9 best hot cross bun recipes of all time

Whether you serve them warm, cold, toasted or grilled with cheese (yes, that’s a thing) hot cross buns have got to be everyone’s favourite Easter baked treat. So, we’ve created an entire guide dedicated to this sweet and spiced bake. Find top tips for making perfect hot cross buns every time along with 9 of our very-best hot cross bun recipes.

9 best hot cross bun recipes of all time

What are hot cross buns?

Hot cross buns are sweet, lightly spiced buns which are usually studded with currants or raisins. Each one is decorated with a white cross and they’re traditionally eaten on Good Friday, in a remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus.

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 glace cherries or chopped apricots. Or add a pinch of lemon or orange zest to the dry ingredients for a citrusy 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 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 adult twist. Kids – hands off!

Orange hot cross bun loaf

Would you look at the shine on this beauty! This knockout hot cross bun loaf is slathered in a sticky marmalade glaze at the last minute. Serve thick slices with lashings of unsalted butter.

Hot cross bun loaf

A slightly different hot cross bun loaf, this time spiked with saffron for its bright colour and unique flavour. It’s a truly uplifting bake and, as we’ve suggested, best served with clotted cream.

Hot cross bun brownies

We wouldn’t be doing our jobs correctly if we didn’t present you with an epic hybrid bake. Brownie meets hot cross bun in this indulgent recipe by Paul A Young – to make it is to fall in love with it.

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 for a classic hot cross bun. The process might be lengthy but they’re not difficult to make – we promise!

classic hot cross buns

Hot cross scones

For a speedier take on a hot cross bun, try our hot cross scones. They take 30 minutes total to make and bake.

hot cross scones

Hot cross cheese and bacon toasties 

Treat yourself to an indulgent Easter breakfast with these hot cross bun toasties filled with cheese and  bacon.

Chocolate hot cross buns

Of course our chocolate hot cross buns had to make the list! We’ve spiked them 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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