Traditional Hot Cross Buns

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

These traditional hot cross buns are easy to make and delicious warm served with lashings of butter!

And if you love hot cross buns like me you might want to try other flavours like my Orange, Date & Cardamom Hot Cross Buns recipe. It is always a real treat when we get to enjoy some of these delicious sticky buns because Easter is the only time, I bake them.


Traditional hot cross buns, date back to the 12th century and are traditionally enjoyed on Good Friday at Easter representing the end of Lent. They are recognisable by the white cross on top, signifying the crucifixion of Jesus, sometimes etched into the dough or piped on with icing.

They are made from an enriched yeasted dough of eggs and butter, filled with spices and various fruits such as currants, raisins, and/or candied citrus fruit peel. The spices are also significant in that they represent the spices used to embalm Jesus at his burial.

If you decide to give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment below and rate it – it’s really helpful to me and the other readers. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #thegourmetlarder on Instagram. I love seeing what you come up with! 🙂

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    For this classic hot cross bun recipe all you need are these ingredients:

    • Strong white bread flour (BL80)
    • Brown soft sugar
    • Fresh or fast-action dried yeast
    • Milk
    • Eggs
    • Butter
    • Sultanas or Raisins
    • Cinnamon
    • Nutmeg
    • Caster or granulated white sugar

    Using fresh or dried yeast, click here for further guidance!

    TIP: I highly recommend adding salt to your doughs and pastry. Salt helps balance out the sweetness and richness. It also elevates the other ingredients, bring out the best characteristics of any recipe.


    • Fruit: If you like mixed peel, you can half the number of sultanas and add 100g to this recipe.

    If you experiment, I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.


    TIP: If you have ever ended up with dry, dense or crumbly baked goods, it might be because you’re using inaccurate measurements. I highly recommend using metric measurements and a digital scale, rather than cup measurements for example. You will find it much easier, less messy and you will get far better, consistent results weighing your ingredients. 🙂


    Serving: one classic hot cross bun

    Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, or the source of nutrition data.

    I strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy.

    I encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.


    These classic hot cross buns will stay fresh for 24 hours at room temperature in an airtight container. Do not place them in the fridge, as they will dry up.

    Freezing: They also freeze well for up to 1 month. To defrost simple leave on the kitchen worktop for half an hour.

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    Hot Cross Buns

    Classic Hot Cross Buns

    Preparation:30 minutes
    Baking:25 minutes
    Proving:2 hours
    Total:2 hours 55 minutes
    Servings: 12 Buns
    Who doesn't love a warm hot cross bun served with lashings of butter! These deliciously spiced currant buns, date back to the 12th century and are traditionally enjoyed on Good Friday at Easter.



    • 500 g white bread flour (BL80)
    • 80 g soft light brown sugar (muscovado)
    • ½ tsp fine sea salt
    • 23 g fresh yeast (7g fast action dried yeast or 2 tsp)
    • 300 ml milk
    • 1 medium egg (50g total)
    • 60 g butter
    • 200 g sultanas (or rasins)


    • 60 g plain (all-purpose) flour (BL55)
    • 60-70 ml water

    Glaze (optional, makes the buns shiny and fresher for longer)

    • 100 ml water
    • 80 g caster sugar (or granulated)


    • Soaking fruit: Cover the sultanas or raisins in water and leave to soak for 10 minutes
    • Prepare the dough: Pour the milk and butter into a small saucepan and gently heat until it is just about body temperature 37 °C.
    • Mix the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and egg together in a bowl, then slowly add the warmed milk/butter mixture until it forms a soft sticky dough. If your dough is too sticky and not pulling away from the sides of the bowl, add an additional tablespoon of flour at a time. (This stage can also be done in a stand mixer)
    • Drain the sultanas well and add them to the dough and then tip out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heel of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat until you have a smooth and elastic dough.
    • First prove: Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for approximately one hour in a warm environment, or until doubled in size.
    • Shaping: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release the air. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. (It doesn’t need to be perfect!) Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured surface.
    • Arrange the buns on a baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving enough space between the buns so they just touch when they rise and expand.
    • Second prove: Set aside to prove for another hour.
    • 15 minutes before the end of the proofing time preheat the oven to 200 °C fan / 425 °F / Gas 7.
    • The cross: Mix the flour with the water one tablespoon at a time, you want a thick paste that will pipe easily. Add remaining water if needed. Spoon the paste into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.
    • Baking: Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden-brown on top.
    • Glazing: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring water and sugar to a boil. As soon as the sugar dissolves, reduce the heat and simmer, without stirring, for 5 minutes, until syrupy. Brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.
    KEYWORDS Classic recipe, easter baking, enriched dough, hot cross buns

    traditional Hot Cross buns


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