We always follow the Good Friday tradition of eating hot cross buns to represent Jesus on the cross. My father began bread making in his 30s and proudly produced a batch of hot cross buns every Good Friday. Ever since it’s a tradition I followed with my own family.

Homemade hot cross buns are delicious fresh out of the oven, full of fruit and spices, and best spread with melted butter. Try to make your own at home with this easy overnight recipe.

Hot cross buns overnight recipe



For the dough

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tsp active yeast
  • 3 ½ cups high-grade flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • 3 ½ tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup currants
  • ½ cup mixed peel

For the crosses

  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp cold water

For the glaze

  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk


  1. Warm the milk slightly in a small saucepan then sprinkle the yeast over and set aside for 12 minutes to prove.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and mixed spice and then lightly rub the flour and butter together with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Once done, make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the yeast mixture and beaten eggs. Beat until smooth with a wooden spoon or an electric hand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  4. Add the currants and mixed peel then stir to combine. At this stage, the dough should be sticky.
  5. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and proving lid (dinner plate or baking tray) and then pop in the fridge to rise overnight.

Note: It’s always best to prepare the dough on the night of Good Thursday so it would be easier to bake fresh buns the next morning.

The next day

  1. Grease the lamington pan.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead it lightly. When done, divide the dough into 16 portions and roll each into a ball.
  3. Place the balls in the greased lamington pan about 1cm apart, cover with a large tea towel, then leave on the bench for about 45 minutes to rise.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200C and then prepare the crosses by combining flour and water in a bowl to make a soft batter. After that, use a piping bag pipe the crosses onto the buns.
  5. Place hot cross buns in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until they are well risen and golden brown.
  6. To make the glaze: Add sugar and milk to a small saucepan then place over low heat. Simmer until sugar is dissolved and cook for two to three minutes. Brush the glaze over buns after they are cooked and still warm.

Note: If you substitute gluten-free flour in this bread recipe, ensure to add 1 tsp of xanthan gum.

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Hot Cross Buns Overnight Recipe
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18 Replies to “Hot Cross Buns Overnight Recipe”

  1. The hot cross bun recipe says that you need “3 brown sugar” but not what size – i.e. tablespoons, teaspoons, cups?? Can you clarify this, please?

    1. Hi Ellie,

      Recipe has now been amended to show 3 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar is required.

      Thank you

  2. Recipe looks good, but there’s a problem… 3 what? of brown sugar – teaspoons or tablespoons?

  3. Hi, I would like to try to make gluten free buns, can I substitute a blended gf flour, or is the type of flour used important to the way the mix works.

    1. Hi Cynthia,

      If you substitute gluten free flour in bread baking recipes add 1 tsp of xanthan gum.

      Let us know how your Gluten free Hot Cross buns turn out

      Thank you

    1. Hi Brian, The recipe calls for 3 Tbsp of Brown Sugar, Happy Easter and enjoy your homemade Hot Cross buns

  4. Hot cross buns are not representative of Jesus death on the cross but it is a tradition brought down through pagan Rome for the moon goddess Ishtar which was introduced into Christianity a few years after Jesus death & resurrection. Aside from that yes the buns are delicious I like them very much

  5. Hi, can you clarify what you mean by “high grade flour” – is that plain, “00”, cake flour …?
    Many thanks

    1. Hi Kim,
      High grade flour contains a good amount of gluten that is ideal for bread baking. You can use bread flour as a substitute if high grade flour is not available. Happy baking!

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