9 hot cross bun-inspired recipes to try this Easter

It wouldn’t be Easter without hot cross buns. Whether you prefer them shop-bought or homemade, cold or toasted, plain or with butter (lots of butter), they’re a springtime staple. But if you’ve been adding hot cross buns to your shopping basket since January, you might be ready to try something slightly different. Our nine best hot cross bun-inspired recipes take the key flavours of HCBs and use them to delicious effect in everything from cookies to gin… These inventive takes and twists on the traditional Easter treat will shake things up.

9 hot cross bun-inspired recipes to try this Easter

What makes a great hot cross bun-inspired recipe?

The cosy flavours of hot cross buns work brilliantly in all sort of other bakes, puds and Easter treats. Think plump sultanas, currants, candied peel, fresh citrus zest and plenty of warming spices like vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. These versatile ingredients work brilliantly with butter, cream and banana-based bakes plus that other Easter weekend essential, chocolate.

Our best-ever hot cross bun-inspired recipes include hot cross brownies loaded with bun chunks, easy cookies and scones, a more involved project bake and an epic Easter Sunday dessert to use up any leftover buns. Some of them also make sweet homemade gifts if you’re visiting friends and family over the long weekend. Which recipe will you make first?

Top hot cross bun-inspired recipes

Hot cross banana bread

This recipe is a lovely project bake, so set aside a few hours of quiet kitchen time. Fold chocolate chips into brioche dough, then braid the dough with a rich, spiced banana paste. The result is a pillowy sweet bread with subtle hot cross bun flavours.

Hot cross banana bread


Hot cross bun trifle

Got some hot cross buns left over from Good Friday? Turn them into the foundation of this Easter Sunday dessert. The HCBs are topped with citrus curd, custard, cream and candied oranges for the ultimate Easter trifle.

Hot cross bun trifle


Hot cross bun brownies

What if chocolate and hot cross buns joined forces? The two classic Easter treats come together in chocolatier Paul A Young’s squidgy brownies, loaded with chunks of bun and with a touch of nutmeg in the batter.

Hot cross bun brownies


Hot cross bun spiced gin

Infuse gin with the warming flavours of vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and mixed dried fruits and leave to steep for a week: simple. A perfect gift for the host if you’re visiting friends this Easter – or chill and serve martini-style at home.

Hot cross bun gin


Hot cross cookies

A fun bake to try with the kids. These easy cookies have HCB spicing plus plenty of dried fruit. Take some with you if you’re out and about exploring over the Easter weekend.

Hot cross bun cookies


Hot cross millionaire’s shortbread

Give millionaire’s shortbread a seasonal twist by adding warming hot cross bun flavours to the buttery biscuit base. Finish by piping a melted white chocolate cross over the cooled and set chocolate top.

Hot cross millionaire's shortbread


Orange hot cross bun loaf

Amp up the orange flavour of your hot cross bake by adding fresh orange zest and juice, plus a marmalade glaze. Cut the loaf into thick slices and serve warm with lashings of butter and extra marmalade.

Hot cross bun loaf


Hot cross bun fudge

One for the sweet toothed! Creamy fudge is the perfect vehicle for hot cross spicing, juicy currants and citrus peel. Our easy homemade fudge also contains lemon and orange zest to cut through the buttery richness.

Hot cross bun fudge


Hot cross scones

If you don’t have time to make buns from scratch, these speedy hot cross scones are a great alternative. Easter afternoon tea, anyone?

Hot cross scones


Looking for the classic recipe? Here are our best hot cross bun recipes. Plus, discover all our Easter baking ideas.

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