H for Hot Cross Buns

H for Hot Cross Buns


We have successfully completed our first whole week of the A-Z Baking around the World and beginning the second week. After changing my list a couple of times, I finally settled on this Hot Cross Buns for the alphabet H. Hot cross buns are very famous yeast buns with raisins or currants in them. Hot cross buns are eaten on Good Friday in many countries including England, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and some parts of America. The cross on the bun symbolizes the crucifixion of the Christ. There are many stories about the buns and some are dated as far back as the 12th century.

The Hot cross buns were sold only during the week of Easter. As they became popular, they are being sold and made year around. I relate to the Hot cross buns with the popular Nursery rhyme that I learned in my elementary school. Since this buns is popular in many countries, I chose England as the country that I am going to label it under.


H for Hot Cross Buns


When researching for recipes, I found many different ones with minor changes. Some were heavily spiced and some were just basic ones. Also the cross was made by either a flour mixture or using icing sugar. I worked with the recipes and made something that my family would like and yet kept it as traditional as I could.

It feels very good to be posting this recipe right around the Easter time. I also chose to make it egg less and used sour cream as my egg alternative. The dough was very basic and I used some spiced milk to make the dough.

My other bakes in the A – Z Baking around the World Marathon – 

A for Almond cookies from China

B for Bretzel Rolls from Germany

C for Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting from USA

D for Danish Cookies from Denmark

E for Empanada from Argentina

F for Franzbrötchen from Germany

G for Grissini from Italy

H for Hot Cross Buns

Preparation time – 15 minutes
Baking time – 15 to 20 minutes
Difficulty level – easy
Recipe adapted from – Here and Here

Ingredients to make Hot Cross Buns – (makes 8)

To make the Dough – 
  • Milk – 75 ml
  • Butter – 25 g (2 tbsp)
  • Clove – 2
  • Cardamom – 2
  • All Purpose flour – 1 3/4 – 2 cups
  • Instant yeast – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Nutmeg – 1/4 tsp
  • Ginger powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar – 3 tbsp
  • Sour cream – 1 tbsp
  • Raisin – 1/2 cup
  • Cream plus milk – 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp (to brush on the rolls)
To make the cross – 
  • All purpose flour – 2 tbsp
  • Confectionery sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Water – 1 tbsp


H for Hot Cross Buns


Procedure to make Hot Cross Buns – 

To Make the Dough – 
  • In a sauce pan, add the milk, butter, cloves and cardamom and heat it until the butter melts. Let it cool down to lukewarm temperature. Strain the milk and use it in the dough.
  • I made the dough in my food processor. Add the flour, salt, sugar, instant yeast, raisins and spices to the bowl of the food processor.
  • Add the sour cream and give it a mix.
  • Now add the lukewarm milk to the flour mixture and form a soft dough. If needed add a little more flour or milk.
  • Knead the dough until it is very soft and then place it in a greased bowl. Cover it with a plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel and place it in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in volume.
To shape the dough – 
  • Once the dough is risen, punch it down gently and then divide it into 8 equal pieces.

H for Hot Cross Buns

  • Roll each piece of dough into a taut ball and place it on a parchment lined baking dish.
  • Using a butter knife, make a deep cut in the shape of a cross on each ball.
  • Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it proof again until they are puffy. About 45 minutes to an hour.

H for Hot Cross Buns

  • In the meantime, mix all the ingredients mentioned to make the cross. Transfer the paste to a Ziploc bag and seal it.

H for Hot Cross Buns

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • Once the dough balls have puffed up, use a pastry brush and liberally brush the top of the buns with the cream and milk mixture.
  • Now make a small hole in one corner of the Ziploc bag with the flour paste and draw the cross over the buns right where we made a cut.

H for Hot Cross Buns

  • Place the buns in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top of the buns are golden brown and shiny. Keep an eye starting from about 15 minutes as the cooking times vary by the oven.
  • Remove the buns on a cooling rack and serve warm with butter.

H for Hot Cross Buns

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H for Hot Cross Buns

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24 thoughts on “H for Hot Cross Buns

  1. Such pretty buns! I’ve always heard people talk about Hot Cross Buns, but I didn’t know what they actually were. This is a recipe I can make, and probably will, soon!

  2. These buns look so nicely baked and love that shine on top. I had so many of them during Easter but never tried making them yet. I’m bookmarking your recipe to try for next Easter 🙂

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