Easy and Homemade Hot Cross Buns

hot cross

The hot cross buns are typical English / Irish sweets that are made quite quickly and are nothing more than sweet rolls filled with raisins. The common characteristic is that these buns are small, square and are characterized by a glazed cross reminiscent of the Crucifixion.

It is possible to prepare these sweet rolls at home since they are leavened products similar to our milk rolls; obviously, the processing is quite long but the result is really incredible and these English buns can become a perfect recipe for breakfast or snack.

Since they are quite dry leavened products, they tend to become hard in a very short time so I advise you to prepare and consume them in a couple of days; or you can prepare and freeze them, taking care to defrost them at room temperature when needed before passing them in an oven that is already hot for a few minutes.

My recipe, typical of Ireland, requires the use of a very large quantity of candies; I use less candied than expected but if you want you can increase the dose or replace them with dried red fruits (blackberries, raspberries, currants). Never use fresh fruit as the dough is very wet and fresh fruit releases water.

If you want to get your hands dirty and try, for Easter, something different write down this recipe and you’ll be surprised!

Ingredients for 24 medium buns

    • 60 ml of water at room temperature
    • 120 ml of milk
    • 4 tablespoons of melted butter
    • 1 egg
    • 500 grams of plain flour
    • 4 tablespoons of sugar
    • 17 grams Dry or Fresh Yeast
    • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
    • half a spoon of nutmeg
    • 1 pinch of powdered cloves
    • half a tablespoon of salt
    • 90 grams of raisins
    • 40 grams of candied fruit

For Topping

  • 2 tablespoons Golden Syrup, or 2 tablespoons of apricot jam gently heated


  1. Heat the milk then add the yeast and mix until it has melted. Leave it to stand for about 5 minutes;
  2. Mix the milk and the yeast with sugar, salt, melted butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and eggs and when this first mixture has become smooth, gradually add the flour; once ready, let the dough rest for 45 minutes covered in plastic wrap;
  3. After this time, knead again for about 5 minutes then add raisins and candied fruit. Give the dough the shape of a ball and place it inside a buttered pan leaving to rest for about 24 hours so that all the moisture will be absorbed;
  4. After 24 hours quickly resume the dough with your hands and then divide it into many small buns (in terms of size they’ve to be slightly less than the fist of a hand), and let them rest for at least 1 hour and a half;
  5. Once grown, make a cross on the surface, sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake in a hot oven for 10 minutes at 200°C first then 180°C for another 15 minutes (392°F first, 356°F then);
  6. Once ready, glaze the buns with the warm golden syrup. Set aside to cool on a wire rack and serve.

Preparation time: 2 days

hot cross buns

[Pics by Giuseppe]