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A delicious and fun twist on the classic hot cross bun… a hot cross loaf! Easy, fun, and scrumptious! 

We all know how much I adore making anything Easter themed, and how much I love Hot Cross Buns right?! Well why not create yet another delicious themed bake? Last time was the hot cross scones, and now it’s the hot cross loaf… and I LOVE it! 

Easter baking

It’s well and truly easter baking time at the moment, with Easter only being three weeks away… but is there still time for a delicious new bake?! Of course there is. I will always post as much themed baking content as I can, especially around Easter and Christmas time. 

Recently I posted my hot cross scones, my mini egg brownies and even my individual mini egg cheesecakes, and they have all been SO popular. I know a lot of my easter recipes are chocolate themed but it’s just because there are so many different easter chocolates that you can buy now, that I can’t help myself. However, this beauty is a little different, and so delicious. 

Hot Cross buns

Hot cross buns are one of those bakes that are just so warming and heavenly, and I adore them. Whether they are shop bought or even homemade like my hot cross buns or chocolate hot cross buns, I am always in love with a warmly toasted hot cross bun, covered in butter. This hot cross loaf has the same desired effect, but it’s just even better! 

This hot cross loaf is based on a more classic flavouring as the original is the most iconic, but hot cross buns these days come in all sorts of flavours, so feel free to adapt it if you prefer. For example, as a lot of people don’t like dried fruit, you can use chocolate chips instead if you preferred. 

Proving bread 

For some people, making and baking bread is a little peculiar and I can completely see why. You have to rely on the bread coming alive and rising suitably to create a lovely texture, and without this it could be a dull bland rock of flour. 

It’s definitely harder to bake bread in winter, but that’s purely because of the time in which it can take for the yeast to become active, and for the bread to prove correctly. For example, baking this in winter vs summer could have 2+ hours time difference. 

I tend to place my breads to prove in the warmest place of the kitchen in the colder months – whether that’s near a radiator, in the oven but with just the light turned on, or the airing cupboard is a good place – in the summer, keep an eye on your bread, it may only like 20 minutes. 

Baking bread 

I tend to use my stand mixer when making breads these days, but that is also partly because I am being quite lazy. I will knead the bread for 5-10 minutes depending on speed, but this could be the same by hand. If making by hand, I find it best to start kneading in a bowl so the dough comes together enough, and then you can either knead on a lightly floured surface if your dough is ridiculously sticky, or a lightly oiled surface if it’s perfect. 

Stick to the idea that the bread is a little sticky when it comes to hot cross buns and that is totally normal – luckily for this bread, you only have one main prove, and thats directly in the tin you are baking it in. 

I try to shape my bread into an oblong shape so that it fits the tin best, and I use a 2lb loaf tin when baking this bread. I will spray a piece of clingfilm with a little oil and place it over the top of the tin so that if the bread rises enough to touch the cling film, it doesn’t get stuck. 


When it comes to the flavours of this hot cross loaf I went a little safe and used some delicious dried spices. I went for cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg as I think they make a delicious marriage of flavours, that wonderfully suits this bread recipe. The recipe is extremely similar to my hot cross buns which used the same spices, so I thought they would suit this recipe as well. 

I also decided to add in the classic flavouring of using an orange zest in the dough. I adore the flavour it brings, but you can definitely leave it out, or you can swap it to lemon which is also delicious! 

My hot cross scones used mixed spice instead, which you can do here of you can use all of the spices combined – it depends what your preference is in the flavour world. If you want to make this hot cross a chocolate base like in my chocolate hot cross buns then you can replace 75g flour with 50g of cocoa powder. 

Tips & Tricks 

  • This is best eaten fresh on the day of baking, but can easily be refreshed by toasting slices for a couple of days after
  • This hot cross loaf can be frozen and kept for 3+ months 
  • You can prep this the night before and do 75% of the proving in the tin at room temp, and then place in the fridge overnight. Take out of the fridge 1 hour before baking like normal. 
  • Swap flavours if you fancy, enjoy it! 

Hot Cross Loaf!

A delicious and fun twist on the classic hot cross bun... a hot cross loaf! Easy, fun, and scrumptious! 
Print Pin Rate
Category: Bread
Type: Bread
Keyword: Easter
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Proving Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Author: Jane's Patisserie


Hot Cross Loaf

  • 175 ml whole milk
  • 375 g strong white bread flour
  • 70 g caster sugar
  • 6 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
  • 40 g unsalted butter (cold)
  • 150 g raisins
  • 2 medium eggs


  • 50 g flour
  • 1-3 tsp water
  • 1 tbsp honey


  • Warm your milk in a pan until it's just steaming.
  • In a bowl, add the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, sugar, yeast and orange zest - add in the butter and rub the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 
  • To the bowl, add the 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! 
  • Put the dough into a lightly oiled 2lb loaf tin and leave to rise until it has doubled in size. This usually takes about 1 hour but can take longer in colder weather
  • Whilst the bread is rising, preheat the oven to 180ºc/160ºcfan.
  • Once at the temperature - whisk together the flour and water, and carefully pipe on to the loaf to form the crosses.
  • Bake in the oven for 50+ minutes at 180ºc/160ºcfan. The bread will be done when you can tap on the bottom of the loaf and it sounds hollow.
  • Once baked - brush lightly with honey to give it the hot cross bun shine and then leave to cool fully. 


  • This recipe will a 2lb sized loaf 
  • This is best eaten fresh on the day of baking, but can easily be refreshed by toasting slices for a couple of days after
  • This hot cross loaf can be frozen and kept for 3+ months 
  • You can prep this the night before and do 75% of the proving in the tin at room temp, and then place in the fridge overnight. Take out of the fridge 1 hour before baking like normal. 
  • Swap flavours if you fancy, enjoy it! 


Find my other recipes on my Recipes Page!

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  1. Lou on April 10, 2023 at 1:40 pm

    5 stars
    Made this for Easter coffee break!
    It was a lovely flavour although mine was a bit dry – do you know why this would be? It was better toasted.

    • Jane's Patisserie on April 17, 2023 at 1:49 pm

      Hiya! This likely means it was slightly over baked. Hope this helps! x

  2. Jane Taylor on April 8, 2023 at 4:18 pm

    The dough mixture was far too wet so I had to add loads more flour. Now it’s like a solid stretchy lump. In proving atm but I think it may be thrown straight out! What have I done wrong.

    • Jane's Patisserie on April 17, 2023 at 1:38 pm

      Hiya! This dough is naturally much sticker, so unfortunately adding the extract flour likely ruined it. Hope this helps! x

  3. H on April 8, 2023 at 9:18 am

    4 stars
    This is in the oven at the moment and looks and smells amazing. However I’ve just noticed that the recipe says 50+ minutes baking but the summary at the top says 20 mins cook time. Which is it?
    (Your answer will be too late for me – going to get out and test!) but I’m sure would help other bakers.
    Thank you so much for your recipes!
    Ps 4 stars as haven’t eaten it yet but have high hopes!
    Pps I proved on the side for an hour or so last night. Then in the fridge overnight, then another sit for an hour and put the crosses on…. looking forward to my easter breakfast!

  4. Natalie on April 6, 2023 at 11:34 pm

    Will I be able to make this using my electric hand mixer with my dough hooks fitted?

    • Jane's Patisserie on April 12, 2023 at 3:55 pm

      Yes, should be fine! Enjoy! x

  5. Alicia on April 6, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    Heyy! I don’t have any strong bread flour! Would I be able to use plain flour instead?

  6. Mark on April 6, 2023 at 12:22 pm

    Hiya, can you use semi-skimmed milk instead of whole milk?

    • Jane's Patisserie on April 12, 2023 at 3:53 pm

      Hiya! For best results, I always recommend using full fat. Hope this helps! x

  7. Susan Spain on March 30, 2023 at 8:05 am

    Planning to make this today but reading instructions it shows only one proving … Is that correct?
    I made your Hot X Bubs & they turned out really good & dough not to sticky so easy to handle.

    • Jane's Patisserie on March 30, 2023 at 12:41 pm

      Hiya! Yes this is correct – so glad you loved them! Hope you love the loaf just as much! x

  8. Jo on March 27, 2023 at 10:18 am

    Made this yesterday tasted lovely but mine came out a bit cakey and crumbly rather then like bread . Any ideas where I went wrong ? Make bread alot and never had this happen but I never run the butter into the flour?

    • Jane's Patisserie on March 30, 2023 at 1:09 pm

      Hiya! Usually texture issues are down to the bread being under or over proved. Hope this helps! x

  9. Rebecca on March 18, 2023 at 10:01 pm

    5 stars
    It’s in the oven. Just had a peek!! Looks amazing! 🥰

  10. Sarah on March 18, 2023 at 11:40 am

    This recipe looks gorgeous and I have a loaf kneading as I type (I also use my dough hook!). Can I ask though,why do you only prove it once? Many thanks x

    • Jane's Patisserie on March 30, 2023 at 12:46 pm

      Hiya! This is all this loaf needs – just as my other bread recipes the one prove gives perfect results! Hope this helps! x

  11. Simone on March 17, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    Can I do this us my breadmaker ? As I can see it working well in there any ideas on how ?

    • Snuggly Bunny on April 3, 2023 at 10:00 pm

      5 stars
      Hi Simone! I added all the ingredients wet first, yeast last to my bread machine on the dough cycle. I melted the butter before adding it to my bread machine. I only allowed it to mix in there once, about 20 mins on my bread machine. I then turned the dough out into a prepared tin and allowed it to rise for an hour. It rose amazingly and then some more in the oven. And the texture was perfect. Happy days! I hope this helps!

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