Every year, I looked forward to hot cross buns recipe being shared at church potlucks. While it wasn’t a recipe my mom made, it was one that I personally enjoyed and knew I would one day have to make for myself. This variation of the classic Easter treat is a new favorite easy method. Whether you consider these as a side to your Easter meal or a special breakfast treat doesn’t matter. They are always delicious!
Hot Cross Buns Recipe
This recipe is one that is typically handed down generation to generation. While it is one I enjoy, it is, in fact, one I didn’t grow up having at my own Easter table. Instead, it was a recipe that others at church or in friend groups shared. So, I didn’t have that first-hand knowledge of how to make it but did enjoy eating them.
In stepped the wonderful world of friends sharing their favorite recipes and my research online and in cookbooks. I knew the hot cross bun was one I would have to conquer. The result is this great classic recipe that I am sure will now become a family treasure for you and your family.
What are Hot Cross Buns
A sweet yeast roll, they are typically filled with dried fruits and a variety of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. The distinctive trait of these comes in the classic white glaze cross design over the top of each bun.
Think of them as an upgrade on a regular yeast dinner roll with a sweet twist. I’ve had them with currants, raisins, and even some candied orange peel. You can choose any dried fruit you prefer for this recipe, but these are the classics I prefer.
When Do You Eat Hot Cross Buns?
Traditionally, these are eaten at the end of Lent. Since this recipe is filled with dairy products that are often forbidden during Lent, it’s a great way to break that fast and enjoy an exceptionally delicious treat.
Of course, while these are most commonly served on Easter at the end of Lent, you can truly eat them any time of year. In fact, I’ve been known to whip these up for a special Sunday dinner or for any other holiday gathering. They are just that good!
Do I Have to Add Raisins?
No! You don’t have to add raisins if you don’t care for them. As mentioned, you can use currants, candied citrus, or any other dried fruit you prefer. I have seen some of these without any fruit, and that works too! Just make them the way you prefer and enjoy!
My favorites are to combined candied orange peel and a light orange glaze. It feels like an even more upgraded choice and it really presents beautifully if you are serving to guests.
- Golden raisins
- Powdered sugar
- Lemon juice
How to Make Hot Cross Buns Dough
Start by getting your yeast starter ready by adding warm milk, sugar, and yeast into a small bowl then set it aside until the yeast has bloomed.
Add raisins to a bowl of boiling water to soften and set aside;
While the yeast is prepping, you will combine sugar, butter, salt, and more milk together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Combine until the butter has melted and the sugar is all dissolved.
Now, take your yeast mixture, and beat in the eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves until combined.
Next, you start adding in the flour. If using a stand mixer, you will use a dough hook to mix this in and continue adding the flour slowly until a soft dough forms.
You can continue using the dough hook to knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, or you can put onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand if you prefer.
Once the dough is smooth, you will drain the raisins, then mix them into the dough.
Coat a large bowl with butter or oil, and then place the dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap, or a damp towel.
Let your dough rise until doubled.
How to Prepare Hot Cross Buns
When the dough has doubled in volume, you will put cut it into 12 equal pieces. I do this while still in the bowl, but you can turn it out onto a floured surface.
Now, you will butter or grease a baking pan (9×13 works good).
Once you have your dough cut into portions, you can then roll each section into a ball. Place them into the pan and cover with plastic wrap or the damp towel again.
Preheat your oven to 375˚F and let the rolls sit for about half an hour or until they have started rising again and the oven is ready.
In a small bowl, beat together one egg and a bit of water to create a simple egg wash.
Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash, then put them into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until they have turned golden brown on top.
While the hot cross buns are cooling, you can make a simple glaze. I use powdered sugar, water, and a bit of lemon juice. Mix this together to a slightly thick consistency. Now, use a piping bag to make crosses with it on top of each bun.
Hot Cross Bun Dough
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3/4 cup milk, warmed
- 2/3 cup sugar + 1 tsp
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 package active yeast
- 2 eggs
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp water
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp milk or water
- Bloom your yeast in a small bowl by combining 1/4 cup warm milk, 1 tsp sugar, and yeast then set aside;
- Pour the raisins into a bowl with boiling water to soften and set aside;
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the rest of the sugar, butter, salt, and remaining milk and mix together until the butter has melted and the sugar is dissolved.
- Combine the yeast mixture with 2 beaten eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger until combined;
- Next, you will add the egg and yeast mixture into the butter and sugar mixture, and mix;
- Start adding flour in a little at a time until a soft dough begins to form;
- Using the dough hook of your stand mixer, continue kneading the dough for around 10 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic. If you need to do this by hand, simply pour onto a lightly floured surface and knead folding over itself and turning 1/4 every time for about 10 minutes;
- Once the dough is ready, you will drain the raisins, and mix into the dough;
- Now, you will put the dough ball into a well-buttered or oiled large bowl, and cover with a damp towel then let it rise until doubled in size (usually around 2 hours);
- Once the dough has doubled, you will divide it into 12 equal parts;
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F and butter or grease your baking pan (9"x13");
- Place the rolls into the baking pan, and set aside to rise again for around 25-30 minutes;
- While they are rising, whisk together one egg with a bit of water for an egg wash, and just before putting into the oven, brush this egg wash over the buns;
- Once risen, bake the buns for 15 minutes or until a nice golden brown on top;
- While the buns are baking, mix together the powdered sugar, milk, and lemon juice to form a thick glaze, add more or less liquid as desired for the preferred consistency, then put this glaze into a piping bag and set aside;
- Remove the buns from the oven and allow to cool before adding glaze in a cross shape across the top of each one;
- Now they are ready to serve!
Feel free to add different spices for your preferences. Cinnamon and nutmeg are classic, but the addition of ginger and cloves really brings out the flavor of the raisins.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 252Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 157mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 7g
Don’t miss these other Easter recipes:
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- White Chocolate Easter Bunny Treats
- Easter Bunny Banana Bread Recipe
- Carrot Cake Pizza for Easter
- Easter Bunny Cake Recipe
- Carrot Cake Cookies Recipe