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Confession… I can have hot cross buns any time of the year. So, come Easter time I am beyond excited. 

It is traditionally eaten on Good Friday. As each bun is decorated with a Cross made from flour paste, we remember Jesus’ crucifixion. It is said that the spices represent the spices that were used to embalm Christ after his death. Some recipes include orange peel to reflect the bitterness of Jesus’ time on the Cross.

three recipes traditional hot cross buns

Traditions: An 1884 advertisement announcing the sale of hot cross buns for Good Friday in a Hawaiian newspaper.English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or grow moldy during the subsequent year. Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes. A piece of it given to someone ill is said to help them recover.If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year.

How to make hot cross buns

40 minutes to prepare & 25 minutes to bake

Ingredients to make 15 Hot Cross Buns

  • 3 teaspoons instant dried yeast 
  • spreadable butter, to serve
  • 4 cups plain flour 
  • extra 1/2 cup plain flour 
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice 
  • 1/2 cup Thickened Cream 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 80g Unsalted Cultured Butter 
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon gelatine 1
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 egg, whisked 
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar, extra
  • 2 cup sultanas 
Tip: Save the recipe card to Pinterest or your mobile device so it is easy to find for years to come!


Hot Cross Buns Traditional

Step 1 of 6
Combine milk and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until luke-warm. Pour into a jug. Add yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Whisk with a fork until combined. Stand in a warm place for 10 minutes or until frothy.

Step 2 of 6
Sift flour, cinnamon, and mixed spice into a large bowl. Stir through salt and remaining sugar. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir through sultanas. Add yeast mixture and egg. Stir until well combined and a soft dough forms.

Step 3 of 6
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5–8 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough into a greased bowl and cover with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place for 40 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Step 4 of 6
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease a 30×20 cm lamington pan. Punch dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes, then divide into 3 equal pieces. Divide each portion into 5 (making 15 buns). Roll each portion into a bun and place, side by side, into the prepared pan. Stand in a warm place for 20 minutes or until the dough has risen.

Step 5 of 6
Sift extra flour in a small bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup water until smooth paste forms. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip (3mm). Pipe crosses onto each bun. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden, risen, and cooked through.

Step 6 of 6
Just before the buns are cooked, start making the glaze. Combine gelatine, extra sugar, and 1 tablespoon of boiling water in a small bowl and whisk with a fork to dissolve. Brush mixture over buns while still hot. Transfer buns to a wire rack to cool or serve warm with butter.

Alternative Hot Cross Buns Recipes from...

Jamie Oliver

“When it comes to Easter, you can’t beat indulging in a lovely, sticky hot cross bun. Give this recipe a go – I promise you’ll never buy the shop bought versions again. ”

Recipe Tin Eats