Homemade Hot Cross Buns | Traditional Recipe

Our traditional homemade hot cross buns are soft, fluffy and simple to make… plus they taste even better than the store-bought version!

A batch of homemade fruit hot cross buns.

With Easter just around the corner, there’s no better time to whip up a batch of sweet homemade hot cross buns! From this traditional recipe to our chocolate chip version, making hot cross buns has never been easier! 

A batch of fruit buns with crosses on top wrapped in a tea towel.

A Traditional Hot Cross Bun Recipe

It couldn’t be easier to make hot cross buns at home! With just a few basic ingredients (see recipe card below) and simple steps, you’ll be eating soft and fluffy fruit buns in no time!

Plain flour, spices, sugar and salt are mixed together.

Cinnamon and flour in a bowl.

Sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl.

Butter is then rubbed through until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Butter and flour in a mixing bowl.

Flour crumb mixture in a bowl.

Warm milk is mixed with dried yeast and added to the mixture along with egg and sultanas.

A bowl of fruit bun mixture.

The mixture is kneaded together and then left to prove in a warm place. 

Dough mixture with sultanas in a bowl.

The mixture is divided into balls and placed into a baking tray. Crosses are piped on (see tips below) and the buns are allowed to prove again.

A tray of fruit buns with crosses on them.

Bake until golden and glaze (see tips below) while warm.

 

How To Prove (Rise) Hot Cross Bun Dough

To prove the dough, place it into a lightly greased bowl and set the bowl in a warm spot and cover with a tea towel. Warm places can include:

  • a sunny spot in the house
  • heat an oven on low temperature and then turn off – allow the oven to cool until only just warm and place the bowl inside
  • pour boiling water into the bowl and leave for 5 minutes – drain the bowl, grease lightly and place the dough inside
  • place the bowl on top of a hot water bottle
  • place the bowl near a warm heater 

A soft fluffy homemade sweet hot cross bun.

How To Make The Piped Crosses On Easter Buns

Plain flour and water is mixed together until a smooth paste forms.

This is then piped onto the hot cross buns in crosses. 

Tips for piping crosses:

  • make sure the piping mixture is easy to pipe but not runny. Add extra plain flour if the mixture is too runny.
  • Place the mixture into a piping bag with a narrow piping tip.
  • If you don’t have a piping bag, place the mixture into a plastic sealable bag (like a glad bag) and cut a tiny hole in one corner. Squeeze the plastic bag to pipe the crosses onto the buns.

 

Glazing Hot Cross Buns

Ever wondered how hot cross buns get that beautiful, sweet and shiny top? It’s from the glaze that’s brushed over the top while the cooked, golden buns are still warm!

To make the sweet glaze, heat water and sugar in the microwave for 30 seconds or until bubbling and then brush the syrup over the warm buns using a pastry brush (or a spoon). 

The glaze will set as the buns cool. 

A fruit bun on a plate with more buns in the background.

Tips For Making Homemade Hot Cross Buns

  • Make sure that your yeast is in date and still active.
  • Mix the yeast with warm milk to help it dissolve and activate. You’ll know it’s ready when it becomes frothy. 
  • Leaving the dough in a warm place is essential for it to rise and double in size. See my tips above for proving dough. 
  • This traditional recipe is made using dried sultanas. Alternatively, you can omit the sultanas for a fruit-free hot cross bun recipe. You can also substitute the sultanas with any dried fruit you like.
  • Glaze the cooked buns while they’re still warm.

 

More Easter Recipes

If you love our hot cross buns, then you are sure to fall head over heels with our other chocolate-filled Easter recipes! From Easter rocky road and chocolate ripple cake to fun Easter cake hacks, kids recipes, easy desserts, brownies and a cheeky chocolate cocktail… your Easter is sure to be extra delicious (and chocolate-filled).

Check out all of the recipes here.

A collection of homemade easter recipes.

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Our traditional homemade hot cross buns are soft, fluffy and simple to make... plus they taste even better than the store-bought version!

Hot Cross Buns

Our traditional homemade hot cross buns are soft, fluffy and simple to make... plus they taste even better than the store-bought version!
5 from 16 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Easter
Keyword: hot cross buns
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Resting time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 12 serves
Calories: 471kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs dried yeast
  • 1 cup (250g) warm milk
  • 4 cups (600g) plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup (80g) caster sugar
  • 80 g butter softened
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup (85g) warm water
  • 180 g sultanas see notes

For the piping:

  • 1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
  • 100 g water

For the glaze:

  • 2 tbs caster sugar
  • 2 tbs water

Instructions

Conventional Method

  • Add the dried yeast to the warm milk and whisk together. Place the cup in a warm place for 15 minutes or until the mixture has become frothy.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the plain flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and caster sugar.
  • Add the butter and rub together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Pour in the milk/yeast mixture, the egg and the warm water. Sprinkle over the sultanas.
  • Stir together until the mixture forms a round dough ball.
  • Grease a bowl with cooking spray and place the dough ball into the bowl.
  • Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm spot to rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size (see notes).
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius (fan-forced).
  • On a lightly floured board, place the dough and knead for 5 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 12 equal sized portions and roll each portion into a ball.
  • Place the balls (1cm apart) in a greased 20cm X 30cm baking tin. Set aside for a further 15 minutes to prove.
  • Make the piping by sifting the flour into a bowl and adding enough water to make a paste.
  • Pipe the crosses onto the buns using a piping bag or a glad bag with the end snipped off.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the buns sound hollow when tapped.
  • To make the glaze, place the water and sugar into a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Mix until the sugar dissolves.
  • Brush the tops of the buns with the glaze.
  • Place the buns onto a wire rack to cool.

Thermomix Method

  • Place milk and yeast into the Thermomix bowl and mix for 1 minute, Speed 1, 37 degrees.
  • Add flour, salt, softened butter, sugar, egg, cinnamon, nutmeg and warm water and mix for 6 seconds, Speed 7.
  • Knead for 2-3 minutes on interval speed. Add the sultanas and combine for 10 seconds, Reverse, Speed 5.
  • Work the dough into a ball on a lightly floured board. Place in a bowl and cover with a tea towel. Keep in a warm place for 30 minutes to allow the dough to prove (it should double in size). See notes.
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius (fan-forced).
  • On a lightly floured board, place the dough and knead for a few seconds. Divide the dough into 12 equal sized portions. Roll each portion into a ball.
  • Place the balls (1cm apart) in a greased 20cm X 30cm baking tin. Set aside for a further 15 minutes to prove.
  • To make the piping, mix the flour and water in the Thermomix bowl for 20 seconds on Speed 4. Scrape down the sides and repeat for a further 20 seconds.
  • Pipe the crosses onto the buns using a piping bag or a glad bag with the end snipped off.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the buns sound hollow when tapped.
  • Meanwhile, heat the sugar and water in the Thermomix bowl for 2 minutes, Speed 4, 100 degrees.
  • Brush the tops of the buns with the glaze. Place the buns onto a wire rack to cool.

Notes

RECIPE NOTES & TIPS
Tips for proving the dough:
To prove the dough, place it into a lightly greased bowl and set the bowl in a warm spot and cover with a tea towel. Warm places can include:
  • a sunny spot in the house
  • heat an oven on low temperature and then turn off – allow the oven to cool until only just warm and place the bowl inside
  • pour boiling water into the bowl and leave for 5 minutes – drain the bowl, grease lightly and place the dough inside
  • place the bowl on top of a hot water bottle
  • place the bowl near a warm heater 
Tips for piping crosses:
  • make sure the piping mixture is easy to pipe but not runny. Add extra plain flour if the mixture is too runny.
  • Place the mixture into a piping bag with a narrow piping tip.
  • If you don’t have a piping bag, place the mixture into a plastic sealable bag (like a glad bag) and cut a tiny hole in one corner. Squeeze the plastic bag to pipe the crosses onto the buns.
Extra tips:
  • Make sure that your yeast is in date and still active.
  • Mix the yeast with warm milk to help it dissolve and activate. You’ll know it’s ready when it becomes frothy. 
  • Leaving the dough in a warm place is essential for it to rise and double in size. See my tips above for proving dough. 
  • This traditional recipe is made using dried sultanas. Alternatively, you can omit the sultanas for a fruit-free hot cross bun recipe. You can also substitute the sultanas with any dried fruit you like.
  • Glaze the cooked buns while they’re still warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 471kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 163mg | Potassium: 247mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 220IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 4.5mg
Did you try this recipe?Mention @BakePlaySmileBlog or tag #BakePlaySmile!

 

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60 thoughts on “Homemade Hot Cross Buns | Traditional Recipe”

  1. Zoe says:

    5 stars
    These are delicious, I put the sultanas in while it’s kneading to chop them up a bit.

  2. Nicola Blight says:

    5 stars
    These worked out perfectly. My yeast and milk mix didn’t go frothy but they still worked. They came out of the oven with a lovely brown colour on the top and bottom. They were a perfect size and were deliciously soft in the middle. Thankyou so much for the recipe.

    1. Lucy says:

      Fantastic! That’s so great to hear!

  3. Emilia says:

    5 stars
    I halved the mix, but added extra spice and raisins and they are perfect!! My milk/yeast mix didn’t go frothy but the buns are still fluffy and light and so delicious! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Katrina says:

    5 stars
    These are amazing! I have made 5 or 6 other recipes this Easter and haven’t found one we all like as much as our local bakerie’s buns. But this is it!!! The one we love!! (I have made 2 batches in the last couple of days). So light and fluffy and the kids claim they are better than the bakery hot cross buns!

    1. Lucy says:

      Yay!!! That makes me so happy! Thank you!!

  5. Ros says:

    5 stars
    A perfect little treat on Good Friday in hibernation. Great recipe than you

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