Hot Cross Buns

How are we already almost halfway through April and a few days away from Easter?! These last couple of months seem to have simultaneously dragged along and flown by. Before we know it it’ll be summer and instead of complaining about our constant rain here in Portland, I’ll probably be complaining about how hot it is. I’m never satisfied.

One thing you won’t find me complaining about though are these hot cross buns. They are a big thing in my family Easter weekend and this is the first time I’ve made them myself. Definitely not the last time though, these are so much better than anything you can buy at the grocery store.

They’re quick, they’re easy, and slightly sticky. Everything you could want out of a hot cross bun. I adapted this recipe from a Jamie Oliver one I found online. I like that the cross is made out of a more traditional flour paste than frosting. In England we don’t make them with frosting so coming here and seeing them with piped frosting crosses was weird to say the least.

The recipe is written with gram measurements so you will need to get out your trusty kitchen scale but I promise that is as hard as this recipe gets. Measure, knead, rest, knead, shape, bake. Easy. I’m making them again on Friday for my family to enjoy over Easter. I hope you’ll make them part of your Easter celebration, too (if you celebrate)!

Hot Cross Buns

Yield: 12 hot cross buns


  • 200ml milk
  • 55g unsalted butter
  • 14g active dry yeast
  • 455g strong bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 whole nutmeg
  • 55g sugar
  • 1-2 tsp crystallized ginger
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp. AP flour
  • 80g raisins
  • Runny honey, to glaze


  1. Add the milk and 50ml water to a small pan and place over a low heat for a few minutes, or until slightly warm – you should be able to dip your finger in without scalding it.
  2. Meanwhile, add the butter to a separate pan and place over a low heat for a few minutes, or until melted, then set aside.
  3. Transfer the warmed milk mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the yeast. Set aside.
  4. Sift the flour into a large bowl, then add the salt, spices, a few good scrapings of nutmeg and the sugar. Finely chop the crystallized ginger and stir it into the mix.
  5. Make a well in the centre and pour in the melted butter, followed by the yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and add it to the bowl.
  6. Using a fork, mix well until you have a rough dough, then transfer to a clean flour dusted work surface and knead for around 10 minutes, or until soft and springy.
  7. Return the dough to a flour dusted bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for at least an hour, or until doubled in size.
  8. Transfer the dough to a clean flour dusted work surface. Knock the air out by bashing it with your fist, then sprinkle over the raisins and knead into the dough for 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease and line a large baking tray.
  10. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into balls. Evenly space them out on a lined baking tray as you go.
  11. Cover with the tea towel and leave in a warm place for a further 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  12. Meanwhile, place the plain flour and 2 tablespoons water into a small bowl and mix to a thick paste.
  13. Gently pat down the risen buns then use the batter to carefully trace a cross over the top with a piping bag or spoon.
  14. Place the buns into the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  15. Transfer to a wire cooling rack, brush over a little honey and leave to cool.
  16. Slice open the sticky hot cross buns, spread with a little butter and serve – delicious.

Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver

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