Hot Cross Buns

Whenever I had hot cross buns as a child, there was some special, unique taste I got from them that I thought could only be achieved with the use of artificial flavourings, and additives. Thus, when I set out to make my own, I didn’t have many hopes.

Well, strike me down and call me a liar! (Actually, please don’t; that would kinda hurt… 😛 )

These hot cross buns tasted exactly like the hot cross buns of my childhood! Sure, they were kinda dry once they cooled, but a quick sprinkling of water and a zap in the microwave soon set them straight. Plus, I made the crosses from white chocolate, instead of that chewy, tasteless flour-water cross the shops used to do.

Ouch, it's hot!

Hot Cross Buns

  • Servings: makes 12
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Recipe from Serious Eats


  • 1/2 cup (125mL) warm water
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs instant yeast (make sure it’s live)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 cups flour (preferably bread flour – I used normal flour, and added some gluten according to the packet instructions)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 + 1/2 cup dried fruit (I used 1/2 cup craisins, 1/3 cup sultanas, soaked in Cointreau)
  • 1/4 (60mL) cup more warm water
  • 2 1/2 Tbs (40mL) honey
  • 1/3 cup (80mL) oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Marmalade (optional)
  • Cointreau (optional)
  • White chocolate (optional)


  • Mix the 1/2 cup warm water, 2 Tbs sugar and yeast in a mug. Cover with clingwrap and leave for 5 minutes.
  • Whisk 1 tsp sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt together in a separate bowl.
  • Stir the fruit into the flour mixture.
  • Whisk together the 1/4 cup water, honey, oil, egg and vanilla.
  • Add the yeast mixture to the honey mixture and pour into the flour mixture.
  • Beat with a large spoon until dough starts to form.
  • Knead for 5 minutes (if you must, add some flour to reduce stickiness).
  • Place in a well-oiled bowl, cover, and leave to rise in a warm-ish place for 2 hours.
  • Divide dough into 12 balls,
  • Grease a 20 x 20cm square cake pan.
  • Put the dough balls in the pan, cover, and allow to rise an hour.
  • Bake at 175°C for 25 – 30 minutes.
  • Stir together marmalade and Cointreau to a syrup consistency.
  • While the buns are still hot, brush over the marmalade.
  • Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.
  • Melt the white chocolate (I do this by sealing the chocolate in a snap-lock bag and immersing the bag in hot water – I snip of the corner to pipe) and pipe crosses onto buns.


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