Hot Cross Buns For a Spring Treat

Hot Cross Buns! Hot Cross Buns!

History of Hot Cross Buns dates back to 1361 in England, where a priest handed them out to the poor of St. Albans. Traditionally served on Good Friday, these have become a sign of spring for me. A delicious treat to give pals because you love them, or bring to a morning meeting when it’s your turn to pick up the donuts. They freeze well and can be refreshed with a short visit to a medium hot oven for 10 minutes or microwaved for a brief time. Also they are delicious split and toasted with butter and jam.

Here’s how to do it- Easy Peasy

Here's everything you will need


Mix the dough first


After you add the dried fruit, knead by hand to incorporate


Dough will be sticky, add flour as you need it on your hands


Butter a bowl, I love my large plastic take along bowl with a sturdy lid for proofing


Let rise until doubled in size



Hot Cross Buns

For the printable version, click here

Yields 2 dozen

This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart.


12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for bowl, pan and knife

1 cup whole milk (I mixed ¼ cup heavy cream and ¾ cup of skim milk)

4 eggs, slightly beaten

½ cup granulated sugar

4 ½ teaspoons (2 packages) active dry yeast

1 tablespoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

Zest of one lemon

Zest of one orange

5 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 1/3 cups dried fruit (I mixed craisins and currants)

Bun Crossing Icing Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

4 teaspoons milk





Butter a large bowl, set aside. Place milk in small saucepan and heat over medium heat until 110. Pour milk into a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add granulated sugar, yeast, salt, butter, lemon zest, cardamom, nutmeg and eggs.

Add flour slowly and mix on low speed until a soft dough is formed around the hook. Continue kneading, scraping down the sides as kneaded. Knead until smooth, about 4 minutes. Dough will be sticky.

Add dried fruit, knead to incorporate. Then scrape dough out of mixing bowl onto a floured counter. Sprinkle a little flour on the dough so you can knead it easier. You are incorporating evenly the dried fruit in the dough. Do not over mix. Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl with butter. Turn the dough to coat the butter on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled. About 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Turn dough out onto a work surface. Knead briefly and roll into a log. Cut the log in half and then cut each half into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a tightly formed ball.  Place on prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart. Cover baking sheets with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until buns are touching and doubled in size, about 1 ½  – 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375F with racks in upper and lower third of oven. .  Bake until golden brown 18-25 minutes, rotating after 10 minutes move the top rack to the bottom rack. When done, transfer to a wire rack.

After buns are cooled, mix and place bun crossing icing in a pastry bag or Ziploc bag and cut to a 1/8 inch opening. Pipe crosses over the surface of each bun.



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