Hot Cross Buns

Soft, sweet bread rolls, flavoured with cinnamon and orange zest, studded with raisins, dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks, finished with an orange jam glaze.


Its nearly Easter! I can’t believe how quickly the year is going, but here we are, the hot cross buns and easter eggs are appearing in the shops, only 2 weeks left! So this weekend I decided to make some hot cross buns at home to get me in the easter mood.  I have never attempted these before so I mainly followed Paul Hollywoods recipe, but I have made a few small changes!

I found this dough very very wet and I was really struggling to knead it, so I did add about 50g of extra flour, which meant it was still quite a wet dough, but much easier to knead! It doesn’t seem to have affected the result either as the buns are still really soft and fluffy.


I also changed the fruits that went in the dough as I just didn’t have the things required by the recipe, and  I didn’t want to have to go to the shops again. So I have substituted the apple for dried cranberries and white chocolate which I had in the cupboard.

I was amazed at how much better these home made buns taste than the ones in the shops, so I would say the extra effort of making them yourself is well worth it!


Variations: You can use whatever dried fruit, nuts or chocolate you want in the rolls, some fresh blueberries might also be nice!


Ingredients: Makes 12 Buns

The Buns:

  • 300ml full-fat milk
  • 50g butter
  • 550g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 10g sachet fast-action yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g sultanas and dried cranberry mixture
  • 100g finely chopped white chocolate
  • 1tsp cinnamon

 The Cross

    • 75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

5tbsp water

The Glaze

  • 3 tbsp orange jam
  • 1 tbsp honey


To Make:

The Buns:

Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature.

Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl,  make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.

Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 mins until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size.

With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the dried fruit, chocolate  and cinnamon, and knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size



Divide the dough into 10 even pieces weighing about 100g each. fold each piece into a tight ball and arrange the on a greased baking tray a few cm apart, set aside to prove for 1 hr more.


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

The Cross:

Mix the flour with the water, 1tbsp at a time, until it forms a hick white paste. Transfer to a piping bad with a small circular nozzle and pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.


Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.

The Glaze:

Gently heat the apricot jam and honey until melted, then brush over the warm buns.

Serve warm with a generous smothering of butter.


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