Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns
  • Serves icon Makes 12 buns
  • Time icon Hands on time 45 minutes, oven time 15 minutes, plus proving

Soft, slightly warm, doughy hot cross buns are everyone’s favourite Easter treat. Go on – make them yourself this year with our simple recipe. Or check out the rest of our standout hot cross bun recipes for more whacky and wonderful creations.


  • 625g strong white flour
  • 45g chilled butter
  • 45g golden caster sugar, plus 2 extra tbsp
  • 1 tsp each salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1½ tsp fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 275ml milk, plus 4 extra tbsp
  • 100g raisins
  • 25g chopped mixed peel
  • Oil, for greasing


  1. Sift 500g of the flour into a large glass or ceramic bowl. Cut up the butter and rub in with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in 45g caster sugar, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and yeast. Beat the egg in another bowl, then mix it into the dry ingredients with 275ml milk, until you have a soft, pliable dough. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Gradually work in the raisins and peel. Return to the bowl and cover loosely with oiled cling film. Leave in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled in size.
  2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead well to knock out all the air, then cut into 12 pieces. Put your lightly floured hand – slightly cupped, with fingers open – over 1 piece, then rotate your hand in a circular motion, pressing down on the dough to create a neat ball. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Put on 2 greased trays, spaced apart. Cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Sift the remaining flour into a bowl and stir in about 125ml tap water to make a smooth wet paste. Spoon into a freezer bag, snip off the corner and pipe a cross over each bun. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.
  4. Meanwhile, put the extra milk and extra 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. Serve split open and toasted with lots of butter.


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