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Pile of Hot Cross Buns on a Plate.

Hot Cross Buns

These traditional soft, hot cross buns are filled with a delicious mix of warm spices, raisins and mixed peel. Best served warm with a smattering of butter.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 45 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Proofing: 3 hrs
Servings: 12 buns
Calories: 341kcal
Author: Mary-Lou


  • Stand Mixer (optional, dough can be made by hand)
  • Bench Scraper
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Kitchen Scale
  • 9"x13" Rectangular Cake Pan


Hot Cross Bun Dough

  • 500 grams bread flour (strong or high-grade flour)
  • 100 grams brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice (or allspice)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • zest of an orange
  • 300 mL milk (whole milk or full fat milk)
  • 1 egg (large)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 50 grams butter (cut into cubes)
  • 100 grams mixed peel (candied peel)
  • 100 grams raisins (or sultanas)
  • juice of an orange (optional extra)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (for the proofing bowl)

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg (beaten)

Hot Cross Bun Paste

  • 100 grams plain flour (standard grade, all-purpose, cake flour)
  • 40 grams icing sugar (powdered or confectioners)
  • 60-80 mL milk

Glaze (Optional Extra)

  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water


Rehydrating the fruit (optional extra)

  • Place the raisins and mixed peel into a bowl, and cover with the juice of the orange. Allow the fruit to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes to overnight. Drain the fruit before adding to the dough.
    100 grams mixed peel, 100 grams raisins, juice of an orange

Hot Cross Bun Dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the flour, salt, yeast (keeping the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl), cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cardamom, coriander, and orange zest. On a low speed using the dough hook gently mix together until the ingredients are mixed through.
    500 grams bread flour, 100 grams brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 3 teaspoons yeast, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon mixed spice, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ½ teaspoon ground cardamon, ½ teaspoon ground coriander, zest of an orange
  • Add the milk, vanilla and the egg to the dry ingredients. Mix on a slow to medium speed (speed 2 on a KitchenAid) for 4 to 5 minutes.
    300 mL milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 1 egg
  • When the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, toss in the cubes of butter 1 at a time and allow to mix in. Let the dough knead at the low speed for about 7 to 10 minutes.
    50 grams butter
  • The dough is finished kneading when you can stretch a portion of the dough thin enough to see light come through without tearing. This is known as the windowpane test.
  • Add the fruit to kneaded dough and mix through for a minute or so (on low) until the fruit is combined.
    100 grams raisins, 100 grams mixed peel
  • Place the dough in an oiled mixed bowl and cover with cling film and/or a tea towel and allow to proof for 1 to 1½ hours.
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Shaping the Dough

  • Line a 9"x13" (23cmx33cm) baking tray or roasting dish with baking paper.
  • Turn the proofed dough onto a clean, very lightly floured surface. Knock the air out of the dough, folding the dough over itself to equalise the temperature in the dough. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions of about 100 grams each.
  • Lightly flour the palm of your hand. Using the palm of your hand push the dough into the surface about 3 times. Create a little cage with your fingers and swirl loosely around the dough until you have a nice round roll. (The surface should have very little flour, as we are using the stickiness of the surface to create tension on the oustide of the ball of dough).
  • Place the shaped balls of dough into the prepared baking tray. Cover with cling film or a tea towel and allow to proof for another hour. Using a lightly floured finger, poke the side of the bun, if the dough indents and jumps back about half way the dough is finished proofing.

Hot Cross Bun Paste

  • In the last 10 to 15 minutes of the proofing preheat the oven to 200°C/390F.
  • Mix together the plain flour, icing sugar and milk to form a paste that has a piping consistency. Place the paste into a piping bag.
    100 grams plain flour, 40 grams icing sugar, 60-80 mL milk
  • Brush the beaten egg over the tops of the buns.
    1 egg
  • Pipe crosses over the top of the buns and bake for 15-20 minutes. The buns may need to be turned during the last 5 mintues of the bake for an even golden brown colour.

Hot Cross Bun Glaze (Optional)

  • While the buns are baking, combine the golden syrup and boiling water. As soon as the buns come out the oven, brush the tops of the buns with the glaze. Allow to cool in the baking tray for 10 minutes before lifting out and cool further on a wired rack.
    1 tablespoon golden syrup, 1 tablespoon boiling water


Mixing this dough by hand is possible, however, the kneading time may take up to 20 minutes to reach the window pane consistency. If you are kneading this dough by hand - add the milk to the flour and mix through before adding any of the other ingredients. And allow the mixture to stand for 15 to 30 minutes. This will allow the milk to hydrate the flour and begin the gluten formation, giving a head start in the kneading process. 
Spices - the most important spices (if you can rank spices) for this recipe is the cinnamon and allspice or mixed spice. If you don't have a spice of hand, it can be left out of the recipe.
Fruitless or hot cross buns without raisins are very easy to make - simply leave out the fruit.
Mixed peel and raisins - I opted for 100 grams of each because we (me and Dave) love mixed peel. However, you can change up the ratio of the fruit, or even just add raisins or sultanas if you don't have mixed peel on hand. 
Salt is a crucial ingredient in all baked goods. I use table salt in all my recipes. One teaspoon of table salt equals 1.5 teaspoons of Morton Kosher Salt equals 2 teaspoons of Diamond Crystal.


Serving: 1bun | Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 252mg | Potassium: 195mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 177IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is an estimate. If scaling the recipe remember to scale your cook and bakeware accordingly.

Did you make this recipe?Mention @marylou_saltyginger on Instagram and tag or #saltygingerblog so that I can see your creations!
Course :Dessert
Cuisine :British, New Zealand, South African
Keyword :Hot Cross Buns