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Hot cross buns baked in a rectangular jadeite baking dish.
Hot Cross Buns
Prep Time
35 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Rising Time:
1 hr
Total Time
2 hrs 5 mins

Hot Cross Buns: A traditional enriched bread for Good Friday! Light, fluffy, & slightly sweet, with lots of warm spice & dried fruit.

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cross buns, hot cross buns, hot cross buns recipe, how to make hot cross buns, what are hot cross buns
Servings: 12 buns
Calories: 326 kcal
For the Buns:
  • 1 cup milk (whatever kind you keep on hand)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & slightly cooled
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 1 packet dry active yeast (1/4-ounce or about 2 teaspoons)
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 egg yolk (from a large egg)
  • 1 cup dried fruit* (such as raisins, craisins, apricots, or cherries)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons orange zest (zest of one medium orange)
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger (optional- additional dried fruit + 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger can be substituted)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 egg white (from a large egg)
For the Icing:
To Make the Buns:
  1. Place the milk, cream, melted butter, and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl.

  2. Stir in the yeast and allow it to dissolve and proof for 5 to 10 minutes.

  3. Stir in 2 cups of the flour until well-blended.

  4. Stir in the eggs and egg yolk until combined.

  5. Add the remaining flour, dried fruit, orange zest, candied ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and mix together until the dough gathers itself into a ball and pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl. (You may need more or less flour depending on the humidity. Use as much or as little is needed in order to achieve the proper consistency.)

  6. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll each one into a tight ball.

  7. Place the unbaked buns in a lightly greased 9x13-inch baking dish and cover lightly with greased plastic wrap.

  8. Allow the buns to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (approx. 1 hour).

  9. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and brush the risen buns lightly with egg white for shine.

  10. Bake the buns until puffy and golden brown (approx. 25 to 35 minutes).

  11. Let cool, then pipe a cross over each bun with confectioner's icing.

To Make the Confectioner's Icing:
  1. Stir the powdered sugar and milk together in a small bowl until smooth.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

This dough can be made in a stand mixer OR by hand.

Nutrition Facts
Hot Cross Buns
Amount Per Serving (1 bun)
Calories 326 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 69mg23%
Sodium 323mg14%
Potassium 141mg4%
Carbohydrates 52g17%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 365IU7%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 59mg6%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.