Soft Hot Cross Buns

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An easter favourite – soft hot cross buns are so easy to make

An easter favourite – soft hot cross buns are so easy to make at home! They are fluffy, fragrant and you know exactly what goes into them.

Closeup of one hot cross bun to show how beautifully glazed they are

Come Easter and I make a big batch of these super soft Hot Cross Buns everywhere. They have a soft, fluffy texture and this yeasted dough is flavoured with orange and cinnamon and speckled with lots of currants.

I know you can pick up a batch from a nearby bakery. But here’s why you should really think about making them at home:

You know exactly what goes into them. These don’t have any preservatives or artificial flavours in them

The dough comes together really easily in a stand mixer if you have one. If you don’t kneading it by hand takes about 10 minutes. If that’s too much, get a family member help and makes this a fun, Easter activity!

The Story behind Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns traditionally mark the end of Easter, with the cross on top and the spices signifying important moments. Over time, they’ve gained popularity and are now enjoyed all year round!

8 Hot Cross Buns on parchment paper on a baking sheet straight from the ovenWhat goes into them?

You need simple ingredients for Hot Cross Buns

  • All Purpose Flour or Maida
  • Yeast: We use Active Dry Yeast for all our baking, but can you can use Instant or Fresh Yeast as well. Its important to check the potency of your yeast to make sure its still alive and kicking. To do that, mix 1/4 teaspoon yeast and a pinch of sugar in lukewarm water and let it sit for five minutes. If the liquid becomes frothy and rises, you know the yeast is good to use.
  • Milk: To add moisture to the dough
  • Sugar: For sweetness. You can use either white or brown sugar
  • Spices: Spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg give hot cross buns their distinct flavour, and holiday feel. We also use some orange marmalade which can be easily substituted with orange peel
  • Black Raisins: One of our favourite additions to hot cross buns, biting into bits of black raisins is one of the best things about eating hot cross buns. You can use green raisins, currants and cranberries too

Kneading the Dough just right

The best way to tell if your dough is kneaded well is by taking a piece of dough and pulling it gently till it’s really thin, and almost looks like a window pane. If it doesn’t break, and passes the ‘windowpane test’, you know your dough is kneaded just right. Another sign is that the dough should smooth and moist (not sticky, but moist). When you press down on the dough, it should easily bounce back.

Kneading bread dough is a place where a lot of people trip up, but a good thumb rule is 6-7 minutes in a stand mixer and approx 10 minutes if you knead by hand.

Closeup of the crumb of hot cross bunsHow to make the Cross for Hot Cross Buns

The cross is a simple mixture of flour and water. It’s important to get the consistency right. The batter should be flowing consistency but not too runny or it’ll just melt in the oven. If its too thick, it’ll be stretchy and not nice. Make sure to pipe it to 1/8 inch thickness.

Glaze for Hot Cross Buns

These can be enjoyed as is, but we love making a super simple cinnamon glaze by simmering water, sugar and cinnamon together. This glaze makes the buns slightly sticky, keeps them moist and adds more flavour.

These soft Hot Cross Buns are best enjoyed warm with butter slathered in the center. The sweet, salty flavours make these perfect for a snack or at tea time!

A hot cross bun that has been sliced oven with soft butter slathered on it

This year, enjoy these with your family irrespective of whether you celebrate easter or not! You’ll never go back to store bought ones!

A pile of hot cross buns stacked on a black and white plate

Print Soft Hot Cross Buns

Learn how to make super soft hot cross buns that are fragrant with orange and spices and studded with raisins. These are really easy to make at home and can be enjoyed all year round but are a special treat for Easter!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword hot cross buns

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Servings 8 buns
Calories 293kcal


  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 ½ Teaspoon Active Yeast
  • 30 Grams Sugar
  • 40 Grams Butter
  • 140 Millilitres Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Teaspoons Orange Marmalade
  • 1 Lemon zested
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Nutmeg powder
  • 75 Grams Black Raisins chopped
Egg Wash

  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon Milk
Flour Paste

  • ¼ Cup Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Water
Sugar Syrup

  • ¾ Cup Water
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 1 inch Cinnamon



  • Add flour, yeast, sugar, butter, milk, vanilla extract and orange marmalade to a mixing bowl. Using the dough hook of a stand mixer, knead on medium speed for 6-7 minutes. Knead until the dough is not sticking to the sides of the bowl.
  • Add salt, cinnamon powder, lemon zest and grated nutmeg to the mixing bowl and further knead on low speed for 2 minutes or until you achieve a good window pane.
  • Take the dough out of the stand mixer, flatten it out, and add raising. Knead gently by hand till the raisins are combined in the dough.
  • Shape the dough into a ball. Place in a bowl or a tray and cover loosely with cling film or a damp cloth. Allow to bench rest for 1 hour.
  • Remove the film and shape into 8 balls of 70-75 grams each. Place them on a tray lined with parchment paper and loosely cover with cling film. Ensure it is loose as the buns will further prove and increase in size. Proof for 1- 1 ½ hours or until the buns double in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 190C for 20 minutes.
  • Once proved, brush with egg wash (mentioned below) and pipe an X on each bun using the flour paste (method mentioned below).
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes at 190C in a preheated oven.
  • Remove from the oven once baked and lightly brush with prepared sugar syrup (mentioned below).
Egg Wash

  • Whisk the egg and milk together until combined. Brush the buns generously with egg wash.
Flour Paste

  • Whisk the flour and water together until combined. If the paste seems too runny, add a teaspoon of flour at a timeAdd this to a piping bag and and use it to pipe crosses on each bun before baking.
Sugar Syrup

  • Add water, sugar and cinnamon to a small pan and heat on medium till sugar dissolves. Continue to simmer for 2 – 3 minutes or until it gets thicker.

Nutrition Info: The nutritional info mentioned above is for 1 bun. This recipe makes 8 buns which is perfect for a family of four


Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 350mg | Potassium: 193mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 191IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2mg

The post Soft Hot Cross Buns appeared first on My Food Story.

BakkBenchers Network

BakkBenchers Network

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Kick-Ass content from the Back Benches every day ! We bring you the kind of shows that TV doesn’t make ! Get ready to see the world from the back benches. We are responsible for only what we say, not what you understand ;)

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