Enter the Easter spirit with the beloved tradition of Hot Cross Buns. These iconic treats, immortalized in the rhyme “Hot cross buns, one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns.” offer a warm, fragrant experience that’s easier to achieve than you might think, especially with the help of a Thermomix. With their fluffy texture, aromatic spices, and symbolic cross, Hot Cross Buns are more than just a baked good – they’re a timeless symbol of celebration and renewal. Join in the joy of Easter by indulging in the deliciousness of homemade Hot Cross Buns!

Discover even more delightful ways to savor the Easter season with our tantalizing array of baked goods! In addition to our classic Hot Cross Buns, also try our irresistible Chocolate Hot Cross Buns, the richness of chocolate with the traditional warmth of spices. Craving something uniquely crunchy and sweet? Try our Crispy Bottom Honey Sesame Buns, where every bite is a symphony of textures and flavors, perfect for complementing any Easter spread. Indulge in these delectable creations and elevate your Easter celebrations to new heights of culinary delight!

WHAT IS HOT CROSS BUNS?

A hot cross bun is a type of sweet, spiced bun that is typically made with flour, sugar, butter, eggs, milk, and yeast, flavored with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and sometimes cloves. These buns often contain dried fruit such as currants, raisins, or sultanas, adding a burst of sweetness and texture. What sets hot cross buns apart is the symbolic cross marked on top of each bun, traditionally made with a flour and water paste, though variations may use icing or other decorative touches.

Hot cross buns are closely associated with Easter and are typically enjoyed during the Easter season, although they are also popular year-round in some regions. They hold cultural and religious significance, with the cross representing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, making them a symbolic treat for Christians around the world. However, they are also enjoyed as a delicious baked good by people of all backgrounds, often served toasted and slathered with butter.

WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPES?

  • Delicious Flavor: These recipes promise to deliver the perfect blend of warm spices, sweetness from the dried fruit, and a hint of richness from ingredients like butter and eggs, resulting in buns that are bursting with flavor.
  • Homemade Goodness: There’s something incredibly satisfying about baking your own hot cross buns from scratch. With these recipes, you’ll experience the joy of creating something delicious and comforting right in your own kitchen.
  • Customizable: Whether you prefer traditional hot cross buns, indulgent chocolate versions, or unique twists like crispy bottom honey sesame buns, these recipes offer versatility to suit your taste preferences and cravings.
  • Symbolic Significance: Beyond their delicious taste, hot cross buns carry cultural and religious significance, making them a meaningful addition to Easter celebrations. Enjoying these buns can evoke a sense of tradition and connection to centuries-old customs.
  • Sharing Joy: Baking and sharing hot cross buns with family and friends can be a heartwarming experience, bringing people together to celebrate the Easter season and create cherished memories.

Overall, these recipes offer not just delectable treats, but also an opportunity to connect with tradition, indulge in homemade goodness, and share joy with loved ones.

INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTES

Ingredient quantities please refer to the recipes card (Click here)!

  • Bread Flour: Contains more protein than all-purpose flour, which helps create a chewier texture in the buns. If you don’t have bread flour, you can use all-purpose flour as a substitute, though the texture may be slightly different.
  • Dried Yeast: Leavens the dough, causing it to rise. If you don’t have instant yeast, you can use active dry yeast, but you’ll need to activate it in warm water before adding it to the dough.
  • Milk: Provides moisture and helps create a tender crumb. You can use any type of milk, including dairy-free alternatives like almond, soy, or oat milk.
  • Sugar: Adds sweetness to the dough. You can substitute with brown sugar or honey for a slightly different flavor profile.
  • Ground Cinnamon and Nutmeg: Provide warm, aromatic flavor to the buns. You can adjust the spices according to your taste preferences or omit them altogether if you prefer a simpler flavor.
  • Eggs: Add moisture, richness, and structure to the dough.
  • Water: Helps hydrate the dough and activate the yeast.
  • Whipping Cream: Adds richness and tenderness to the dough. You can use heavy cream as a substitute.
  • Unsalted Butter: Adds richness and flavor to the dough. You can substitute with salted butter, but adjust the added salt accordingly. Alternatively, you can use margarine or vegetable shortening for a dairy-free option.
  • Fine Sea Salt: Enhances the flavor of the dough. You can substitute with table salt if needed.
  • Raisins and Sultanas: Add sweetness and texture to the buns. You can use any combination of dried fruits or omit them entirely if you prefer plain hot cross buns.
  • Paste (for the Cross): Made with flour, sugar, and water, this paste is piped onto the buns before baking to create the traditional cross. You can use icing sugar mixed with water or milk as an alternative.
  • Butter (for the Glaze): Adds shine and flavor to the baked buns. You can substitute with apricot jam or honey for a different glaze.

By understanding the role of each ingredient, you can make substitutions based on your dietary preferences or what you have available in your pantry, while still achieving delicious hot cross buns.

RECIPES TIPS

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: For the best flavor and texture, use fresh and high-quality ingredients, especially the spices and dried fruits.
  • Active Yeast: If you’re using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, activate it in warm water with a pinch of sugar before adding it to the dough. This ensures that the yeast is alive and active, leading to better rising.
  • Proper Kneading: Knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. This helps develop the gluten, resulting in a better texture in the finished buns. You can do this by hand or with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  • Rising Time: Allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free place until it has doubled in size. This usually takes about 1-2 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
  • Shaping the Buns: Divide the dough into equal portions and shape them into smooth balls. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving some space between each bun to allow for rising.
  • Cross Decoration: If using a paste to create the cross on top of the buns, make sure it’s thick enough to hold its shape but still pipeable. You can adjust the consistency by adding more flour or water as needed.
  • Baking Temperature and Time: Bake the buns in a preheated oven at the temperature specified in your recipe. Keep an eye on them while they’re baking to prevent over-browning. If they start to brown too quickly, you can cover them loosely with aluminum foil.
  • Glazing: Brush the baked buns with a warm glaze as soon as they come out of the oven. This adds shine and sweetness to the buns and helps keep them soft.
  • Cooling and Storage: Allow the hot cross buns to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving. They are best enjoyed fresh on the day they are made but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two. You can also freeze them for longer storage.
  • Experiment: Feel free to experiment with different spices, dried fruits, or glazes to customize the flavor of your hot cross buns to your liking. Have fun and enjoy the baking process!

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Full recipes and Thermomix® instructions please refer to the recipes card (Click here)!

  1. Prepare Ingredients: Gather all the ingredients and ensure they are at room temperature. Dice the unsalted butter and set aside.
  2. Heat Milk: In a small saucepan, heat the milk until it is warm but not boiling. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
  3. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the bread flour, sugar, dried instant yeast, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and fine sea salt. Mix well to ensure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Add Wet Ingredients: Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the warm milk. Add the diced unsalted butter and the large egg.
  5. Knead the Dough: Use a wooden spoon or your hands to mix the ingredients until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 8-10 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  6. Incorporate Dried Fruit: Flatten the dough and sprinkle the raisins and sultanas over the surface. Fold the dough over the fruits and continue to knead until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  7. First Rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1-2 hours, or until it doubles in size.
  8. Shape the Buns: Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the air bubbles. Divide the dough into equal portions and shape each portion into a smooth ball. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving some space between each bun.
  9. Make the Paste: In a small bowl, mix together the bread flour, sugar, and water to make a thick paste. Transfer the paste to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip.
  10. Pipe Crosses: Pipe a cross on top of each bun using the paste.
  11. Second Rise: Cover the buns with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise for another 30-45 minutes, or until they have doubled in size.
  12. Preheat Oven: While the buns are rising, preheat the oven to (180°C).
  13. Bake the Buns: Once the buns have risen, bake them in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  14. Make Glaze: brush the butter over the baked buns as soon as they come out of the oven.
  15. Cool and Serve: Allow the hot cross buns to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving. Enjoy them warm or at room temperature with a spread of butter.

VARIATIONS

Here are some variations of hot cross buns to try:

  • Chocolate Hot Cross Buns: Add cocoa powder to the dough and chocolate chips or chunks along with the dried fruit for a decadent twist on the classic recipe. Drizzle melted chocolate over the crosses instead of using a paste.
  • Orange and Cranberry Hot Cross Buns: Infuse the dough with orange zest and add dried cranberries along with the raisins and sultanas. Brush the baked buns with an orange glaze made from fresh orange juice and powdered sugar.
  • Apple and Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns: Incorporate diced apples and ground cinnamon into the dough, along with the dried fruit. For the crosses, mix cinnamon with the flour paste for a spiced topping.
  • Maple Pecan Hot Cross Buns: Replace some of the sugar in the dough with maple syrup and add chopped pecans to the mix. Brush the baked buns with a maple syrup glaze for extra sweetness.
  • Savory Hot Cross Buns: Instead of sugar and dried fruit, add savory ingredients like cheese, herbs (such as rosemary or thyme), and diced ham or bacon to the dough. Skip the crosses and serve these buns as a delicious accompaniment to soups or salads.
  • Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns: Use a gluten-free flour blend in place of wheat flour and ensure that all other ingredients are gluten-free. You may need to adjust the quantities slightly and add a binding agent like xanthan gum to help the dough hold together.
  • Vegan Hot Cross Buns: Substitute dairy milk and butter with plant-based alternatives, such as almond milk and vegan margarine. Use a flaxseed or chia seed egg as a binder. Check that all ingredients, including the dried fruit, are vegan-friendly.
  • Spiced Hot Cross Buns: Increase the amount of ground spices in the dough for a more intense flavor. Consider adding spices like ginger, cloves, allspice, or cardamom to create a unique and aromatic blend.
  • Nutty Hot Cross Buns: Incorporate chopped nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts, into the dough for added texture and flavor. Sprinkle extra nuts on top of the crosses before baking for a decorative touch.
  • Citrus Hot Cross Buns: Use a combination of lemon and orange zest in the dough, along with dried citrus peel or candied citrus fruit. Replace some of the liquid with fresh citrus juice for a bright, tangy flavor.

These variations offer a wide range of flavors and ingredients to suit different preferences and dietary requirements. Get creative and experiment with different combinations to discover your favorite twist on the classic hot cross bun recipe!

WHAT ELSE TO SERVE WITH ?

Hot cross buns are delicious on their own, but they also pair well with a variety of accompaniments. Here are some ideas for what to serve with hot cross buns:

  • Butter: Serve hot cross buns warm with a generous spread of butter. The butter melts into the warm bun, adding richness and enhancing the flavor.
  • Jam or Preserves: Accompany hot cross buns with your favorite jam, marmalade, or fruit preserves. The sweetness of the jam complements the spiced flavor of the buns.
  • Clotted Cream: For a more indulgent treat, serve hot cross buns with clotted cream, a thick and creamy spread that adds luxurious richness.
  • Cheese: Pair hot cross buns with cheese for a savory twist. Choose a mild cheese like cheddar or a creamy cheese like brie to complement the sweetness of the buns.
  • Honey or Maple Syrup: Drizzle warm hot cross buns with honey or maple syrup for extra sweetness and flavor. This is especially delicious with variations like maple pecan hot cross buns.
  • Tea or Coffee: Enjoy hot cross buns with a cup of tea or coffee for a comforting and satisfying snack or breakfast. The warm beverage helps balance the sweetness of the buns.
  • Fruit Salad: Serve hot cross buns alongside a refreshing fruit salad for a light and healthy option. The fresh fruit adds a contrast of flavors and textures.
  • Whipped Cream: Dollop a spoonful of whipped cream on top of hot cross buns for a decadent treat. This works particularly well with chocolate hot cross buns.
  • Yogurt: Pair hot cross buns with creamy yogurt for a simple and nutritious snack or breakfast. Add a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of granola for extra flavor and crunch.
  • Easter Brunch Spread: Include hot cross buns as part of a larger Easter brunch spread, alongside dishes like scrambled eggs, bacon, quiche, fresh fruit, and pastries.

These are just a few ideas for what to serve with hot cross buns. Get creative and experiment with different combinations to find your favorite way to enjoy this classic Easter treat!

MADE AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS

Making hot cross buns ahead of time can be convenient, especially if you want to enjoy them fresh on Easter morning without the rush of baking. Here are some instructions for preparing hot cross buns ahead of time:

  1. Prepare the Dough: Follow the recipe instructions up to the point where you shape the dough into individual buns. Instead of letting them rise for the second time, cover the shaped buns tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate them overnight.
  2. Overnight Rise: The shaped buns can rise slowly in the refrigerator overnight. This allows the flavors to develop and makes the baking process more convenient the next day.
  3. Morning Baking: On the morning you plan to bake the hot cross buns, remove them from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature while the oven preheats. This usually takes about 30-60 minutes.
  4. Second Rise: Once the buns have come to room temperature, remove the plastic wrap or foil and let them rise for the second time in a warm, draft-free place until they have doubled in size. This may take 30-60 minutes, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
  5. Bake as Directed: Preheat the oven and bake the risen hot cross buns according to the recipe instructions. Keep an eye on them while they bake, as the timing may vary slightly due to the overnight refrigeration.
  6. Glaze and Serve: Once the hot cross buns are baked to golden perfection, brush them with the glaze while they’re still warm from the oven. Allow them to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.
  7. Storage: If you have leftover hot cross buns, allow them to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. You can also freeze them for longer storage by wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap and placing them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Thaw frozen buns at room temperature or gently reheat them in the oven before serving.

By preparing the dough ahead of time, you can enjoy freshly baked hot cross buns with minimal effort on Easter morning, allowing you more time to relax and celebrate with loved ones.

STORAGE & REHEATING

Storage and reheating instructions for hot cross buns:

Storage:

  1. Allow the hot cross buns to cool completely to room temperature before storing them.
  2. Place the cooled buns in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag.
  3. Store the hot cross buns at room temperature for up to 2 days. If you need to store them for longer, you can freeze them.

Freezing:

  1. To freeze hot cross buns, wrap them individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  2. Place the wrapped buns in a freezer-safe bag or container, removing as much air as possible before sealing.
  3. Label the container with the date and contents.
  4. Store the buns in the freezer for up to 1-2 months.

Reheating:

  1. Thaw frozen hot cross buns overnight in the refrigerator if frozen.
  2. Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
  3. Remove the buns from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes to take the chill off.
  4. Place the buns on a baking sheet and reheat them in the preheated oven for 5-10 minutes, or until warmed through.
  5. Alternatively, you can slice the buns in half and toast them in a toaster or toaster oven until heated to your liking.
  6. Once reheated, serve the hot cross buns warm with butter, jam, or your favorite toppings.

By following these storage and reheating instructions, you can enjoy delicious hot cross buns even after they’ve been stored or frozen, ensuring they stay fresh and tasty for whenever you’re ready to enjoy them.

RECIPES FAQS

Can I use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast?

Yes, you can substitute active dry yeast for instant yeast, but you’ll need to activate it first. Dissolve the active dry yeast in warm water with a pinch of sugar and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy before adding it to the dough.

Can I make hot cross buns without raisins or sultanas?

Yes, you can omit the raisins and sultanas if you prefer plain hot cross buns. Alternatively, you can substitute them with other dried fruits like currants, chopped apricots, or dried cranberries.

How can I make the crosses on top of the buns?

To make the crosses, you can use a flour paste made from flour and water, or you can use icing or frosting. Simply pipe the crosses onto the buns before baking using a piping bag or a small zip-top bag with the corner snipped off.

Can I make hot cross buns ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the dough for hot cross buns ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight. Shape the buns, cover them tightly, and refrigerate them. The next day, let them come to room temperature, rise, and bake as directed.

How can I tell when the hot cross buns are done baking?

The hot cross buns are done baking when they are golden brown on top and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. You can also insert a toothpick into the center of a bun; if it comes out clean, the buns are ready.

Can I freeze hot cross buns?

Yes, you can freeze hot cross buns for longer storage. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Thaw frozen buns overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

How do I reheat hot cross buns?

To reheat hot cross buns, preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C), then place the buns on a baking sheet and warm them in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, you can slice the buns in half and toast them in a toaster or toaster oven until heated through.

If you’ve made this recipe or any recipes from my site, please tag on Instagram using #villetttkitchen! You can also tag me in your Instagram stories using @villettt. I always love to see your creations!

RECIPES CARD

Hot Cross Buns

Category, , , DifficultyIntermediate

Hot cross buns are traditional spiced buns that are typically eaten during the Easter season, especially on Good Friday. They are soft, slightly sweet, and often contain dried fruits such as currants or raisins. What sets them apart is the symbolic cross on top, usually made of icing or a pastry dough, representing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Prep Time30 minsCook Time20 minsTotal Time3 hrs 50 mins

Yields16 Servings

 60 g Unsalted Butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
 300 g Milk
 580 g Bread flour, plus extra for dusting
 50 g Sugar
 2 tsp Dried Instant Yeast
 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
 ½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
 1 Large Egg
 60 g Raisins
 60 g Sultanas
Paste
 30 g Bread flour
 15 g Sugar
 30 g Water
Glaze
 10 g Butter

1

Grease a baking tin (25 cm x 25 cm x 5 cm) and set aside.

2

Place butter and milk in mixing bowl then heat 2 min | 40°C | speed 1.5

3

Add flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg, salt and egg, mix 20 sec | speed 4 then knead Dough | 3 min

4

Add raisins and sultanas then knead Dough | 1 min. Tip out onto a lightly-floured surface and finish incorporating raisins into dough by hand until evenly distributed. Transfer to prepared bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size (2-3 hours).

5

Gently knock back dough, divide into 16 equal-sized pieces and shape into balls, then place in prepared roasting tin, 2 cm apart. Cover with greased cling film and leave to rise again until doubled in size (approx. 1 hour). Meanwhile, prepare paste.

Paste
6

Place a bowl on mixing bowl lid and weigh in flour, sugar and water. Mix by hand until smooth then transfer to a small piping bag.

7

Preheat oven to 180°C. When buns are risen, snip corner off piping bag and pipe crosses on top of each bun. Bake for 15-20 minutes (180°C) until golden.

8

As soon as buns are removed from oven, brush tops with butter. Leave to cool in tin then serve slightly warm or cool.

Ingredients

 60 g Unsalted Butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
 300 g Milk
 580 g Bread flour, plus extra for dusting
 50 g Sugar
 2 tsp Dried Instant Yeast
 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
 ½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
 1 Large Egg
 60 g Raisins
 60 g Sultanas
Paste
 30 g Bread flour
 15 g Sugar
 30 g Water
Glaze
 10 g Butter

Directions

1

Grease a baking tin (25 cm x 25 cm x 5 cm) and set aside.

2

Place butter and milk in mixing bowl then heat 2 min | 40°C | speed 1.5

3

Add flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg, salt and egg, mix 20 sec | speed 4 then knead Dough | 3 min

4

Add raisins and sultanas then knead Dough | 1 min. Tip out onto a lightly-floured surface and finish incorporating raisins into dough by hand until evenly distributed. Transfer to prepared bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size (2-3 hours).

5

Gently knock back dough, divide into 16 equal-sized pieces and shape into balls, then place in prepared roasting tin, 2 cm apart. Cover with greased cling film and leave to rise again until doubled in size (approx. 1 hour). Meanwhile, prepare paste.

Paste
6

Place a bowl on mixing bowl lid and weigh in flour, sugar and water. Mix by hand until smooth then transfer to a small piping bag.

7

Preheat oven to 180°C. When buns are risen, snip corner off piping bag and pipe crosses on top of each bun. Bake for 15-20 minutes (180°C) until golden.

8

As soon as buns are removed from oven, brush tops with butter. Leave to cool in tin then serve slightly warm or cool.

Hot Cross Buns

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