Hot cross buns, One a penny, two a penny, Hot cross buns!

A hot cross bun is a spiced dried fruit cake that in the past was made around Easter time, nowadays they are available all year round. I don’t remember eating them that much as a child growing up in Ireland but I recall fondly seeing them in Bakeries around this time of the year. We also have a book of Mother Goose rhymes with wonderful illustrations by Michael Hague which features the rhyme “Hot cross buns” that many people know.

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Since becoming a Mum I’m baking a lot more and this is my third Easter making Hot cross buns, they fill the kitchen with a beautiful aroma and are simply delicious fresh from the oven and spread with some butter. Be warned though such a simple looking bun does take a fair bit of preparation – at least 2.5  hours!


  • 275ml (10fl oz) or 1 1/4 cups of warm milk
  • 4 teaspoons of yeast  {I like to buy SAF-Instant it comes in a 1lb/454g bag]
  • 85g (3oz) or 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 625g (1.3 lb) or 5 cups of bread flour or strong white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 45g (1.5 oz) or 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter cut into small cubes
  • 110g (4oz) or 3/4 cup of dried fruit currants and sultanas
  • 50g (1 3/4 oz) or 1/3 cup of mixed peel
  • 1 egg

For the cross:

  • 75g (2 1/2 oz or 1/2 cup approximately of plain or all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 80ml or 1/3 cup approximately of water

For the glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of boiling water

Preparation Method:

Place the yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar into a large mixing bowl and add the warm milk, I find this helps activate the yeast and is ready when a nice froth or foam forms.

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Sieve the flour, salt and cinnamon together into a large bowl, add remaining sugar, rub in butter, I find a potato masher comes in handy when doing this. Lately I have started using my stand mixer for doing this step which saves time.


Add mixed peel and dried fruit to bowl with flour. Pour bowl of flour into the bowl containing the yeast and milk mixture. Add egg and mix all together until it forms a sticky dough {you may need to add some extra milk if the mixture seems a bit dry}.


Then remove the dough from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and elastic this may take 5 minutes or more.


Grease the inside of the bowl with butter and place dough into it {I used the same bowl from earlier that contained the flour}. Cover with a large clean plastic bag, leave in a warm place such as by a sunny window until it has doubled in size which takes at least 1 hour.


Remove risen dough from bowl and onto the counter and knock back the dough and then let it rest for a couple of minutes. Roll out into a long cylinder shape and then divide into 16 even sized pieces.

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Arrange the buns on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, leaving enough spaces so that the buns just touch when they rise. I used a baking tin 13“x 10.5“(33cm x 26cm) which was a little big. Cover the buns with more parchment and then place in a plastic bag and close. Leave for 1 hour to rise.

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Before the hour is up, mix flour, sugar and water together to form a paste. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag or freezer bag and snip off top. After 1 hour remove bag and parchment that is covering the buns which should have increased in size, if not they might require some extra time. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Then pipe a line of paste across each row of buns, then repeat going the other direction.

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Bake on the middle shelf for 20 minutes, it is important with every new recipe to check before the suggested time is up as everyone’s ovens are different.

Mix sugar and boiling water together and brush this glaze on top of the buns when they come out of the oven, then gently separate the buns from each other and set on a wire rack to cool down.

Enjoy later if you can wait that long! Spread with some Kerrygold Irish salted butter while sipping “a nice cup of tea” as my Mum would say! They are also very nice when toasted. This Easter I have made two batches of H C Buns as we loved them so much and of course I had to share them with my Irish, English and Australian friends.


I would love to hear comments from anyone who tries this recipe. Happy Easter!

This entry was published on March 25, 2015 at 4:05 am. It’s filed under Baking, Easter, Food and Drink and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “Hot cross buns, One a penny, two a penny, Hot cross buns!

  1. I love hot cross buns – they were always an Easter tradition at my house. These ones look delicious. I’ll have to give them a try! (I have a sweet tooth, though, so I like to add a drizzle of icing too!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy Easter, let me know how the H C Buns turn out. Have heard some
      people use a sweet icing for the crosses, the sugar and water glaze sweetens them a little too but my son doesn’t like that as it makes them a little sticky 😄


  2. MMM! Nothing better than some warm hot cross buns 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

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