The Best Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Hot Cross Buns Being quite popular worldwide, have been around for centuries and have to be one of my favorite things to eat next to chocolate. I love making these once a year in preparation for Easter. It’s a great time to celebrate the warmer spring weather and today I’m going to show you how to make your very own hot cross buns.

Before we Begin let me tell you a little history about hot cross buns they’ve been around for many many centuries, even before Jesus Christ. They were baked to celebrate the pagan God Eostre, The goddess of dawn and fertility.

Some people say the cross on top of the buns represent the intersection of the earth. Horizontally across represents heaven and vertically represents the human divine.

In 1592, Elizabeth the 1st, finding them to popular banned them from consumption except on specific holidays. Can you imagine? Thank goodness that rule no longer exists!

It was also said that if you took a bun to sea, it would prevent shipwreck. I’m not sure if that’s because you had something to eat therefore you weren’t starving and you wouldn’t wreck the ship into an iceberg or something. Maybe, it was it because of the cross on the top and you believed that the bun was blessed and had protective abilities from God.

If you take a bun and split it in half and you keep half for you and give half to your friend, it meant a very long friendship would incur. The saying goes: half for you and half for me between us both goodwill shall be.

Apparently, If you hang a hot cross bun in your kitchen and keep it for an entire year it is said to bring good luck to your household.

A bun baked on good Friday will never decay. It is also said, whoever keeps a hot cross bun in their possession for an entire year will get married the very next year.

The cross on top of the hot cross buns is said to represent the 4 quarters of the moon or the intersection of the earth. Horizontally across for heaven and vertically for the human divine.

Do you remember the song? Hot cross buns, Hot Cross Buns one a penny two a penny Hot Cross Buns! Such an old song! I can’t remember all the words but it goes to the same rhythm as three blind mice!

Now you’ve had yourself a little history lesson, I will get on with the recipe. Watch me make these delicious hot cross buns in the video tutorials below. Its quite the process, therefore I created 4 separate videos.

Part two below features the punching of the dough and the cutting of the hot cross buns.

Part three below. Brushing on the egg wash and making the sign of the cross.

And lastly the making of the frosting and piping the cross on top of the buns.

I sure hope you enjoyed those videos. This is absolutely a tried and true recipe for hot cross buns! In order to make these delicious hot cross buns you will need:

  • one cup of fresh milk
  • One package of instant quick rise yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups of all purpose flour plus another half to three-quarter for needing
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 5 tablespoons of real butter
  • One large egg plus one for egg wash
  • 1/3 cup of dried fruit peel
  • 1/3 cup of currents or raisins

For The Frosting:

  • 1 tablespoon of milk
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar also known as icing sugar


Heat one cup of milk over medium heat until lukewarm, add butter and stir to melt. Remove from heat and when butter is melted, add your egg. ( make sure the milk isn’t too hot you don’t want to kill your yeast or cook your egg)

Next combine 3 1/4 cup of flour with sugar spices salt and your instant quick rice yeast. Mix well. If you are using traditional yeast, proof first and when foamy add to the milk mixture.

After whisking the flour and dry ingredients together add your dry fruit peel along with your currents or raisins.

When mixed Together it will form a ball. Place this ball of dough out onto a floured surface.(this is where your extra flour comes in handy)

Knead for 3 to 5 minutes then, when all you’re kneading is done place face down in an oiled bowl turn it around, cover with a tea towel and place in a warm place for another hour or so or until doubled in size or just about.

When doubled in size punch down and cut into 12 equal size pieces. Form each piece into a ball and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet about an inch or so away from each other.

Cover and return to a warm area for about another half hour maybe 45 minutes, remove and make an egg wash by mixing an egg with 2 tablespoons of water.

Brush the top of each bun with the egg mixture and then with a sharp knife or blade make an X on top of each bun.

Place buns in a preheated 400° oven and bake for about 15 minutes maybe 17 depending on your oven.

For the glaze combine milk and icing sugar and simply pipe an X on top of each bun and enjoy!

moments after piping the X

As usual I will share a couple of links the first is the disposable piping bags find them here:

The currents were Our Compliments brand find them here:

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Categories Breads & Rolls, Julie’s FavoritesTags , , ,

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