April 10, 2019
Hot Cross Buns!
*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details!*
Lightly spiced hot cross buns that are easy to make, and PERFECT for Easter!
Hot cross buns!
I LOVE HOT CROSS BUNS. I will say, hot cross buns are for ALL of the year, not just for Easter, but I may be a little controversial in saying that. Yes, they are pushed out much more at Easter time, but I loooove them all year!
In my mind, you can’t really beat a lightly toasted hot cross bun with a bit of butter, or even a little jam… or even a little cheese. The shock and horror that must be present on some peoples faces as they read that… but trust me, a little cheddar and YUMMY.
An Easter favourite
One good/amazing/delicious thing about Easter however is how the shops have recently started producing epically flavoured hot cross buns, and I am here for it. Anything bread themed and I am happy.
Waitrose did an amazing chocolate orange flavour last year, and Marks and Spencers have regularly done some chocolate & salted caramel and the gooey level is BEYOND. I use them in my hot cross bun pudding just fyi!
The thing is, as much as I simply and utterly ADORE the funky flavoured hot cross buns, I thought it was only dutifully right to post my version of a classic hot cross bun first, and then post an experimental one later on!
Also, I feel like I must point out that I do love a classic hot cross bun just as much as the other flavours, I am not shunning my own recipe post already.. I’ve just had many a request over the years for a hot cross bun recipe so thought it was high time that I shared it!
One thing that might be another slightly controversial thing is that I much prefer the cheaper hot cross buns that come in sixes, and in the flimsy plastic style wrapping from the supermarket bakery, in comparison to the ‘posh’ ones you can buy.
I like raisins and sultanas, but personally things such as mixed peel or too many lumpy bits inside the hot cross buns is too far for me. In other bakes, these ingredients can work well… but it’s just too much for me in my buns! (notes in the notes section however if you do prefer it)
I love ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg in my hot cross buns, and raisins. It’s quite simple a mix really, but with a dash of orange zest in there too, you have a delicious and winning bake.
Baking with bread
If you have never made bread before, this is a bit of a faffy thing to start with in comparison to just a loaf of bread, but they are 100000% worth it! It’s worth the waiting around whilst the dough proves!
I use my Kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook and it’s SO easy to make! You can easily do it allllll by hand, but eh… I’m lazy. Also, after having rubbed the butter into the dry ingredients, my arms are tired?! Idk. I’m making this up.
Honestly, if you have ever fancied making your own hot cross nuns, then give these beauties a go! And then enjoy them to your hearts content! x
Hot Cross Buns!
Hot Cross Buns
- 225 ml whole milk
- 500 g strong white bread flour
- 65 g caster sugar
- 8 g dried active yeast/fast action yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- Zest of 1 orange
- 50 g unsalted butter (cold)
- 200 g raisins
- 2 medium eggs
- 30 g flour
- 30 ml water
- 1 tbsp apricot jam
- Warm your milk in a pan until it's just steaming.
- In a bowl, add your flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, sugar, yeast and orange zest - add in you butter and rub between your fingers so the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- To the bowl, add your warmed milk, and the eggs and raisins and mix it all together.
- Knead for 5-10 minutes until the mixture is smooth, elastic and springy to touch. I use my Kitchenaid with the dough hook!
- Transfer to a clean but lightly oiled bowl, and cover the bowl with clingfilm. Leave to rise until doubled in size - usually takes 1-2 hours.
- Once risen, remove from the bowl and knead lightly on a floured surface to 'knock it back'.
- Split evenly into 12 balls (Mine weighed 98g each) and add on to a lined tray with about a centimetre gap between the balls.
- Cover with lightly oiled cling film, and leave to rise whilst your oven preheats to 200C/180C fan. I usually leave them 45-60 minutes!
- Once at the temperature - whisk together the flour and water, and carefully pipe on to form the crosses.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 200C/180C Fan!
- Once baked - brush lightly with apricot jam if you like them sticky and shiny and then leave to cool fully.
- This recipe will make 12 medium/regular sized hot cross buns!
- The spices are optional, but also changeable. You can use nutmeg, all spice, etc, etc. You can also switch out some of the raisins for mixed peel, or sultanas!
- These are best on the day of baking, but will last a couple of days at room temperature but covered.
- You can add in 100g of chocolate chips if you like to make them a smidge chocolatey!
Find my other recipes on my Recipes Page!
You can find me on:
© Jane’s Patisserie. All images & content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words and credit me, or link back to this post for the recipe.
I have some failed attempts with other recipes they jusy weren’t the same as supermarket ones but I am going to try your recipe can I make the dough in my breadmaker?
Hiya! Yes, you can mix and knead it in there! Hope this helps! x
Hi can the zest of an orange be substituted as I have an allergy . Thanks
Hiya! You can just leave it out – hope this helps! x
I made these today and they are lovely so light and fluffy inside . I wont be buying them from the store ever again.
They you for sharing the recipe.
Fabulous recipe! Super easy and they taste amazing
I’ve tried baking hot cross buns many times and these are by far the best! Easy to do and delicious!
Ahh yay! So glad you like them!!
Loved these when I made them thank you ! Now trying. A second time and having to take a few chances as transported dough which I made on Sunday evening and kept in fridge and cool bag to a holiday cottage . This morning I have taken the dough out of the fridge. Hoping it still proves ok 🤞Is there a risk it won’t at all now ? Any tips ?
can these be frozen after baked or not? thanks x
Best ones I’ve made in nearly 50 years of baking!
Hello, is it possible to bake without the nutmeg 🙂 x
Hello! Yes you can x
Can I do the 2nd prove overnight and bake in the morning?
You would have to do it in the fridge over night, but if you can do that then yes!
Just made these, wow they were sooo delicious!! Thank you for the recipe x
Hi Jane! I plan to make these tomorrow but have the sachets of yeast that are 7g. Would you expect 1 gram less to have much impact? Thanks!
It should be fine x
Hiya Jane I’ve made these so many times now and each time they’ve been utterly delicious! 🥰
I want to make them for Easter, this Sunday. Would I be able to make the dough the night before and prove it overnight in the fridge? Then the next day I would shape and bake the buns?
Thanks for your help
I’ve made these before and each time they’ve been utterly delicious 🥰.
However I do have a question. I’d like to make these for Easter on Sunday, can I make the dough on Saturday night and prove it in the fridge overnight, then shape and bake the buns the next day?
I would do the second prove in the fridge – so shape and then refrigerate and bake in the morning x
Hey Jane I’m planning on making these tomorrow but I currently don’t have a hand mixer so I’m making them by hand would they be OK still? Xx
Hello! Yes of course it will just take a little longer x
Hi Jane, I’m wondering if the ginger should be grated or diced? Thanks 🙂
Hi, just thinking about making these but won’t want them until the weekend – do they freeze ok?
I have been baking hot cross buns for a while now. I made these yesterday and they are the best ones I have ever made.
Thank you Jane for another great recipe.
Hey! I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe, thank you so much x
So excited to try these! If I wanted to do chocolate and caramel; would I just add chocolate chips and maybe a caramel syrup? Thank you!x
Hello! Yes the chocolate chips would work but I would use fudge chunks for better results x
Could I substitute bread flour for all purpose? Thanks
Hello! You can but the texture will change quite abit x
Hi, sounds like a fantastic recipe can I ask can I use plain flour instead of bread flour?
Hello! Yes you can but it might turn out bit more cakey x
Absolutely fabulous recipe. I’ve made the hot cross buns twice and I also used the same dough recipe to make caramel buns for my son as he doesn’t like sultanas. I used condensed milk, caramelised it, put a blob of it on top, baked the bun then smoothed over more caramel whilst still warm, allowing it to melt. So, so delicious, soft fluffy dough. Will use this recipe many more times. Thank you
Hi Jane would like to make these but
how long do you knead the dough in
the kitchen aid.
Hiya! This can depend on different factors – so knead the dough until fully combined and springy to the touch! x
Hi, I made this a few days ago and the flavour is amazing but they turned out quite dry and the cross part is hard can you think why? thank you!!!
After a few days they will turn dry as they turn stale, but if you mean fresh out of the oven then they are a little over baked! x
Hi Jane, thought i would give these hot cross buns a try, but they don’t seem to be rising, do you leave them at room temperature to proove?
As its colder weather it can take longer – proving isn’t a guaranteed time! But yes room temp/somewhere warm but not too hot as that can ruin it x
Hi Jane, I would love to give this recipe a go. What is the best type of tray to use for these?
Hello! A large metal tray will do the job!x
This is my second time making these and once again they are perfect – thank you!
I also love your cinnamon roll recipe which we have on repeat in our household, is there any plans to post any other dough based bakes please?
I’ve just made these and wow! They’re incredible! Another amazing recipe thank you!
Thank you for the perfect Hot Cross Bun recipe ! This is my second batch because I wanted to check the first wasn’t a fluke !!
I followed the recipe exactly but the buns are very hard – more like a rock cake! Any ideas where I have gone wrong. Taste is fine but it’s just too hard!
They could be under proved, but also very over baked!
I made these today and they are a big hit . So light, fruity and lightly spiced.
The recipe was easy to follow and make . I wanted to send a picture of them to you but I couldn’t. Thanks for the recipe
Hi Jane. Random question but I can’t eat raisins/sultanas and I really miss hot cross buns! Do you think this recipe would work without the fruit? Thank you xx
Yes it definitely would – leave it out or substitute for something else such as chocolate chips!
Great. Thanks so much. You’ve made my Easter better already 😍
Just made a batch and turned out perfectly fluffy and huge! I used the dough cycle on my bread machine as I have an injured wrist so can’t knead properly which worked out well. Only needed to be shaped and one more prove before baking. Great recipe, I will experiment with choc chips next time. Thank you.
This was my first time making these and it won’t be my last.
This recipe is so easy to follow and the buns turned out great.
I followed this recipe but did not double in size what may I have done wrong.
If the yeast was correctly done, and the correct ingredients were used, it will have just been that it needed longer. Provings times really can vary but especially in the cold weather of winter!
Would it be possible to make these gluten free?
I haven’t tried these gluten free before so I am unsure!
Would it be possible to make these chocolate flavoured?
The easiest way is to use chocolate chips in the buns, compared to a chocolate dough as that can be heavier and change the proving time (I am posting a chocolate hot cross bun in the coming weeks though if you can wait!) x
Lovely! Just so you know there is a typo at number 6, it says boil instead of bowl :). Thank you
Can I use semi-skimmed milk for this recipe? It was all I was able to get hold of!
Yes you can – whole milk is just generally better for baking as it can help prevent things from splitting! x
Thank you! These turned out brilliantly I will definitely be making them again!
Hi Jane, I made these for Easter and oh my goodness! They are a hit with my family, in fact, my mum has requested I make them every week!
Thank you so much for the recipe, every recipe of yours that I’ve tried has never failed me, you’re absolutely brilliant!
Ahhh yay!! I’m so glad they were a hit!! xx
Can i use fresh yeast? And how do i activate it?
Yes, you can use fresh yeast! Usually, you use double the weight for fresh yeast compared to dry so you’ll need 16g, and add the yeast to the warmed milk and stir and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes!
Thanks for your reply!! I just made them with fresh yeast and following your advice!! OH… MY GOD!! They look and taste amazing!! Another success following your recipes!! 😊
Ahh yay! I’m so glad!! x
I decided to make some hot cross buns today (as well as your fabulous Terry’s chocolate orange cookies, always a winner!), having tried a few times in the past but never quite getting them right.
Today I used your recipe and method (even down to making sure they’re the same weight!), and they’re the best ones I’ve ever made. All even in size, baked just right and light and airy in texture. I shall definitely make these ones again. 🙂
Ahh, that’s amazing!! I’m so glad that they were a hit!
Hiya Jane, can you use almond milk or any other type of milk over whole milk?
If using dairy milk, you should use whole milk. However, dairy alternatives should work.
Loving your recipes, thanks for sharing.
Can I ask, why 8g of yeast? The packets are 7 so I’m wasting a lot. I made 6 hot cross buns and nearly used a whole packet. They came out well but thinking of making the 12 next week so want to make sure on quantity beforehand. Thank you
I use a pot of yeast which I weigh myself rather than sachets x
I have been wanting to have a go at making hot crosss buns for ages but always thought they would be difficult. Followed your recipe exactly and they turned out amazing, everyone loved them. We ate them warm out of the oven on the day and had the rest toasted the day after. Won’t be buying shop bought ones again
Ahh yay! That’s amazing!
Can the dried active yeast go in dry without being activated in water first?
The one I use I just throw in! Or you can use fast action yeast!
Loved this recipe!! Turned out perfect and all the family loved them. I’ll be making again but wondered if leaving to rise overnight would be ok to save me time on the day?
One of the proves can be done overnight in the fridge – obviously if it’s the second one, you will still have needed to prove it the first time! x
I found my dough extremely wet with this recipe. I’ve finally managed to knead it but only just. I did double check the measurements too. I’m waiting for them to prove so hopefully they’ll be ok
Oh really? I haven’t had this and I’ve made them many times! – however, with all bread doughs, sometimes it requires less or more liquid, but it’s not often it should really affect it too much. The base rule of baking bread however, is just to keep on kneading and it’ll come together! It may take longer, or less time, but it will definitely come back if everything was weighed correctly!
They turned out really well. Lovely. Maybe my eggs were a bit too big 🧐😋
My first ever Hot Cross Buns!!!
Super easy to make and very tasty. Next time, yes there’s going to be a next time I’m going to add more spice.
Hi Jane do you think it’s possible to prepare the dough the night before and then baked in the morning?
Yes you can do the first prove in the fridge over night, or the second. x
Awesome recipe, next week our festive month Ramadan starts i will definitely try this , thanks for sharing
Cannot wait to make these! 😊 Been waiting for this recipe. Thank you! 😍
Maybe next year you could do a recipe with chocolate and caramel based on the M&S ones 😋