Hot Cross Buns Recipe

A Classic, Spicy Easter Treat

Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Years ago, I used to buy hot cross buns from a local bakery. They were so tender and delicious, it was hard to resist, but the problem was that at almost $1 a roll, they also became an expensive habit. Not to be outdone, I experimented and searched until I found a recipe that allowed me to make a comparable batch at home. These rise up sweet and delicious, ready to be served with your Easter ham or while the kids are hunting for chocolate eggs. 


1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup warm water

1 package dry yeast (or 1 tbsp)

3 1/2 cups flour 

Tip: I think it's best to keep about 1/2 c to 3/4 c of the flour aside, just adding it in as you stir/knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.

2 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cloves

3/4 cup warm milk

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup dried currants (or raisins)

1/4 cup chopped mixed candied peel (I don't like peel, so I sometimes throw in a bit of extra raisins instead.)


2 tbsp sugar mixed with 2 tbsp water


1/2 cup icing sugar

2 tsps water

  Dissolve 1 tbsp of the sugar in warm water, and add the yeast. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, giving the yeast enough time to foam and bubble. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the warm milk, melted butter, and eggs. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the milk mixture in. Add the yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.

If you don't have active dry yeast, but instead have instant yeast, add the dry yeast to the flour mixture, and the warm water to the milk mixture. Just blend wet and dry ingredients as above and proceed as usual.

  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for about 8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Rub butter all over the inside of a large, clean bowl and put the dough inside, turning to grease all over. Cover it with plastic wrap and set inside the oven, with the light turned on, for 1 hour. This will keep it nice and warm. The dough should double in size.

  Take the dough out and on a lightly floured counter, punch it down and knead in the raisins/currants/peel. Shape into a log and pinch off about 12-15 pieces, shaping and stretching until each one is shaped like a ball. Place in a greased 9x13 inch metal cake pan. Cover with a clean tea towel and return to the oven, with the light turned on, to keep the dough warm.

  Let rise for 35 minutes.

  Remove them from the oven and turn it ON to preheat to 400F. When ready, bake the buns for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

  After you remove the buns from the oven, prepare the glaze by dissolving the sugar in water over medium heat. Brush over hot buns. Allow the buns to cool completely.

  When the buns are cool, mix the icing sugar and water together in a bowl. Spoon into a ziplock baggie, snip one end, and pipe icing in an x shape on top of each bun.

Makes 12-15 buns

She may go by the name Scatteredmom online, but Karen really is anything but scattered when it comes to the kitchen.  Churning out tasty treats within view of the Georgia Strait on Canada's west coast, Karen will hand you an organized weekly meal plan or teach you how to make meals from scratch.  As Mom to a teenage boy, she knows exactly what it takes to keep kids full and happy-which has really come in handy with her job as the Food Editor at Yummy Mummy Club.

A strong supporter of Food Revolution who has been endorsed by Jamie Oliver himself, by day Karen can be found working as a special education teaching assistant, running a kitchen and showing teenagers how to cook nutritious meals for themselves.  By night, when she's not chatting on Twitter and answering cooking questions,  she writes her popular blog Notes From the Cookie Jar, or posting mouthwatering recipes over at Chasing Tomatoes.  Not afraid to give her opinion and passionate about community, Karen spoke at Blissdom Canada 2010 and her writing has been published in Canadian Living magazine, as well as in various online publications. 

Follow Karen on Twitter @scatteredmom