The Best Hot Cross Buns Recipes

Everyone’s favorite Easter treat is hot cross buns! You can’t go wrong with our basic hot cross bun recipe, toasted and smeared in butter, but we have plenty of suggestions if you want something different. There are plenty of ways to celebrate this crowd-pleasing Easter dish, including hot cross scones, an orange hot cross bun loaf, spiced fudge, fudgy brownies, and more.

What are Hot Cross Buns?

Hot cross buns have a long and illustrious history that dates back to the 12th century. They’re yeasted sweet buns with spices and various fruits like currants, raisins, and candied citrus. The crucifix is represented by a white cross, either etched into the dough or marked on top with icing. Hot cross buns are a traditional Easter treat that is usually consumed on Good Friday.

We’ve been creating these for years, and I’d want to share our version with you today. We’ve always preferred Mary Berry’s hot cross bun recipe if you’re searching for a more classic hot cross bun recipe with less sugar, candied peel, and lemon.

Top Recipes for Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns with Cheese and Chili

Hot cross buns with cheese and chili open a new world of savory eating around Easter. This Easter weekend, serve them warm with plenty of salted butter.

Split the hot cross buns and toast each side, buttering generously. Place each bun on a dish, toasted side up, and spread with a little marmalade.

Trifle with Earl Grey Tea and Orange Hot Cross Buns

This boozy Easter hot cross bun trifle with cream, custard, and lemon curd is a great way to eliminate any leftover hot cross buns. It’s a terrific addition to an Easter lunch menu.

It’s a little sweet, a little tart, and a little herbal. Fluffy and soft Hot Cross Buns with sour cherries, oranges, and Earl Grey are ideal for Easter.

Hot Cross Buns with Prunes and Oranges by Peter Sidwell

There’s nothing quite like a toasted hot cross bun smeared with butter. The combination of California Prunes’ rich flavor and smooth texture with the zing of candied orange is delicious. We tweaked TV chef Peter Sidwell’s recipe by adding a little sugar and butter.

Toasties with Hot Cross Cheese and Bacon

Start Easter with these delicious hot cross bun toasties topped with cheese and bacon. They’ll be gone in only a few bites, which is a fantastic way to use up any leftover hot cross buns.

Drain the bacon on paper towels after it has been fried till golden and crispy. Cut the hot cross buns in half and set them on a baking tray.

Loaf of Hot Cross Buns

Saffron is used to flavoring Debbie Major’s hot cross bun loaf. For a delectable Easter weekend treat, serve with clotted cream.

Hot Cross Bun Loaf Heat milk with 125ml (4fl oz) water in a small saucepan until little bubbles develop around the inside edge of the pan.

Scones with a Hot Cross

The moist, crumbly texture of homemade scones is combined with the sweet, spicy flavors of hot cross buns in this hot cross scones recipe. Quick, simple, and delicious.

For the flakiest scones, start with cold ingredients — cold butter, eggs, and cold cream. Using cold ingredients, similar to creating pie crust, stops the butter from melting before the scones are baked, allowing it to melt in the oven and result in a super-flaky result.

Hot Cross Buns with Golden Saffron

Dan Lepard’s saffron hot cross buns have undertones of vanilla and orange in their aroma. Dan’s expert advice makes this a simple Easter dish to follow.

It may seem absurd to expect any leftovers from this recipe, but if you do, learn how to use leftover hot cross buns.

Who Came Up with the Idea for the Hot Cross Bun?

Thomas Rocliffe, a 14th-century monk, is commonly credited with inventing the hot cross bun. Given the simplicity of his medieval recipe, he may have objected to later additions to his original creation.

The Alban Bun was invented by Brother Rocliffe in 1361, even though the Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Saxons all baked a form of the bun to commemorate the changing seasons.

On Good Friday, the buns were presented to the local poor as a delicious, fruity bake with a cross. The beneficiaries were so thrilled with this Easter to treat that word quickly spread, and attempts were made across the country to replicate it. Hot cross buns were often consumed on Good Friday in the nineteenth century to commemorate the end of Lent.

What’s the Difference Between an Alban Bun and a Hot Cross Bun?

The cross – which represents the crucifixion, of course – is carved into the top of the bun with a knife rather than being piped on with flour paste, distinguishing the Alban bun from its replacement, the hot cross bun. The Alban bun’s original recipe is a jealously guarded secret, although the primary ingredients are flour, eggs, yeast, currants, and spices.

Alban buns are now prepared at Redbournbury Watermill, a local bakery that follows Brother Rocliffe’s original recipe. They are, however, limited edition: the mill only makes Alban and hot cross buns during Lent and Holy Week.

“We feel it’s important to follow these traditions,” says Steven Mansbridge, master baker at Redbournbury. “We still use their secret recipe to prepare the Alban buns for the church.” The cathedral and the mill have a special relationship. It’s lovely to have restored this relationship with the mill, originally owned by the cathedral.”

What’s the Deal with My Hot Cross Buns Being So Heavy?

Several reasons your hot cross buns may be hefty or even hard. The following are the most common reasons:

An electric mixer with a dough hook makes you more prone to over-knead the dough. If you over-knead the dough, the glutens will break down, and the buns will become hard.

Under-kneading — Dough that has been under-kneaded will not rise correctly. This is because kneading builds the dough’s structure by folding and stretching the gluten glands until they form a network to trap air bubbles created by yeast as it feeds on the flour.

Milk is too hot — if the milk is too hot, the yeast will die. Make sure the milk is warm rather than heated.

If your yeast is dead, whether fresh or dried, there is nothing you can do to bring it back to life. A helpful article on how to identify if your yeast is dead or dying may be found here. Expiration dates aren’t always accurate.

Hot Cross Buns: 7 Interesting Facts

  • The crucifixion of Jesus is thought to be symbolized by the cross on top of the bun. The Saxons manufactured small loaves featuring a cross. Therefore this could be a recent rendition. The four seasons were represented by the four quarters on these loaves.
  • The spices on the buns are meant to remind Christians of the spices placed on Jesus’ body.
  • According to mythology, hanging a hot cross bun from the rafters in your kitchen will stay fresh and not mold.
  • Hot cross buns hung in the kitchen were said to prevent kitchen fires and ensure a year of successful baking in English folklore.
  • They were dried and sprinkled on wounds because they were supposed to have therapeutic properties.
  • It was thought that taking a hot cross bun on a sea cruise would protect you from a shipwreck.
  • Hot cross buns could only be sold on Good Friday, Christmas, or at burials, according to a law established by Elizabeth I in 1592. Those who were found cooking them in their kitchens were forced to give their buns to the needy.

What are the Flavors of These Hot Cross Buns?

These hot cross buns are delicious, combining a dinner roll and a cinnamon roll. They’re soft but substantial, and the cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice give them a delightfully spiced flavor. You can experiment with the spices, including adding a pinch of cardamom. The buns are largely sweetened with brown sugar before being iced with beautiful orange frosting. We occasionally add a pinch of orange zest or candied orange peel to the dough for added taste. The raisins are used in this recipe. We used to love currants, a raisin in our hot cross buns, but I couldn’t find any this year.

What are the Tips that can be Used for Leftover Cucumber?

Don’t throw away any hot cross buns that are left over. Instead, toast two buns and crumble them through a 1L tub of softened vanilla ice cream for an Easter-inspired dessert. Return to the freezer and serve for a delicious sweet treat.

Turn slightly stale hot cross buns into delectable garnishes for sweet and savory dishes alike. Toss with ice cream or use as croutons in a Caprese salad after tearing into little chunks and toasting in the oven.

Make French toast with a twist using leftover hot cross buns instead of regular bread for a weekend treat.

Yeast Comes in a Variety of Forms; How can you Use Any of them?

There are three types of yeast, each of which can be used to make Hot Cross Buns:

Dry yeast, also known as active dry yeast, is a powdered yeast that is best utilized after being dissolved in warm liquid and allowed to foam before being mixed with dry ingredients (like for Bread Rolls)

Instant yeast / rapid rise yeast (used in this recipe) – this yeast helps the dough rise faster and doesn’t need to be dissolved in liquid first; combine everything at once.

Fresh yeast is available in block form; crumble and dissolve it in a beverage.

Hot Cross Buns: How to Make Them?

The Dough in the First Part

Combine all the dough ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix on speed 2 for 5 minutes OR knead by hand for around 10 minutes.

When your dough is smooth and elastic, it’s ready; for a comparison of Before and After Kneading.

Rise in the second part

Location the dough in a basin, cover it with cling wrap*, and set it aside in a warm place until it doubles in size. My go-to spot is the dryer! Run it for 3 minutes (empty), then turn it off and insert the bowl. Warm and windless — ideal dough rising weather!

Form balls in the third part

The best method for forming the balls that bake into smooth round Hot Cross Buns is as follows:

Form the dough into a log and cut it into 12 pieces;

Take a portion and roll it up like a moneybag, stretching one edge into a smooth round dome; and

Roll/press/shape into a neat ball, then place smooth side up in the baking pan.

A rise in Part 4

Spray the cling wrap with oil and drape it loosely over the buns. Allow for 40 minutes, or until they have about doubled in size – around 75% is sufficient.

Part 5, How to make the hot cross buns crosses

The secret is to get the appropriate consistency from a simple mixture of water and flour. It’ll run all over the place in the oven if it’s too thin. You’ll end up with stiff, hard sprigs on the surface of your soft buns if you make them too thick!

Bake in the sixth part

Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the buns for 22 minutes, or until golden brown. For this recipe, I feel that color is the best indicator. Pale indicates that the food is undercooked. Burnt

Gloss in Part 7

The wonderful shining sheen on Hot Cross Buns comes from a simple mixture of heated apricot jam and a little water. Heat in the microwave until smooth, then softly brush onto the surface.


Have you ever tried your hand at making hot cross buns? A soft, slightly sweet, spiced yeast roll studded with currants and often candied citron, they’re an Easter classic. The buns are traditionally offered on Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday, and are marked with a cross on top (thus the name).

Hot cross buns are a long-standing English tradition that dates back to the Saxons, who adorned buns with a cross in honor of Eostre, the goddess of light, whose feast day became Easter. Garrett McCord and I got together over several weeks, inspired by a nursery rhyme, to come up with the best hot cross buns recipe we could. Our first tries were abysmal—dry, hard, and difficult.