Hot Cross Buns

Share this :

These Hot Cross Buns are soft yet dense and deliciously spiced, with orange juice soaked raisins. Delicious slightly sweetened Buns for Easter.

Hot Cross Buns

What Do These Hot Cross Buns Taste Like?

These hot cross buns are a cross between a dinner roll and cinnamon roll. They’re soft, yet dense with a deliciously a spiced flavor from cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. You can play with the spices, even adding a little cardamom too. The buns are sweetened mostly with brown sugar, then topped with an orange sugar syrup. For extra flavor, sometimes we throw a little orange zest or candied orange peel into the dough. This recipe uses raisins and currants soaked in orange juice for extra flavour.

Hot Cross Buns


These soft Buns have a few steps to them and take a little time, but a lot of that is waiting for the dough to rise etc.

  • Make the Tangzong – Combine water, milk and flour to make a paste.
  • Soak the Fruit – I used Orange Juice here, you can also use brewed tea or apple juice or just boiling water would work great too.
  • Make the Dough – Pop everything except for the butter and the draining fruit into the stand mixer and leave it to do it’s thing, then add the butter and incorporate. Add the fruit in and mix in by hand in the end.
  • First Rise – Let the dough rise for about 2 hours or till you see its doubled in size.
  • Shape the Hot Cross Buns – Divide the dough into 12 balls and place in the baking pan. Let rise.
  • Mix up the Cross mix – Mix flour and water to a paste. Pipe the paste of flour and water on top of each bun BEFORE baking
  • Bake the Hot Cross Buns


There’s a couple ways to make crosses on buns:

  1. Flour Cross: Pipe a “paste” of flour and water on top of each bun BEFORE baking. This is the most traditional application of the cross and the method I used. It gets a *little* hard after baking, but it’s still perfectly chewy.
  2. Icing Cross: Pipe a thick cross made from icing on each bun AFTER baking.

Use a piping bag– no piping tip needed– or a zipped-top bag. Snip the corner off. If making the flour cross, make sure the corner opening is small because you want a thin line.

Hot Cross Buns

Like this recipe? Try more Bun recipes –

Hot Cross Buns

Recipe by thecrumbstories


Prep time


Baking time


Resting time



These Hot Cross Buns are soft yet dense and deliciously spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and orange juice soaked raisins.


  • For tangzhong
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) Water

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) Milk / Any Plant based milk for vegan

  • ¼ cup (25 g) All purpose flour/ Bread Flour

  • For Dough
  • Tangzhong at room temperature

  • 2 ½ cups (310 g) All purpose Flour / Bread Flour

  • 2 tsp Instant Dry Yeast

  • ¾ cup (150-160 ml) Warm Milk/ Any plant-based milk

  • ¼ cup (60 g) Brown Sugar

  • 2 tbsp (25 g) Milk Powder, optional

  • 1 tsp Salt

  • ¼ cup (60 g ) Unsalted butter, softened / Coconut Oil for vegan

  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg

  • 1/2 tsp Ginger powder

  • Soaked Fruit
  • 100 g Raisins

  • 25 g Currants

  • 200 g Orange Juice

  • For the Cross
  • 30g All-purpose flour

  • 30 g Water

  • Glaze
  • 30 g Water

  • 25 g Granulated Sugar


  • For Tangzhong
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, milk and flour for tangzhong. Stir continuously till the mixture starts to thicken and form a paste. This should take about 2-3 minutes and will look quite similar to mashed potatoes consistency. Transfer to a bowl and let it sit to cool.
  • For Buns
  • Soak Raisins and Currants in Orange juice for 30 mins.
  • In half a cup of milk, add in the yeast and let it sit covered for 5 minutes till frothy.
  • In a bowl, mix all purpose flour, spices, milk powder (Optional) and sugar. Add in tangzhong and yeast mixture. Mix it all to form a dough.
  • Add the milk in batches till the dough comes together. Drain the soaked fruit and add them to the dough.
  • Now add in the salt and butter/coconut oil.
  • Once the dough comes together, take it out of the bowl onto a clean surface and knead the dough. (Pulling and folding). You can do this either by hand or in a stand mixer with hook attachment. Continue to knead the dough for 15-20 mins, till you get a soft and not too sticky dough.
  • Check for a window pane and if the test comes through, shape the dough into a smooth ball and place it in a large bowl covered with a tea towel or plastic wrap to rise.
  • Let the dough rise for an hour or two or until it doubles in size.
  • Punch down to remove the air. Give the dough a few folds. Now divide the dough into 12 parts.
  • Flatten each one a make a dough ball without any cracks and arrange them in a rectangular or square baking pan. Cover and let it rise for another 25-30 mins.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. (Fan based) and prepare the paste for the cross by mixing the flour and water well. Add this paste to a piping bag.
  • Once the dough has risen well, pipe the top of of the buns with crosses.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30 mins. To check, after 30 mins, tap the bottom of the pan and if done should make a hollow sound. You can also use a food thermometer. See Notes.
  • Remove from the oven and brush the glaze over the buns.
  • Let the buns cool in the pan for 5 to 10 mins. Remove the buns and place it on a wire rack to cool completely or enjoy fresh Hot Cross Buns.


  • To check if the bread is baked, one can use a thermometer. The inside of the baked bread should read about 93 degrees C or 200 degrees F.
  • A fresh baked bread removed from the oven will hard crust. The crust softens as it cools.

Did you try this recipe? We’d love you to rate it below under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!

Did you like this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.8 / 5. 102

Be the first to rate this post.

Subscribe to our Mailing list

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Comments are closed.