Easter feasts: hot cross buns at home

hot cross bunsEaster is fast approaching and for some it can mean a long weekend filled with chocolate. If you’re interested in eating something else this Easter weekend, grab your baking trays and try this hot cross bun recipe.

For a chocolate alternative, replace the currants and sultanas with choc chips for a bun that will melt in your mouth.

These traditional British Easter buns are enriched with dried fruit, milk, butter, egg and spices. If you do not have a piping bag to make the crosses, improvise by snipping the corner tip off a small plastic bag.

Makes: 10
Prep time: 120 min
Cook time: 20 min
Special equipment:  baking tray, baking paper, small saucepans, pastry brush, wire rack, piping bag
Nutrition: high in carbohydrate
Skills:  sifting, kneading, proving, glazing


¾ cup (190 ml) milk
3 teaspoons (15g) dried yeast
3 tablespoon (60g) caster sugar
2 ½ cups (375g) plain sugar
½ teaspoon (2.5g) salt
½ teaspoon (1.25) mixed spice
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons (30g) sultanas
2 tablespoons (30g) currants
1 tablespoon (15g) mixed peel
1 egg
1 ½ tablespoons (30g) butter

Cross mixture
3 tablespoons (30g) plain flour
2 tablespoons (40g) caster sugar
1 ½ tablespoons (30ml) water

2 tablespoons (40g) caster sugar
4 tablespoons (80ml) milk
Extra butter to serve









  1. Grease baking tray and line with baking paper.
  2. Warm milk in a small saucepan until luke warm.
  3. Mix yeast and sugar in a small bowl with a little warm milk. Allow to bubble.
  4. Sift flour, salt and spices into a large mixing bowl. Add dried fruit.
  5. Lightly beat egg.
  6. Melt butter in another small saucepan, and add remaining milk and egg. Stir in bubbling yeast mixture.
  7. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and combine to form a dough.
  8. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 8-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
  9. Return dough to bowl and cover lightly with oiled cling wrap. Leave in a warm place to prove for 40 minutes.
  10. Return dough to floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes to expel air. Divide dough into 10 even pieces, shape into balls and arrange about 1cm apart on tray.
  11. Set aside to prove for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  12. Make cross by combining flour, sugar and water in a small bowl to form a smooth paste.
  13. Put mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross onto each bun.
  14. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  15. While buns are baking, make the glaze by dissolving caster sugar in milk in a small saucepan on low heat. Boil for 1 minute.
  16. Remove buns from oven and immediate brush tops with warm glaze. Cool slightly on a wire rack.
  17. Serve warm with butter.


The Food BookThis recipe is taken from Oxford’s The Food Book.

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