How to Make Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns are a delicious Easter tradition that many people enjoy. This Easter, why not try making your own?

What are Hot Cross Buns?

Hot cross buns are a type of Easter bun that is popular in many countries. The history of these buns dates back to the 12th century, and they were originally made to be eaten on Good Friday. The cross on top of the bun is supposed to represent the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Nowadays, you can find hot cross buns being sold in bakeries all around the world. Easter wouldn’t be complete without these delicious buns!

What ingredients do I need?

The ingredients you’ll need are: flour, sugar, salt, yeast, milk, butter, eggs, and dried fruit. The dried fruit is usually raisins or sultanas. You can also add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice, or allspice to your buns.

The dough for hot cross buns is very sticky, so you’ll need to knead it for longer. After the dough has been kneaded, you’ll let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. Then, you’ll shape it into buns and let them rise again.

The final step is to bake the hot cross buns. You can either bake them in the oven or cook them in a slow cooker. The buns will be done when they are golden brown in colour.

Hot cross buns make a delicious Easter treat! Why not give this recipe a try this Easter? You won’t be disappointed!

How to knead wet dough

This being a very wet dough can be daunting at first and can lead to frustration. I would recommend trying the following steps to make things easier:

Mix the ingredients together and allow it to rest for 30 to 40 minutes, covered with wrap or a damp towel. This will allow the gluten structure to begin to form.

Turn the rested mixture on to a work surface. Using the heel of your palm, gently push down into the top third of the dough and push away from you.

As the dough is very sticky, it should stick to the heel of your palm and return when you pull your hand back. If it doesn’t, use a bread cutter or scraper to bring the dough back.

Turn the dough 90° and repeat, the dough will start to come together and become less sticky.

Or you can slap it on the work surface, stretch the dough out and then fold it. Turn 90° , repeat same process you will get a nice smooth dough.

Hot Cross Bun

Find out how to make delicious Hot Cross Buns for Easter! This recipe is easy to follow and will result in perfect, fluffy buns.
Servings 12 Buns
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes


  • 1 Mixing Bowl
  • 1 Bread Cutter
  • 1 Tray
  • 1 Piping bag or Plastic bag


For Bread

  • 400 g Strong Bread Flour(100%)
  • 8 g Fast Yeast(2%)
  • 6 g Fine Salt(1.5%)
  • 60 g Caster Sugar(15%)
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Orange Zest
  • 57 g 1 Large Beaten Egg egg yolk makes the bread more fluffy and keeps it softer longer.
  • 230 g Warm Whole Milk (57%) around 30°C or warm to the touch
  • 40 g Unsalted Butter(10%)

For Filling

  • 160 g Sultanas(40%) you can use them dry or leave to soak in hot water for 15 minutes, then dry. You also can use any dried fruit you prefer.


  • 40 g Plain flour
  • 40 g Water You could adjust it until you can pipe it easily
  • 2 tbsp Runny Honey To brush on the top after baking


  • Ready a mixing bowl, add the strong bread flour, fast yeast, fine salt, caster sugar, ground cinnamon, mixed spice, vanilla extract and orange zest. Mix it with your hand or bread cutter. Then add the warm milk and the eggs, mix them well, until the bottom of the bowl doesn't have any dry flour.
    Mix the ingredients
  • Once the dough has gathered together, turn it out onto the work surface (If you feel this dough is too wet to knead, leave it in the bowl for 30 minutes, then start to knead it, it will be easier. Or please see how to knead wet dough) Start to knead it or once it is gathered together you can slap it on the work surface, stretch the dough out and then fold it, then turn 90° and repeat same process for 10 to 15 minutes or until the gluten has formed.
    knead the daugh
  • Once the gluten has formed (you can cut a small piece of dough and spread it very thin, if you can see your finger though the dough, it means it is ready to add the butter, if not knead it longer. Please note the dough will not be smooth now). Spread the dough and add the butter, cover it with the dough then start to knead it again. It will become sticky and spread on the work surface, use the bread cutter to gather the dough and continue to knead for around 10 to 15 minutes or until it becomes smooth.
    Add the butter
  • Once the dough becomes smooth, cut a small piece of the dough and spread it very thin, if you can see your finger though the dough, and it does not break easily, this means the gluten is ready. Next spread the dough on the work surface, then add the sultanas, cover with the dough and mix it well, then roll the dough into a ball and put it into the mixing bowl (you can add a little oil to the bottom to make easier to come out after the first rest). Cover with proving bag and put the mixing bowl in the warm place to do first rest for 30 to 90 minutes or until it doubles in size.
    add the sultanas
  • After first rest, finger test to check if the dough has rested enough(see notes). Turn it out onto the work surface (if the dough is sticky, dust the flour on the surface). Use your fingers to gently push the air out and divide into 12 equal pieces. Next shape each piece into a small ball, use the outside edge of your hand to roll the dough in the other hand. This should stretch the top and give it a smooth look. Then at the bottom you want to pinch the dough together to seal the ball. Then leave them on the work surface and allow to rest for 15 minutes, cover with wrap or wet towel.
    finger test
  • Dust your work surface a little flour, spread out each ball and push the air out gently. Then shape it into the balls again. Put the balls on the tray and space them equally, let it rest in a warm place for around 30 to 60 minutes or until it doubles in size. Cover with prove bag.
    Preheat the oven 210C. While the dough is resting, make the topping, mix plain flour and water together and put it into piping bag or plastic bag for later use. (if your topping is too sticky to pipe you can add more water)
    Once dough has rested, pipe the topping on the top of the bun in a cross shape. And put it into the oven 190C for 13 to 15 minutes for until it become golden brown.
    bench time
  • Once bread has cooked brush the honey on the top of the bread then leave them to cool completely.
    brush honey
  • Hope you enjoy!
    hot cross bun


How to Finger Test: Dust your finger with flour, and gently poke it into the dough, if the dough retains the finger hole when you pull your finger away, it is ready. If the dough springs back, let it rest longer. If the dough collapses then it has been rested too long.
When you roll the dough make sure the dried fruit is not on the top or it will burn when you bake it.
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: British
Keyword: bread, buns, cinnamon, dried fruit, mixed spice

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

My Formosa Food © Copyright 2019 - 2022. All rights reserved.