Easter Hot Cross Buns

This page may contain affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission for purchases made using the links. There is no additional cost to you. Please read our full disclosure policy.

Easter hot cross buns are traditionally eaten during the Easter season in many Christian countries, although there's really no excuse needed to enjoy these sweet, spiced and fruity buns. Toasted with butter, these buns pair perfectly with your morning coffee or afternoon tea.

Easter Hot Cross Buns

The Saxons used to eat crossed buns to honour Eostre, a West Germanic spring goddess, and they would celebrate in April. For Eostre, goddess of the dawn and fertility, the cross symbolised the four quarters of the moon. This tradition may have been the precursor to Easter hot cross buns.

Hot Cross Buns

Whatever you choose to associate hot cross buns with, there's no denying their allure and irresistibility. I always make several large batches of buns throughout the Easter period, as it takes extreme willpower to stop at just one!

Hot Cross Buns

Easter hot cross buns typically contain a blend of spices and a mix of dried fruit. These are completely customisable to your preferences; popular dried fruit options include raisins, sultanas, dried apricots or mixed peel.

Keep your Easter hot cross buns fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, assuming they last that long!

Hot Cross Buns

Here's what you'll need to make these Easter hot cross buns:
(Click here to jump straight to the recipe)

For the buns
75g dried figs, chopped
75g dried cranberries
7g sachet of easy bake yeast
40g caster sugar
250ml milk
30g unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (or seeds from 6 pods)
1/4 tsp salt
Zest of 1 large orange
1 large egg, beaten

For the crosses
50g plain flour
1 egg, beaten

And here's what you'll need to do:

  • Chop and soak the dried fruit in some filtered water whilst you prepare the other things.
  • Lightly grease a large bowl, and set it aside until needed. Weigh the sugar into a small bowl.
  • If using cardamom pods, empty the seeds from their shells, and grind them into a fine powder.
  • Proof the yeast by pouring 50ml of the milk into a bowl and warming it slightly in the microwave - it should not be hot, just lukewarm. Add in a teaspoon of the sugar and the sachet of yeast, and mix together. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes until it starts to bubble and froth.
  • Put the flour, spices, salt, orange zest and the rest of the sugar together in a separate large mixing bowl. Stir to combine with a wooden spoon.
  • Meanwhile, put the butter in a small saucepan, and warm gently over medium low heat. When it is melted, add the remaining 200ml of milk and the vanilla extract. Continue heating and swirl until the mixture is combined and the milk is warm. Don't let the mixture get hot.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Add the warmed milk mixture, the yeast mixture and the beaten egg.
  • Stir gently in one direction with a wooden spoon until it starts to come together.
  • Then, using either your hands or the dough hook attachment of an electric mixer, knead the mixture continuously until a smooth and elastic dough forms. This could take up to 15 minutes or so by hand, and you may wish to continue the kneading on a lightly floured surface.
  • One the dough is smooth, soft and elastic, drain the fruit and fold it into the dough until it is evenly distributed.
  • If you've used an electric mixer, sprinkle your hands and work surface with some flour to combat the stickiness, and transfer the dough to your surface to evenly distribute the fruit.
  • Shape the dough into a smooth ball, and transfer it to the greased bowl.
  • Cover and set it aside to rise until at least double in size, about an hour. If your kitchen is on the cool side (as mine frequently is in early Spring!), you can pop the bowl into a slightly warmed oven to encourage rising. (I have a fan oven and put the dough in at about 30C, it always does the trick).
  • Meanwhile, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Put the risen dough back onto your work surface, and divide into 18 roughly equal portions.
  • Roll each into a smooth ball, and arrange into two circles on your lined baking sheet, six in the inner circle, and 12 in the outer circle. Cover and set aside again until roughly doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 190 C (375F) / 170C Fan.
  • Prepare the mixture for the crosses by putting the flour into a small bowl. Mix in 1 Tbsp of water at a time, making sure each is absorbed before adding the next, until a thick and smooth paste forms.
  • Beat the egg in a separate bowl, and brush the egg wash onto the risen dough balls using a pastry brush. 
  • Put the flour mixture into a piping bag or plastic bag with corner snipped off, and pipe crosses onto the dough balls.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes until golden.
  • Remove the buns from the oven, cool slightly, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Enjoy your Easter hot cross buns fresh from the oven, or toasted, with butter.
Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns

Easter Hot Cross Buns

By

Easter Hot Cross Buns

These sweet, spiced and fruity Easter hot cross buns are simply irresistible!

Prep Time: 45 minutes plus time for dough to rise
Cook time: 17 minutes
Yield: 18
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Modern European
Tags: Spiced Buns, Baking

Ingredients

For the buns
75g dried figs, chopped
75g dried cranberries
7g sachet of easy bake yeast
40g caster sugar
250ml milk
30g unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (or seeds from 6 pods)
1/4 tsp salt
Zest of 1 large orange
1 large egg, beaten

For the crosses
50g plain flour
1 egg, beaten

Method

  1. Chop and soak the dried fruit in some filtered water whilst you prepare the other things.
  2. Lightly grease a large bowl, and set it aside until needed. Weigh the sugar into a small bowl.
  3. If using cardamom pods, empty the seeds from their shells, and grind them into a fine powder.
  4. Proof the yeast by pouring 50ml of the milk into a bowl and warming it slightly in the microwave - it should not be hot, just lukewarm. Add in a teaspoon of the sugar and the sachet of yeast, and mix together. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes until it starts to bubble and froth.
  5. Put the flour, spices, salt, orange zest and the rest of the sugar together in a separate large mixing bowl. Stir to combine with a wooden spoon.
  6. Meanwhile, put the butter in a small saucepan, and warm gently over medium low heat. When it is melted, add the remaining 200ml of milk and the vanilla extract. Continue heating and swirl until the mixture is combined and the milk is warm. Don't let the mixture get hot.
  7. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Add the warmed milk mixture, the yeast mixture and the beaten egg.
  8. Stir gently in one direction with a wooden spoon until it starts to come together.
  9. Then, using either your hands or the dough hook attachment of an electric mixer, knead the mixture continuously until a smooth and elastic dough forms. This could take up to 15 minutes or so by hand, and you may wish to continue the kneading on a lightly floured surface.
  10. One the dough is smooth, soft and elastic, drain the fruit and fold it into the dough until it is evenly distributed.
  11. If you've used an electric mixer, sprinkle your hands and work surface with some flour to combat the stickiness, and transfer the dough to your surface to evenly distribute the fruit.
  12. Shape the dough into a smooth ball, and transfer it to the greased bowl.
  13. Cover and set it aside to rise until at least double in size, about an hour. If your kitchen is on the cool side (as mine frequently is in early Spring!), you can pop the bowl into a slightly warmed oven to encourage rising. (I have a fan oven and put the dough in at about 30C, it always does the trick).
  14. Meanwhile, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  15. Put the risen dough back onto your work surface, and divide into 18 roughly equal portions.
  16. Roll each into a smooth ball, and arrange into two circles on your lined baking sheet, six in the inner circle, and 12 in the outer circle. Cover and set aside again until roughly doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  17. Preheat the oven to 190 C (375F) / 170C Fan.
  18. Prepare the mixture for the crosses by putting the flour into a small bowl. Mix in 1 Tbsp of water at a time, making sure each is absorbed before adding the next, until a thick and smooth paste forms.
  19. Beat the egg in a separate bowl, and brush the egg wash onto the risen dough balls using a pastry brush.
  20. Put the flour mixture into a piping bag or plastic bag with corner snipped off, and pipe crosses onto the dough balls.
  21. Bake in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes until golden.
  22. Remove the buns from the oven, cool slightly, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  23. Enjoy your Easter hot cross buns fresh from the oven, or toasted, with butter.

Other Pages You May Like

  • This chunky granola recipe is healthy and super easy to make, you'll never want to go back to shop bought varieties again.

    Chunky Granola Recipe

    This chunky granola recipe is healthy and super easy to make, you'll never want to go back to shop bought varieties again.

  • This mini vanilla cupcake recipe is quick and easy to make, perfect for when you want to add just a bite of sweetness to your life.

    Mini Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

    This mini vanilla cupcake recipe is quick and easy to make, perfect for when you want to add just a bite of sweetness to your life.

  • This easy French apple tart really is quick to make whilst still looking beautiful and tasting delicious.

    Easy French Apple Tart

    This easy French apple tart really is quick to make whilst still looking beautiful and tasting delicious.

What's on your mind?

Let us know any thoughts, comments or questions by getting in touch here.


Back to the Top!