Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns are a seasonal yeast bread traditionally said to be served on Good Friday. But I remember buying these buns after Maundy Thursday (Last Supper) church service. These sweet buns are nicely spiced with ground cinnamon and all spice powder and are studded with currants/ raisins. The tops of the buns are marked with a 'cross' which symbolically represents the Cross of Christ and the Crucifixion.
  • Passive
    2 hours
  • Prep
    20 minutes
  • Cook
    15 minutes
  • Servings
    6 Pc.


For the Buns: -
  • 2 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Instant active yeast (If using dry yeast,please check recipe notes below)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 tsp All spice powder (Cinnamon , cardamom , Cloves powder mix )
  • 1/4 cup Sultanas
  • 1/4 cup Raisins
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Milk (warm)
  • 3 tbsp Butter
For the Cross: -
  • 2 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Water (as required)
For the Egg Wash: -
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbsp Milk
Other Ingredients:-
  • 1 tbsp Butter (To brush top of baked buns)
  • Jam (Optional, to serve)
  • 2 tsp Oil (to grease the bowl and baking tray)


  • 1 In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, spice powders, salt and yeast. Whisk it.
  • 2 Add the raisins and egg. Gradually add the warm milk and melted butter. (Milk has to be warm and not HOT,else it will kill the yeast) .
  • 3 Mix and knead till a soft dough has been formed.
  • 4 Place the dough in an oiled bowl(about 1 tsp oil) and cover the bowl with a cloth. Place the bowl in a warm place for about an hour or so till the dough has doubled in size. (Warmer the climate faster the dough will rise in an hour else it will take more than an hour about 1.5 hours to 2 hours)
  • 5 Lightly punch the air out from dough and divide dough into 6 portions.
  • 6 Grease a baking tray. Form balls from the dough and place on tray. Cover them again with a cloth and allow them to rise for about an hour till they have doubled in size.
  • 7 Preheat oven at 400 deg F(200 deg C). Once they have doubled in size, brush top of the buns with egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp milk).
  • 8 Prepare the batter for the crosses. Mix the flour with sugar and sufficient water to make a thick batter runny enough so that you can pipe cross over the buns. Put the batter in a zip lock bag or any small plastic bag, snip off the tip. Pipe the crosses over the buns.
  • 9 They will look like this.
  • 10 Bake the buns for 15 minutes till nice and brown in color.
  • 11 Brush the top of buns with butter and wrap them in cloth for about 15 minutes.(To retain softness). Serve with jam. (Optional)

Recipe Notes

If using dry yeast, add 2 tsp dry yeast with 1 tsp sugar(granulated white sugar) and 1/4 cup warm milk(not HOT, it will kill the yeast) in a small bowl. Leave it aside for 15 minutes. You will notice bubbles appearing after 15 mins. (This shows the yeast is alive and active. If bubbles are not formed it shows that the yeast is dead. Please don't use that yeast). Then use this yeast mixture in recipe at Step 1 and proceed with remaining 1/4 cup milk in recipe.

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