Hot cross buns coming your way!

With a rich history as a food offering to the Saxon goddess and a symbol for crucifixion, hot cross buns are a favourite food for the Easter Holidays. Such is their popularity that, this year, supermarket chains have been selling them as early as January.

These spiced, fruited buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, the day in which they wouldn’t go mouldy, according to superstitions. They’re also hung as good luck charms or, as some would have it, enjoyed served with lashings of butter and complimented with tea.

This recipe makes light and fluffy hot cross buns. They also freeze well, good for when you want to reserve them for later.

Hot Cross Buns


15 buns


30 Minutes


15 Minutes


  • 300 ml full-fat milk
  • 50 g butter
  • 500 g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 7 g sachet fast-action/easy-blend yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 75 g sultanas
  • 50 g mixed peel
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 75 g plain flour
  • 50 ml water
  • 50 ml sugar


  1. Bring the milk to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat and add the butter.
  3. Allow to cool until it reaches hand temperature.
  4. In a bowl, add flour, salt, sugar and yeast.
  5. Make a well in the centre, and then pour in the milk mixture and add the egg.
  6. Mix well using a wooden spoon; then, using your hands, mix until it forms a sticky dough.
  7. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for around 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
  8. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling film.
  9. Set aside in warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  10. Tip in the sultanas, mixed peel, zest, apple and mixed spice and knead into the dough, distributing the ingredients well.
  11. Cover with oiled cling film and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  12. Divide the dough into 15 even portions and, on a lightly floured work surface, shape each piece into a ball.
  13. Arrange the buns onto a lined tray, with enough space for the buns to expand.
  14. Cover with oiled cling film or a clean tea towel and set aside for an additional hour.
  15. Preheat oven to 220C.
  16. For the flour paste: Mix the flour with about 5 tbsp water, adding a tablespoon at a time to make a thick paste.
  17. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe the flour paste over the buns to make crosses.
  18. Bake the buns for 15 min in the middle shelf of the oven, or until golden brown.
  19. For the glaze: Add water and sugar in a saucepan and heat until dissolved.
  20. Brush over the warm buns and allow to cool.
  21. Serve the hot cross buns warm or at room temperature.

What other foods do you make during the Easter holidays?

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