8 of the best hot cross bun recipes

Looking for the best hot cross bun recipes on the entire internet? You’re in the right place. Hot cross buns are a perennial favourite Easter baked treat, and nothing beats homemade. So, we’ve selected our favourite hot cross buns to get spring off to a delicious start.

Our hot-cross hall of fame includes classic hot cross buns, chocolatey ones and savoury cheese buns. Keep scrolling for saffron buns and tear and share HCBs with marmalade and vodka whipped butter. Or, for a break from the buns, try our easy hot cross loaf. We’ve even persuaded Gail’s Bakery to share the recipe for its beloved hot cross buns. 

Whether you prefer your buns room-temp or toasted, plain or slathered in butter, find the recipes you need below. There’s also ideas for using up leftover shop-bought or homemade buns. Plus, we’ve included our top tips for making perfect hot cross buns every time…

8 of the best hot cross bun recipes

What are hot cross buns?

Hot cross buns are sweet, lightly spiced buns that are usually studded with currants or raisins. They are decorated with a white cross and are traditionally eaten on Good Friday.

However, we think hot cross buns are too good to save for one day of the year. Especially when there’s so many yummy versions to try…

Top tips for making perfect hot cross buns

  • Strong white bread flour is essential for baking light and fluffy hot cross buns, in order for the gluten to stand up to all the kneading involved.
  • If you don’t have a proving drawer or your kitchen is too cold, pop the oven onto its lowest setting and sit the covered bowl of dough on the open oven door.
  • Hot cross buns are generally made with fast-action yeast, but if you’d like to use fresh yeast, this will need to be creamed with a little warm milk before being added to the dry ingredients. This prevents the dry ingredients from killing or interfering with the activation of the yeast.
  • Feel free to mix up the flavours of your hot cross buns! Try swapping raisins for glacé cherries or chopped apricots. Or add a pinch of lemon or orange zest to the dry ingredients for a citrussy kick.

Don’t forget to check out our full guide on how to make hot cross buns.

What to do with leftover hot cross buns

There’ s often a surplus of hot cross buns in the supermarkets once Easter time has been and gone. So don’t let them go to waste! Tear them up and bake into Paul A Young’s fantastic brownies or pop them under the grill and serve stuffed with cheese and bacon for an epic sweet-meets-savoury breakfast treat.

We love swapping bread for hot cross buns in a classic bread and butter pudding, too. The buns bring subtle sweetness and spice that make this British pud all the more warming! Check out more ideas for using up leftover hot cross buns.

Our best-ever hot cross bun recipes…

Hot cross buns with marmalade vodka whipped butter

Tear-and-share bakes are so much fun to make and eat with loved ones and we’re certain these feed-a-crowd hot cross buns will bring you joy. The vodka marmalade whipped butter adds a brilliant adults-only twist.

Chocolate and peanut butter hot cross buns

Chocolate HCBs have a growing fan base. If you’ve tried these treats from the supermarket before, how about making your own this year? The hint of peanut butter in the dough works beautifully with orange zest and warming spices.

Hot cross bun loaf

This hot cross bun loaf is spiked with saffron for its bright colour and unique flavour. It’s a truly uplifting bake and is incredible served with clotted cream.

Gail’s hot cross buns

Gail’s Bakery knows a thing or two about hot cross buns…and we’ve got Gail’s signature recipe. These glossy buns are packed with currants, sultanas and dried cranberries.

Golden saffron hot cross buns

These extra fruity hot cross buns are made with sultanas, currants, mixed peel and apricots and slathered in a citrus honey glaze. They’re freezable too.

saffron hot cross buns

Classic hot cross buns

Fancy twists are good and all, but we’ll always hold a special place in our hearts for a classic hot cross bun. The process might be lengthy but they’re not difficult to make – we promise!

classic hot cross buns

Cheese and chilli hot cross buns

Need a break from the sweet stuff? Try these savoury buns. Swap classic hot cross spicing for smoked paprika, chilli powder and nigella seeds and crumble mature cheddar into the dough. If you like cheese scones, you’ll love these.

Chocolate orange hot cross buns

We’ve spiked these chocolate HCBs with orange zest and juice too, but if chocolate orange isn’t your thing then you can leave out the citrus elements if you like.

chocolate hot cross buns

All hot cross bun’d out? Check out our best Easter cake recipes instead. 

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