Hot cross buns: make this Easter treat with our easy hot cross bun recipe

With Easter just around the corner, what better time to bake hot cross buns – they're easier than you might expect

hot cross buns
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Who doesn't love hot cross buns? Especially when they're toasted and loaded up with butter. We'll give you a second to think about it...

But seriously, with Easter just around the corner – and more time on our hands than we care to mention – there's never been a better time to try your hand at baking hot cross buns for all the family. They're easier than you might think and – providing you have bread flour – require surprisingly few ingredients.

As the song says, it's best to 'get them while they're hot, and eat them by the tonne.' And we defy anyone to resist that very clear instruction. Find the recipe below, then head over to our food hub for more baking inspiration...

  • We've got plenty more Easter recipes if you're looking for seasonal specials

Hot cross buns recipe


For the buns

  • Strong white bread flour, 450 grams
  • Warm milk, 150 millilitres
  • Warm water, 75 millilitres
  • Butter, 50 grams
  • One free-range egg
  • Yeast, one 7 gram packet
  • Golden caster sugar, 50 grams
  • Salt, a couple of pinches
  • Ground cinammon, two teaspoons
  • Mixed spice, two teaspoons
  • Raisins or sultanas, 75 grams
  • Zest of one orange

For the crosses

  • Plain flour, 60 grams


1. Gently warm your milk and water in a saucepan. You only want it to be slightly heated, so watch that it doesn't get too hot. Once removed from the hob, add your butter to the mixture and set aside, stirring occasionally.

2. Combine your flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a separate bowl. Then, create a small well at the centre.

3. Pour your warm milk/water mixture into the well. Then, add in one beaten egg. Gently fold the mixture together until you achieve a dough-like consistency.

4. Now it's time to get your hands dirty. Remove your dough from the bowl and place on a surface lightly dusted with flour. Knead for around five minutes, or until your dough feels smooth.

5. Set your dough aside in a bowl covered with a fresh tea towel and leave to prove for up to one hour, or until it has doubled in size.

6. Add your sultanas to the mix, along with your spices and any orange zest you may be choosing to use. Knead until thoroughly combined, then set aside and leave to rise for another hour.

7. Remove your dough front he bowl and divide into smaller balls – these will be your hot cross buns. We predict that this mixture will make between 10 and 14 buns depending on how generous you are with the mixture. Place on a clean baking tray, or two, with plenty of space between each hot cross bun. 

8. Cover with a clean teat towel and set aside for the final time. Leave to prove for an hour, or until your hot cross buns have doubled in size.

9. To prepare your crosses, you'll need to combine flour and water to create a paste. You can then use a piping bag (or a spoon and a steady hand) to pipe your crosses.

10. Place your hot cross buns in the oven at 220C/ 200ºC fan/ gas mark 7 for around 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

11. As soon as you have removed your hot cross buns from the oven, cover them with a mixture of sugar and water which will act as a glaze.