Hot Cross Buns – Spend With Pennies

Warm and cozy hot cross buns are just waiting for a pat of melted butter.

These hot cross buns are soft and pillowy with a hint of sweetness, orange, nutmeg, and warm spices.

A distinctive cross on the top adds an extra special touch and holds a special meaning.

plated Hot Cross Buns

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

  • Hot cross buns are delicious – a soft dough filled with warm spices, raisins, and a hint of orange zest.
  • With their distinctive cross on the top, this bread can be picked out from the crowd!
  • It is so easy to make homemade bread that is free from preservatives!
Ingredients to make hot cross buns labeled

Ingredients For Hot Cross Buns

Dough – These rolls are made with an easy yeast dough. After the dough has risen, raisins or currants are added before forming rolls.

Spices – Hot Cross Buns are filled with warm, fragrant spices, including cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. I add a little bit of orange zest for flavor.

Add-Ins – You can change these up with the addition of toasted nuts or pieces of candied orange peel.

How to Make Hot Cross Buns

  1. Warm the milk (as per the recipe below) and add sugar and butter.
  2. Combine yeast, water and sugar until foamy.
  3. Add the yeast mixture, eggs, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to the stand mixer along with flour.
  4. Add the flour to the stand mixer bowl and mix. Knead until a soft dough forms. Add the raisins and let the dough rise.
  5. Form into rolls and rise again.

How to Make the Cross

Prepare a flour paste and place it in a piping bag (or plastic bag with a small corner cut off) and pipe a cross across each hot cross bun. Bake as directed in the recipe below.

TIP: As you pipe the cross, go slowly to allow the flour mixture to run down between the edges of the rolls a bit.

Hot Cross Buns cooling on a baking rack

Storing Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns are best served warm from the oven with butter.

To keep them fresh wrap them in plastic wrap and store them at room temperature for up to seven days. They can also be wrapped in aluminum foil, and stored in the freezer. They will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.

More Easter Baking

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Hot Cross Buns cooling on a baking rack

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Hot Cross Buns

These sweet and lightly spiced buns with a distinctive cross on the top are the perfect treat for Easter or spring!

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 3 hours 15 minutes

Total Time 3 hours 35 minutes

  • In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium heat just until bubbles begin to form at the edges (the temperature should reach about 181°F.) Do not boil.

  • Pour the milk into a bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl) and add ½ cup sugar and salt. Whisk to combine. Add butter and stir until the butter is melted. Let the mixture cool to 110°F (or lukewarm).

  • Meanwhile, combine yeast, ½ cup warm water (110°F), and 1 teaspoon sugar in a bowl. Let sit 10 minutes or until foamy.

  • Add the yeast to the milk mixture. Whisk in 2 whole eggs (reserve the third egg for brushing the rolls before baking), cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

  • Add 2 cups of flour and mix with a dough hook (see notes to mix by hand). Continue adding more flour until it forms a dough that holds together and isn’t too sticky (you will use about 4-5 cups of flour total). Turn the mixer to medium-low and let it knead for 4-5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Add raisins or currants and orange zest if using and knead again to incorporate.

  • Place the dough into a large oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Set in a warm place and let rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.

  • Punch the dough down and form into 12 even-sized rolls. Place the rolls in a greased 9×13 pan and let rise 20-25 minutes.

  • While the dough is rising, combine the flour and water for the cross. It should be thick enough to hold its shape. Brush rolls with egg wash and place the flour mixture in a piping bag and pipe a cross on each roll.

  • While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.

  • Bake for 24-26 minutes or until cooked through.

If you do not have a stand mixer, mix the flour in with a large spoon. Once mixed, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 8-10 minutes or until smooth. Add raisins or currants and knead again to incorporate. Proceed with the recipe as directed above.
*You may not need all of the water for the flour cross, you want it thick enough to pipe and hold its shape.
I love to add a sweet glaze once they’ve baked. It looks beautiful and tastes great but keep in mind that the glaze will make the rolls slightly sticky.
Optional Glaze: Boil 3 tablespoons water and 3 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan. Brush over the warm rolls.

Calories: 273 | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 215mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 189IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine American

Recipe from a homemade church cookbook.

easy Hot Cross Buns on a plate with a title
Hot Cross Buns on a cooling rack with writing
soft and fluffy Hot Cross Buns with writing
Hot Cross Buns on a cooling rack and plated with a title

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