and place a dry tea towel over the top. Leave in a warm place to prove for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.


  • Line a deep 9 x 13-inch (31cm x 23cm) baking tray with baking paper. You want a piece long enough to create a slight over-hang for easier lifting once baked. Set aside.
  • Remove cling wrap and punch down dough with fist to deflate and knock the air out. Transfer dough to a clean, lightly floured work surface.
  • Knead dough for an additional minute or two to get remaining air out. Shape dough into a log and divide into 12 equal pieces (each piece should weigh about 4-oz. or 116-119 grams). Briefly roll each piece into a ball, evenly spacing them out on the tray as you go into rows of 3 x 4.


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) — all ovens.
  • Cover tray with plastic wrap; place dry tea towel over the top and leave in a warm place for an additional 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.


  • Mix flour and water to a thick-ish paste (like a thick pancake batter — see photos in post).
  • Grab a sandwich-sized ziplock bag. Snip corner to measure a 3mm hole (0.1-inch). Spoon paste into bag; carefully press the air out and SEAL the top. (Test hole is big enough by squeezing out some paste into a bowl first. If you can create a small straight line, you’re ready to make your crosses. At this point you can add a little extra water to the paste ONLY IF needed).
  • Remove cling wrap and slowly pipe crosses onto buns. You want some paste to fall into and hug each roll/crevice so while they bake and rise up, the crosses don’t break).


  • Place buns into preheated oven and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until deep, golden brown on top.


  • Transfer buns to a wire cooling rack.
  • Mix jam (or honey) and boiling water together in a small bowl. Brush buns over with glaze, then leave to cool.
  • Allow to cool to just warm to the touch before serving.
  • Slice open your sticky hot cross bun, spread with butter (optional) and serve.


Calories: 338kcal

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