Hot Cross Buns just in time for Easter! They’re soft, dense, and perfectly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Once you taste this homemade recipe, you won’t go back to store-bought.

tori holding hot cross buns
hot cross buns

What Are Hot Cross Buns

Yes, they are a wildly popular nursery rhyme. Hot Cross Buns are yeast-raised buns traditionally enjoyed for Easter. They are rich with spices and full of dried fruit. Easter aside, they are delicious ANY day. They taste like a hybrid between a dinner roll and a cinnamon roll….Do I have your attention?!

How To Make Hot Cross Buns

I couldn’t help but notice that every hot cross bun that I’ve ever purchased is as hard as a rock. Was this intentional, I wondered?  Clearly a fluffy, flaky soft bun is a superior way to go, no? Well do I have the recipe for YOU!

A recipe like this does require some elbow grease, but the final product makes it all worth it. There are few things as satisfying as making homemade buns like this. You should be SO proud of these Hot Cross Buns!

The main steps are:

  1. Make the bread dough.
  2. Knead the dough.
  3. Cover the dough and let it rise. Once it has doubled in size (about 30-45 minutes), punch it down. Cover and let rise another 30 minutes. Punch down again.
  4. Cut and shape into buns, then add to a baking sheet. Cover the sheet with a towel and let buns rise until doubled.
  5. Pipe the crosses on top.
  6. Bake until golden brown.
  7. ENJOY

I used a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip to make the crosses.  The first time I started out with a thicker dough but it was a nightmare to pipe, so I ended up using a slightly thinner version that still kept its shape but that you could pipe out in one seamless stream.  I also tried doing the egg wash before placing them in the oven but it ruined the crosses, so as you can see below I recommend doing the egg wash part way through the baking process. You could also always consider topping these with icing!

Easter Recipes

It doesn’t get much better than this recipe for Easter! But I guarantee that they will be showing up all year round in our house! If you’re looking for more Easter recipes and DIY’s we’ve rounded up our favourites here! Or if you’re looking for another yummy treat My Granny’s Cinnamon Buns are to die for!

If you have the Fraiche Food Full Hearts Cookbook, remember to head to page 27 for our Easter Menu!

hot cross buns with butter
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #fraicheliving and leave a comment or rating below, letting me know how you liked it!
xo Tori

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns just in time for Easter! They’re soft, dense, and perfectly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Once you taste this homemade recipe, you won’t go back to store-bought.

Servings 24 large (or 36 small)

Ingredients

Buns

  • 1/3
    cup
    water or spiced dark rum
  • 1
    cup
    sultana raisins
  • 1 ½
    cups
    boiling water
  • 1/2
    cup
    honey
  • 2
    tablespoons
    butter
  • 2
    teaspoon
    salt
  • 1 ½
    cups
    lukewarm water
  • 3
    teaspoon
    sugar
  • 2
    tablespoon
    active dry yeast
  • 2
    eggs, well beaten
  • 7-8
    cups
    all purpose flour – approximately
    (or substitute 1/2 whole wheat flour)
  • 1
    tablespoon
    cinnamon
  • 1 1/2
    teaspoons
    allspice
  • 1/2
    teaspoon
    nutmeg

Cross Dough

  • 3/4
    cup
    all-purpose flour
  • 2
    tablespoons
    sugar
  • 1/4
    cup
    water
    approximately

Instructions

Buns

  1. Place the raisins in a small microwave-proof bowl, pour over the water or rum, and microwave for 1 minute.  Stir and set aside to cool and soak for an hour (or longer).

  2. Combine boiling water, honey, butter, and salt in a large bowl and cool.

  3. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the water and sugar until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, until it bubbles.

  4. Once the first mixture is cooled, add the eggs and 1 cup of flour. Stir well. Add the yeast mixture to this bowl, and stir till combined. Drain the raisins with a sieve.  Add 4 of the remaining cups of flour, the drained raisins and the spices: stir until you can’t stir with a spoon (will get too difficult), adding more flour as needed.

  5. Put the dough on a well-floured surface (counter) and using your hands, knead the dough for about 10 minutes. You will need to add more flour as you knead the dough to keep it from sticking to your hands and the counter. The dough will look smooth and ‘elastic’ when it is ready.

  6. Put the dough in a well-greased large bowl, cover with a towel, and place in a warm draft-free place to rise. Once it has doubled in size (about 30-45 minutes), punch it down. Cover and let rise another 30 minutes. Punch down again.

  7. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a large baking sheet with oil, margarine or butter and line with parchment paper. You will need to grease an additional small 9″ round pan or a loaf pan if you are making small buns.  Divide the dough into approximately 3 ounce portions (a small handful), and shape into buns (balls) with your hands. Space the buns evenly in a grid on the pan, you should get approximately 24 buns in a large baking sheet (4 buns down by 6 or 7 buns across). Cover the pan with a towel and let rise until doubled.

The Cross

  1. In a small bowl, mix all of the above ingredients together to form a thicker batter. Start with the 1/4 cup of water and add more until you have a batter that is the consistency of a thick pancake batter. It will need to hold its shape when piped but still be able to flow out of the piping bag.

  2.  Fill a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip and pipe a cross, starting at one end of a row of buns and running along the centre of the entire row until you get to the end of the buns. Repeat on each row running length-ways, and do the same through the middle of the buns running the opposite direction to form a cross along the buns.

  3. Bake for 15 minutes or until they are starting to turn golden brown.

Egg Wash

  1. Whisk together the egg and water in a small bowl and, using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash with a pastry brush and return to the oven.

  2.  Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the buns are golden brown.



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