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Hot Cross Buns

Nothing is more irresistible than the first bite of freshly baked hot cross buns. Your mouth fills with the perfect combo of raisins, spices, and exceptionally melt-in-your-mouth bread. The intoxicating spices, fresh bread aroma, and sweet raisins all at once are pure heaven.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine English
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rise Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 287kcal
Author Imma


  • 1 package active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons warm water, 105-115℉ (40-46℃)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk
  • 4 ounce (114 gram) unsalted butter
  • cup (75 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • cups (445 g) all-purpose flour, more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, grated
  • ¾-1 cup (150 g) raisins, or currants

Flour Paste

  • 1 cup (120 g) flour, or more
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons water, adjust consistency as needed

Sugar Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  • In a standing mixer or large bowl, combine the yeast with a couple of tablespoons of lukewarm water. Let it sit until your yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes. Mix for about a minute.
  • Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe medium bowl, combine milk with the butter pieces, sugar, salt, and microwave for about a minute. Stir until everything melts. 
  • Lightly whisk the egg into the butter mixture (if the mix is too hot, let it cool to a warm to prevent eggs from curdling).
  • Dump everything into the yeast mixture.
  • Mix by hand at medium-high speed using a dough hook until all the ingredients are combined.
  • Then add 3½ cups of flour, spices, and grated orange zest. Continue mixing the dough. Then stop when the dough doesn't stick to the sides or bottom of the bowl when kneading.
  • Add additional flour (if needed) to make a soft dough. If kneading by hand, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about six minutes.
  • Add the raisins and continue kneading for two more minutes to incorporate them into the dough.
  • Place the dough in a large greased bowl, then cover it loosely with a clean damp cloth. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled for an hour or two. Punch the dough down. (See Recipe Notes for a make-ahead tip)
  • Divide your dough into 12 equal pieces, and shape the pieces into balls. Place in a greased 9×13 baking pan, baking sheet, or large oven-proof skillet.

Flour Paste

  • Mix the flour, sugar, and water to make the paste for the cross. Add the water a tablespoon at a time until you have a thick paste.
  • Spoon the paste into a piping bag, then pipe a line along each row of buns. Repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Let it rise for about 15-20 minutes, or until doubled.
  • Preheat the oven to 350/177℃. Bake until the crust is deep golden brown and the buns sound hollow when tapped, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the baking pan.


  • Combine milk and sugar and brush hot cross buns.
  • Let them cool, but they're also delicious when warm.


  • Make-ahead tip - Refrigerate the unbaked buns for up to 24 hours, then let them come to room temperature before baking.
  • Be patient and let your dough rise long enough. The temperature and humidity can significantly affect your rise time.
  • Add water one tablespoon at a time to your cross paste, so it doesn't get runny. If you accidentally put too much water, add a little flour to fix it.
  • Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.


Serving: 1bun | Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 422mg | Potassium: 186mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 580IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 4.8mg