Hot Cross Buns: The Easy Recipe to Make Them at Home!

Total time: 20 min prep/ 3 hr rise/ 25 min bake
Difficulty: Medium
Serves: 12 people
By Cookist

Hot cross buns are spicy, yeasted buns usually made with fruit and are traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, India, Pakistan, Malta, the United States, and the Commonwealth Caribbean. Some sources say that hot cross buns go as far back as the 14th (and even the 12th) century when a monk baked buns to distribute to the poor. He marked them with the iconic flour cross on top to commemorate the crucifixion, and they were usually made (and eaten) on Good Friday. These buns might look intimidating, but they are super easy to make. As with all yeasted dough, you’ll need to set out some time for the resting periods to allow the dough to double in size.

The dough is then formed into balls, brushed with egg, and topped with a flour cross. After baking, it’s covered with a jam glaze.


Instead of flour crosses, you can make icing crosses by using a thick icing glaze. Top with the icing glaze AFTER baking.

Don’t like raisins? You can also use dried cranberries, chopped nuts, or even chocolate chips.

Can’t find allspice? Make your own by mixing equal amounts of ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg.

How to Store Hot Cross Buns

Store the hot cross buns in an airtight container at room temperature for about 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

To freeze the buns, allow them to cool completely. Then freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.



120g (3/4 cup)
Orange juice
60g (4 tbsp)
4g (1 tsp)
All purpose flour
450g (3 3/4 cups
1 1/2 tsp
All spice
1 tsp
2/4 tsp
1 tsp
60g (2/4 cup)
light brown sugar
60g (2/4 cup)
Dry yeast
Sour cream
130g (1/2 cup)
130ml (1/2 cup)
Vanilla Extract
90g (6 tbsp)
1 orange zest
1 beaten egg
for the cross
All purpose flour
50g (2/3 cup)
70ml (2/4 cup)
For brushing
egg and milk
for the glaze
Apricot jam
1 tbsp
Vanilla Extract
1 tsp

How To Make Hot Cross Buns

In a small bowl, add the raisins, orange juice, and rum and mix all together. Transfer to the microwave for 1 minute and set aside.

Sift the flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt, sugar, and light brown sugar, into a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine dry ingredients well.

In a separate microwave-safe bowl add the sour cream, milk, vanilla extract, and butter. Transfer to the microwave for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and whisk together to combine.  Add the orange (zest) and whisk again.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry and start mixing with the wooden spoon.

When all is combined add the beaten egg and continue with mixing.

When the dough starts to form start kneading with your hands.

Finally, add the prepared raisins and knead the dough to absorb the raisins.

Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl, cover with cling film, and let it rise for 2 hours, or until is double in volume.

Once risen, transfer the dough to the working surface and split it into 14 equal pieces (about 70 grams/2.5 oz each).

Form the balls and transfer them to the baking tray covered with parchment paper.

Cover with a cloth and let them rise for one hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the mixture for the crosses by mixing the flour with water. Mix until no lumps.

Once the buns have risen, brush them with a mixture of egg and milk.

Make the crosses with the pipping bag.

Transfer to the oven and bake at 190°C/375°F for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the glaze by mixing the apricot jam, vanilla extract, and water in a small bowl. Brush the buns with the glaze after baking and serve.


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