Hot Cross Buns

Why are they called Hot Cross Buns??

I grew up learning this rhyme and did not have any interest in finding out the origins. We just learned what we were taught by our teachers from being a part of the British Commonwealth.

Hot cross buns, hot cross buns,

One a penny two a penny,

Hot cross buns

If you have no daughters, give them to your sons

Hot cross buns

I have since done some research albeit many decades later and today’s seach throws yet another different take on it’s origins. When I first starting making these buns, it was because of my husband’s craving for them as it was a tradition for him to have Hot Cross Buns especially on Good Friday.

This recipe is easy and a quick make. This batch of buns might become a family tradition for Easter!!

Hot Cross Buns

Ingredients:Hot Cross Buns 

A) 1 cup warm milk

11g instant yeast (1 tablespoon)

1 1/2 teaspoon sugar

B) 2 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoon plain / all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon allspice powder

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (dry)

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder

D) 1/2 cup raisins

1 egg

30g / 1 tablespoon butter , softened

E) 1/4 cup plain / all-purpose flour


1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest (1/2 teaspoon if using dried lemon zest)


  • Starting with Ingredients (A) :- Heat milk to just warm to the touch.
  • Add sugar & dry instant yeast to the milk. Set aside.
  • Mix all ingredients in (B) in a mixing bowl for stand mixer. Make a well in the middle.
  • The yeast mixture (A) should have starting to froth by now. Add this liquid to the dry ingredients (B)
  • Turn the mixer to ‘STIR’ till the liquid is mixed in but not into a dough. Allow to autolyse (activating the yeast/gluten) for about 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, using dough hook, mix the dough to form a ball.
  • Add the egg and beat for 10 minutes or so before adding in the raisins & butter.
  • Beat for 5 minutes more. It should form a dough. If it is still wet, start adding more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. *Sometimes, the amount of egg is more causing the dough to be more ‘wet’, hence the need to increase the dry ingredients (flour) to make the dough pliable & workable.
  • Once the dough has formed a somewhat sticky ball, stop beating it up.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel & allow to proof. It is ready for the next stage when it has proofed for about an hour (more or less, depending on weather conditions) or doubled in size.
  • Prepare Ingredients (E) for the markings of the ‘Cross’. Add enough water to the flour to get a just liquid mixture.
  • Add the lemon juice & zest to the roux / flour mixture. Set aside for later use.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size. Punch down or remove from the mixing bowl onto a floured surface/counter.
  • Prepare a baking pan, I used a 9″x13″ tray which could only hold 15 buns, spaced 3 columns 5 rows. The remaining bun was simply placed in a small foil tart pan.
  • Divide the dough into 16 portions. Flour each portion lightly & fold inwards to make a ball. Place on the baking tray.
  • Allow to proof till doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF).
  • It will be easier to mark the ‘crosses’ onto the top of the buns after they have proofed to double size. Using a spoon or a spreader, mark ‘X’ on the tops of the buns with the mixture of Ingredients (E)
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove and allow to cool.
  • Can be eaten as is or with butter / jam spread.

Happy Easter!!


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