Hot Cross Buns

So, after a number of requests for last year’s traditional hot cross bun recipe, here it is!

I quite like my buns slightly larger than what you would buy, so when I’m baking for myself I’ll divide the dough into nine pieces. If you prefer them closer to the shop bought version, you can get 12 buns out of this recipe. One more thing to note is I have swapped out the mixed peel for fresh zest. I ight be a bit old school but that's too old school for me!

Exactly the same as the Chocolate Hot Cross Bun recipe from last week; soaking the fruit is essential (see step 1) to keep them juicy, and prevent them from tightening up the dough. And as always there are SO MANY factors contributing to the speed of the rise, so this time is a guide only.

Have fun and if your baking tradition hot cross buns, or my chocolate version let me know how it goes. Happy Easter :-)


Hot Cross Buns

Difficulty: Medium

This recipe makes 9-12 Buns in around 4 hours


For the dough

500g Strong white bread flour

10g Salt

60g Sugar

1½tbsp Mixed spice

1tsp Ground cinnamon

Zest of 1 oranges

Zest of 1 lemon

25g Fresh yeast or 2 x 7g sachets of dry fast action yeast

50g Soft butter

250g Room temperature milk

1 Medium Egg

For the filling

100g Raisins

100g Sultanas

For the Cross

50g Strong white bread flour

50g Water

Pinch of sugar

For the Glaze

Juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon

Caster sugar


  1. First, soak your raisins and sultanas in boiling water from the kettle for 10 minutes. Then drain and set aside to cool
  2. Measure your flour, sugar, salt, and spice into a large bowl. Add the orange and lemon zest, mix everything together. Next, add the egg to the bowl, and the butter broken up into pieces. 
  3. Weigh the milk into a jug, and pop in the microwave for 30 seconds or so to take the chill off. If you are using fresh yeast you'll need to dissolve it into the milk before moving on to step 4. If you are using dry yeast, pop it into the flour bowl
  4. Pour the liquid into the bowl and mix everything together until it comes together into a dough, turn it out onto the table
  5. Knead the dough on a clean table for 8 minutes resisting the urge to dust it with flour. It will be sticky at first but use your dough scraper to have a tidy every now and again, and to loosen the dough from the table
  6. Next, dust the table lightly, spread out the dough and sprinkle over the soaked fruit. Roll them up inside and continue kneading until they are evenly dispersed.
  7. Shape the dough into a ball, using a light dusting of flour, and place it back into the bowl. Dust again, cover with a clean cloth, and leave to rest at room temperature for 90 minutes
  8. When your dough has puffed up nicely, dust the table with a little flour and turn the dough out onto it. Divide the dough into nine to twelve pieces. Nine pieces for LARGE buns and 12 pieces for more traditional size. Roll each piece into a ball and arrange on a large parchment lined tray. Place them a finger width apart, and they will join each other as they prove
  9. Cover very loosely with cling film and allow 60-90 minutes for the buns to prove up.
  10. While your buns are proving, you have two tasks to keep you busy. First, the cross. Mix up the cross ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Fit a piping bag with a very small nozzle, or use a disposable one, and fill it with the mixture ready to go. Next, the glaze. Weigh the juice of your zested orange and lemon into a small pan, then add the same weight of caster sugar. Bring to the boil, for a minute or so and leave to cool.
  11. Towards the end of the proving stage, preheat the oven to 180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6, and pipe the crosses on the top of the buns
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the buns from the oven, and when they are cool enough to handle, transfer them to a wire rack
  13. Use a pastry brush to glaze the top of each bun with your orange and lemon syrup, then leave to cool