I like how this Traditional Hot Cross Buns recipe is plain and simple. All we are doing is making a dough, shaping it, glazing it, and then baking it. It's that easy!
Crusty, fruity, and downright delightful
These hot cross buns are arguably Easter's most beloved baked good. Traditional Easter yeast rolls always include fruit and spices.
The recipe for Hot Cross Buns is something that most of us have with us. We've seen our granny or our Mom make it.
My memory of this traditional Easter Sweet Bun takes me back to those crisp Spring mornings and Festive Easter Sundays with a lavish Easter Brunch Spread.
At first sight, these Hot cross buns might seem like a LOT to you. But, they are incredibly inexpensive to make and don't take that long.
Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday. But they’re so tasty, they deserve to be part of your Easter brunch, too.
This recipe for Hot Cross Buns is super easy. All the ingredients can be found at pretty much any grocery store.
- Crusty, fruity, and downright delightful
- Heavenly, spicy-sweet buns—hot out the oven
- What is the significance of hot cross buns?
- How To Make Hot Cross Buns In Just Six (Simple) Steps!
- Can I make these buns ahead of time?
- 3 Success Tips
- Why are my Hot Cross Buns dry?
- More Easter Brunch Recipes
- Recipe Card
- Hot Cross Buns: A Proven, Mom-Approved Recipe
Heavenly, spicy-sweet buns—hot out the oven
As a mom, you know there’s nothing better than homemade goodies straight from the oven.
And when you bake these fluffy, delectable Easter Hot Cross Buns kids are gonna love it.
As a blogger, I test my recipes time and again. To be honest, I had to make about 10-12 calls to my mom and make it about 4-5 times to perfect it.
But, now I know the trick to this classy yeasted dough. I can guarantee you that these are the Best Hot Cross Buns that you will make. And, not just that, if you are new at baking then I guarantee you'll feel confident baking these hot cross buns. 😀
What is the significance of hot cross buns?
Besides Deviled Eggs, Carrot Cake, Ham, and Roasted Leg of Lamb, if there is one recipe that makes us think of Easter, it is these Heavenly Hot Cross Buns.
Basically there are many theories on why we eat Hot Cross Buns on Easter. You can get the complete details here in this interesting article by The Kitchn
To Proof Yeast
- Instant Yeast
- Lukewarm water
Buttery Milk Mixture
- Lemon Rind
- Maple Syrup
- Ground Cinnamon
- Ground Nutmeg
- All Purpose Flour
- Powdered Sugar
- Pure Vanilla Extract
How To Make Hot Cross Buns In Just Six (Simple) Steps!
Wondering What is the cross on hot cross buns made of? Here is a quick overview of the recipe.
STEP 1: Turn yeast poofy and foamy
The first step of this recipe is to activate yeast. Don't worry if you are new with yeast. Just open the package and place it in a glass pyrex jar. Add in some sugar. Pour 1/2 cup of luke warm water and stir lightly. Let it sit undisturbed for 10-minutes. After 10-minutes, your yeast will be poofy and foamy.
STEP 2: Make a sweet buttery milk mixture.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add in milk, lemon rind, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Stir lightly. Once the mixture becomes lukewarm, take it off the heat.
STEP 3: Combine these two with flour and egg to make a non-sticky dough
In a medium sized mixing bowl combine yeast mixture, buttery milk mixture, and egg. Whisk until combined.
Add in all purpose flour and beat until your get a non-sticky dough. Fold in raisins.
STEP 4: Shape dough into evenly sized buns
Cut the dough in four equal halves using a sharp knife. Roll out each half in the shape of a log. Cut out small buns from the log and arrange them on a greased 9"x13" baking dish.
Cover with a plastic wrap and allow it to rise at room temperature for 1.5 hours.
HINT: Place them stuck to each other. They bake onto each other.
STEP 5: Make glaze and pipe onto buns
Next combine powdered sugar, pure vanilla extract, and milk in a small mixing bowl. Take it in a ziplock bag. Snip the edge and pipe cross onto each buns.
STEP 6: Bake until they are browned on top.
Bake these Hot Cross Buns in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let them cool down completely.
STEP 7: Glaze the Buns (OPTIONAL)
Glaze the buns before serving with a combination of 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Finally, serve your Hot Cross Buns.
Can I make these buns ahead of time?
Yes. In fact, that is exactly what we should be doing. These rolls require about 2 hours of rising. But, unfortunately not all of us have 2 hours to spare.
So, what we can do is prepare the yeasted dough overnight. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for up to 16 hours.
Next day, just leave it out on the counter for 1-2 hours before baking.
And, here's what you should do if you decide to freeze the buns
Follow the instructions for making these buns ahead of time. Instead of refrigerating it freeze it in a 9"x13" baking dish.
Let them thaw overnight or 4-5 hours before baking.
3 Success Tips
- Make sure your yeast isn't expired.
- Measure flour correctly. Make sure its spooned and leveled. Don't scoop it out of the pack.
- Allow the dough to rise. Be patient with it.
My final piece of advice - Don't limit these Hot Cross Buns to Easter. Use them for Mother's day breakfast or July fourth Desserts, Thanksgiving and Christmas as well. And, most importantly take the leap of faith and go at it. Don't doubt yourself. You'll become a pro at baking hot cross buns in no time.
Why are my Hot Cross Buns dry?
One of the basic reasons a hot cross bun become dry is due to over kneading. When you over knead your dough, you activate the gluten and that makes the buns dry and hard.
So, the trick is to not over knead the dough.
More Easter Brunch Recipes
- Baked Ham with Honey and Pineapple
- Honey Baked Ham
- Crispy Whole Roasted Duck
- Crock Pot Pork Chops
- Easy Beef Wellington
- Swedish Meatballs
- Best Meatloaf Recipe ever!
- Simple Oven Roast Chicken
Hot Cross Buns: A Proven, Mom-Approved Recipe
- 2 teaspoons Instant Yeast or dry yeast
- ¼ cup Luke warm water
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Buttery Milk Mixture
- 1 stick Unsalted Butter
- 1 cup Milk I prefer whole milk for best results
- ½ teaspoon lemon rind
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 3-3.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup raisins
- 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
Proof the yeast
- In a pyrex glass mixing jar combine a pack of instant yeast, and granulated sugar. Add in luke warm water or whole milk. Stir lightly and let it rest for 10-minutes.
Make Luke warm Milk Mixture
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add in milk, lemon rind, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, salt, and maple syrup. Stir lightly. Remove from heat when milk becomes luke warm.
Make Bun Dough
- In a separate medium sized mixing bowl combine proofed yeast and luke warm milk mixture. Add in flour and eggs. Knead lightly until you make a non-sticky dough. Fold in raisins. Don't over knead the dough. Over kneading activates gluten that makes your bun dry.
- Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and allow it to rise for 1.5 to 2 hours. You can refrigerate it overnight or for 16 hours. If you refrigerate the yeasted dough, make sure you let it out on the counter for an additional 2 hours before baking.
- Remove the plastic wrap and punch the dough. Use a sharp knife to cut it into four equal parts. Now roll each part in the form of a log. Evenly cut out buns from the log. Shape them and place them in a 9"x13" baking dish greased with non-stick cooking spray.
Make cross glaze
- In a medium sized mixing bowl combine all purpose flour and water. Whisk until it forms a paste. Take it out in a piping bag or a ziplock bag. Snip the edge. Pipe cross onto buns. If you want thin paste you can add more water and thin it out.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the baking tray in the center of the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow the buns to cool down for another 2 hours. Make the maple glaze and brush them onto the hot cross buns. Serve hot.