Delicious Homemade Hot Cross Bun Recipe: A Perfect Treat for Easter

As Easter approaches, the scent of warm spices and freshly baked goods fills the air, and what better way to celebrate this joyous occasion than with homemade hot cross buns? These soft, pillowy buns, adorned with a symbolic cross on top, are a quintessential Easter treat enjoyed by many around the world. Whether served for breakfast, brunch, or dessert, hot cross buns are sure to delight your taste buds and evoke the spirit of the season.

History of Hot Cross Buns:

Hot cross buns have a rich history dating back centuries. Originating in England, these sweet, spiced buns were traditionally eaten on Good Friday to mark the end of Lent. The cross on top of the bun symbolizes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, making them a fitting treat for the Easter season. Over time, hot cross buns have become synonymous with Easter celebrations and are enjoyed by people of all ages.


To make these delectable hot cross buns at home, you will need the following ingredients:

For the buns:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • One teaspoon salt
  • One tablespoon of active dry yeast
  • One teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/4 cups warm milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • One large egg
  • 1/2 cup raisins or currants

For the cross:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves or honey
  • One tablespoon water


  1. Activate the yeast: In a small bowl, combine the warm milk and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes or until foamy.
  2. Prepare the dough: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture, melted butter, and beaten egg. Stir until a sticky dough forms.
  3. Knead the dough: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky, you can add a little more flour as needed.
  4. Add the raisins: Once the dough is kneaded, gently fold in the raisins or currants until evenly distributed.
  5. Let the dough rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
  6. Shape the buns: Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball and place them on a greased baking sheet, leaving some space between each bun.
  7. Make the crosses: In a small bowl, mix the flour and water until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off, and pipe a cross on top of each bun.
  8. Let the buns rise again: Cover them with a clean kitchen towel and let them grow for another 30-45 minutes or until they are they puff up and double in size.
  9. Bake the buns: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Once the buns have risen, bake them for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
  10. Glaze the buns: While the buns are still warm, heat the apricot preserves or honey with water in a small saucepan until melted. Brush the glaze over the tops of the buns for a shiny finish.
  11. Serve and enjoy: Allow the buns to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy them warm with a pat of butter, or toast them up the next day for a delicious breakfast treat.


While traditional hot cross buns are flavored with spices and studded with raisins or currants, there are endless variations you can try to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few ideas:

  • Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns: Replace the raisins with chocolate chips for a decadent twist on this classic recipe.
  • Orange and Cranberry Hot Cross Buns: Add orange zest and dried cranberries to the dough for a burst of citrusy flavor.
  • Nutty Hot Cross Buns: Fold chopped nuts such as pecans or walnuts into the dough for added crunch and texture.
  • Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns: Use gluten-free flour and ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free to make a delicious gluten-free version of hot cross buns.

Making hot cross buns from scratch is a rewarding experience that brings the warmth and comfort of homemade baking to your Easter celebrations. Whether enjoyed fresh out of the oven or toasted with a generous spread of butter, these soft and fragrant buns are sure to be a hit with family and friends. So roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and get ready to bake up a batch of these irresistible Easter treats!

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