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April 7, 2012

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Bun

Every Easter my mother used to make hot cross buns. I remember them being delicious and much better than the purchased ones. This year I decided to try making my own. They turned out quite well although it was a very labor intensive business.

Here’s the recipe I used, which comes from one of New Zealand’s famous cooks, Alison Holst. The recipe is divided into four parts.

Part One

1 cup (250 ml/8 fl oz) milk

1/2 cup (125 ml/4 fl oz) hot water

2 Tablespoon sugar

1 Tablespoon dried yeast granules

2 cups (250 g/9 oz) flour

Measure the milk, hot water, and sugar into a bowl. Warm to blood temperature if necessary, then sprinkle the yeast granules on top. Mix together. Stir in the flour, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place.

Part Two

100 g (3 1/2 oz) butter

1/2 cup (100 g/ 3 1/2 oz) soft brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 Tablespoon mixed spice

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 cup mixed dried fruit – sultanas, currents, peel, dried cranberries

2 – 3 cups (250 – 375 g/9 – 13 oz) flour

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the mixed spice, nutmeg, vanilla and egg. Once mixed add the dried fruit. When the yeast mixture has doubled in size add it to the creamed butter mix. Add the two – three cups of flour. (You might not need all of this flour. My mixture needed all of the flour). Mix well and tip out onto a floured board. Knead the dough. At first it will be sticky and difficult to work with. Add a little flour if necessary and knead until silky and it springs back if pushed with a finger.

Cut into four then cut each quarter into six. Shape each piece into a ball and place on a greased tray or piece of baking paper. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to let the buns rise to twice their original size. This will take from 15 – 45 minutes.

Part Three

60 g (2 oz) cold butter

1 cup (125 g/4 1/2 oz) flour


milk or beaten egg

Rub the butter into the flour and add enough water to make a stiff dough. Roll out thinly on a floured board, and cut into strips to make crosses for the tops of the buns. Brush the buns with milk or beaten egg then lie the crosses over the buns.

Bake the buns uncovered at 225 C (435 F) for 10 – 12 minutes until lightly browned.

Part Four

Warm 2 Tablespoon golden syrup and 1 Tablespoon water and brush over the top of the buns as soon as they are taken from the oven. Leave for 3 – 5 minutes and enjoy!

Do you enjoy hot cross buns? Have you tried making them?

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  1. Mary Kirkland

    I haven’t made these particular type of buns but I have a bread machine that can make me cinnamon roll dough in about 1 1/2 hours, that after it’s done all I have to do is roll it out, stuff it with butter, cinnamon and sugar..roll it up, cut it, let it rise and bake. They come out really good and i wouldn’t be able to make them without that bread machine.

    • Shelley Munro

      I’m a fan of cinnamon buns. I always manage to eat one or two when I visit the US.

  2. Maria Zannini

    I’ve never made them, but I think I might surprise hubby this Easter and make some for breakfast.


    • Shelley Munro

      I thought they were time consuming, but I do like to do things by hand o I shouldn’t complain!

  3. Sheilagh Lee

    I made some of these Friday.My mother made them ever Easter and I felt the need to make them myself.They are very good:)

    • Shelley Munro

      Hi Sheilagh,

      Mine were very delicious too :)

  4. Beth F

    This sounds great. I have made lots of yeasted buns but for some reason not hot cross buns. I’m going to give your recipe a try, but not for a while since I baked sweets last week.

    • Shelley Munro

      My husband is actually the expert with yeast and bread making. He makes delicious foccacia bread.

  5. Kristabel Reed

    I tried them for the first time a week or so ago. They were delicious! BUT so labor intensive I may never make them again. Seriously, I’m all about buying rolls. Though now that I think about it, I might buy the rolls then add bits to them–like dried cranberries. And that delicious icing. Yes, I can see a new project here!

    • Shelley Munro

      LOL – that works for me. I add cranberries to everything.

  6. Libby

    Shelley – These look great!! I remember we used to get these when I was a kid! Happy Easter :)

    • Shelley Munro

      Hi Libby,

      We used to have them as kids. It’s not easter without a hot cross bun or two.

  7. Rhiannon

    I hear you on the involved baking. I made a highly complex Carrot Cake. Delicious but only made once a year for a reason!
    You’re buns look delightful, I’ll have to give them a try.

    • Shelley Munro

      Rhiannon – your carrot cakes looked delicious. I’m a real fan of carrot cake.

  8. heidenkind

    I have never had hot cross buns, but I know someone who’s obsessed with them. I will have to tell her about this post!

    • Shelley Munro

      You’ll have to try some one year. :)

    • Shelley Munro

      Thanks for stopping by, Carole :)

  9. Uniflame

    I never had these. I have been wanting to make them forever though. But somehow I never get around to it.

    • Shelley Munro

      Home made ones are much nicer than the ones from the supermarket. I hope you get to try them one day.