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Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Hot cross buns recipe is fluffy, fruity filled with spices and marked with a cross on the top.

Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Hot cross buns are traditionally consumed during Easter. Traditionally, on Good Friday people would eat hot cross buns, But for us its also a celebratory snack we eat on Easter day. Although this is an easter period essential, some countries and supermarkets sell hot cross buns all year round. I personally think that’s a mood killer. There is something about eating hot cross buns once a year and not 365 days of the year.

Alright, I have to admit that I only started to make hot cross buns at home during the COVID period. I would usually buy speciality hot cross buns from a good bakery, but in 2020 with all the restrictions in place and movement restrictions, I was not quite happy with the quality of the hot cross buns that were sold in major supermarkets, so I decided to make it at home. Oh boy let me tell you, I am never buying hot cross buns again because it was easy and super delicious and most of all, there were no nasty preservatives in them.

Traditional, Chocolate or No fruit?

Ok, my biggest question is are you a Traditional hot cross bun fan? Chocolate hot cross bun fan? or no fruit hot cross bun fan?. If you know me well, I am a traditional girl and I like my hot cross buns the traditional way.

But saying that, I also do love the chocolate hot cross buns. Now I will promise you guys that I will give the chocolate hot cross bun recipe next year, but for now, I am sure you will be satisfied with my traditional hot cross buns. I know some people don’t like the fruit in it, honestly, I don’t think it tastes the same without fruits but if you don’t like the fruits you can simply omit them.

Why do they call it hot cross buns?

For Christians, the cross represents the crucifixion of Jesus. The spices inside the buns symbolise the spices put on the body of Jesus after he died.
The buns are best served hot, hence why they received their name “Hot Cross Bun”

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Hot cross bun

What is the cross on the hot cross buns made of

It is just flour and water. It doesn’t add any taste but just a representation of the cross and appearance.

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Cross on the hot cross bun

Tips & Techniques to get soft hot cross buns

1.Add warm milk as this will speed up the rising process.
2.Activating the yeast is very important in dough recipes, activating the yeast means the yeast will froth up when mixed with sugar and water. This is a trick used to see if your yeast is good if it is an old yeast your water will not be foamy.

Activating the yeast also helps the dough rise quicker. Yeast and sugar are best friends, it needs sugar to activate. If the yeast is mixed with salt, it kills the yeast, hence why it is important to activate the yeast and let the yeast feed on the sugar before mixing it all together.
I never recommend adding the yeast directly to a dough. So always activate the yeast for better results.

How long should the dough rise?

So many people ask how long does it take to rise, the simple answer is, it depends from country to country, place to place, season to Season.
Warmer the country, place, season quicker the rise. Melbourne is quite cold most of the time so it takes me someday 3-4 hours for the first rise (When it is raining and very cold). So always go with a visual appearance, if the dough has doubled in size then the dough is ready.

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How to make hot cross buns

How to eat Hot cross buns

Usually, its best eaten warm, you can toast it and add a bit of butter on the top or you can slightly warm it in the microwave and add a dollop of butter on the top or you can simply eat it at room temperature.

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Hot cross buns with butter

How to store fresh hot cross buns

Store it in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature in a cool and dry place. But The quality is better only up to 3 days because it tends to get a bit dry after the 3rd day but it is still good toasted.

You can also check my other bread recipes

Watch how to make hot cross buns recipe

Step by Step recipe on how to make hot cross buns recipe

Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Fluffy breadrolls, filled with fruit and spices
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Servings: 6 people


  • Stand Mixer
  • Oven


  • 1 tsp Yeast (Instant dry yeast)
  • 55 g White Sugar Superfine
  • 188 g Milk Warm
  • 320 g All-purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 100 g Sultana
  • 25 g candied peel
  • 25 g Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Egg


  • 35 g Flour
  • 4-5 tbsp Water


  • 1 tbsp Jam (Strawberry, Plum)
  • 2 tsp Water
  • 1 tbsp Glucose syrup (Optional)


  • In a small bowl mix together Yeast, half of the sugar and half of the warm milk. Leave it aside for 10 minutes until it is risen
  • Use a stand mixer with the hook attachment. In the mixing bowl of the stand mixer add the flour, the yeast mixture, rest of the milk and sugar, Egg, cinnamon, allspice, salt, butter and mix well until it is well kneaded ( approx 5 min at speed 3 ).
    Some times the dough will need more flour, just add a handful of flour if needed and too sticky, but try to keep flour to the minimum, more stickier it is softer the bun will be.
    If you don't have a stand mixer you can also use your hand to knead the dough.
  • Once the dough is well kneaded and the dough is formed, finally add the sultanas and candied peel and mix further for 30 seconds until just incorporated.

Rise number 1

  • Brush a bowl with oil and place the kneaded dough inside, cover with a cling wrap or damp cloth and let it rest and double in size in a warm area.
    ( Note: it may take longer than a usual dough as it is very sticky and has a high moisture content. The resting time will depend on the humidity and temperature)
  • Once doubled in size knock the air out by punching the dough, shape it as a log and cut it into 6 equal pieces
  • Using your palm in a circular motion, make smooth balls by pressing it downwards and rotating it in one place

Rise number 2

  • Place them on a tray leaving small gaps in between and cover with an oiled cling wrap ( apply oil to the cling wrap to avoid it from sticking to the dough). Let it rise for the second time in a warm area until doubled in size ( you don't need to leave it for a long time, this will take half the amount of time it took for the first rise )
    You want the dough to be touching each other, so don't leave too much of a gap

Crosses for the bun

  • Mix the flour and water in a bowl using a spoon, pour the mixture into a piping bag or a freezer bag. The consistency of the paste should be a thick runny paste. Not too runny.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, pipe crosses across the buns just before baking in the oven. Pipe the crosses slowly across the buns
  • Preheat oven to 180 Degrees (conventional)
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes in the middle rack of the oven until the top has a beautiful golden brown colour


  • In a small bowl mix the jam, water and glucose syrup ( optional) with a spoon and microwave for 20 seconds. Mix to combine.
  • Once it comes out of the oven, place the buns on a cooling rack. Brush with the glaze mixture on the top of the buns while it is hot. Let it cool down
    It is important to cool the buns down, as the buns will be a bit hard when it comes out of the oven.


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