Hot cross buns with marmalade vodka whipped butter

Hot cross buns with marmalade vodka whipped butter
  • Serves icon Makes 17
  • Time icon Hands-on time 40 min, oven-time 25 min plus rising and proving time

Easter wouldn’t be Easter without hot cross buns – and homemade hot cross buns are always worth the extra effort. We’ve taken traditional hot cross buns to the next level with a boozy marmalade whipped butter and tear-and-share serving style. Grab one before they go.

Or, how about this nifty, orange-scented hot cross bun loaf? Perfect for serving in slices with butter and marmalade.


  • 875g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 60g chilled butter, cubed
  • 60g golden caster sugar, plus extra 2 tbsp
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 10g fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 375ml whole milk, plus extra 4 tbsp
  • 100g raisins
  • 35g chopped mixed peel
  • Oil for greasing

For the whipped butter

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 350g icing sugar
  • zest 1 ornage
  • 50ml marmalade vodka (or vodka shaken with 1 tsp marmalade)


  1. Sift 750g of the flour into a large glass or ceramic bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in 45g caster sugar, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and yeast. Mix in the beaten egg with 375ml milk, until you have a soft, pliable dough. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 15 minutes, or in a stand mixer for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a large, lightly greased mixing bowl, cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead well to knock out all the air, then work in the raisins and mixed peel. Cut the dough into 17 equal pieces. Lightly flour your hands and place slightly cupped, with fingers open – over each piece, then rotate your hand in a circular motion, pressing down on the dough to create a neat ball of dough. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Arrange the balls into a spiral on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to prove for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Sift the remaining flour into a bowl and stir in 150ml water to make a smooth wet paste. Spoon into a freezer bag, snip off the corner and pipe a cross over the top of each bun. Bake for 25 minutes until golden, covering with foil if they brown very quickly.
  4. Meanwhile, put the extra 4tbsp milk and extra 2tbsp sugar into a pan. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then boil for 2-3 minutes until syrupy. Brush the glaze over the warm buns. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  5. To make the whipped butter, cream together the butter and orange zest and 175g of the icing sugar until light and fluffy (in a food processor or with a hand held whisk). Beat in another 175g sifted icing sugar and the marmalade vodka. Serve with the buns.

delicious. tips

  1. You can use any dried fruit you like, roughly chopped glacé cherries or finely chopped dried apricots work well.

  2. The buns are best served fresh but you can reheat them the next day in a low oven, or toast them the day after that.

    The butter can be made (or leftover can be saved) for up to 2 weeks, in a sealed container in the fridge.


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