Hot Cross Buns

 Happy Easter!

You'll find many Easter tables include a basketful of hot cross buns, with their symbolic crosses. Usually the cross is made with a confectioners sugar glaze, but this recipe uses pie pastry; unusual, but it's a clever idea and the buns are plenty sweet enough without the confectioners sugar cross because of the egg and sugar glaze. I've made quite a few hot cross buns, but this recipe beats them all. Sweet, buttery and chock full of currants and raisins. Your family will love them!

You can make these ahead and freeze. Just reheat. And the buns are delicious sliced and toasted in the morning. This recipe makes 24 buns.

Hot Cross Buns

1 cup warm milk (105°–115°F.)
two 1/4-ounce packages (5 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup dried currants
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh orange zest
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
3 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar
pastry dough (hopefully you have some left over in the freezer)

In a small bowl stir together warmed milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar. Let mixture stand 5 minutes, or until foamy.
Into a large bowl sift together flour, allspice, cinnamon, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Cut butter into bits and blend into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal. (I used my fingers.)
Beat 1 whole egg with an egg yolk. Make a well in center of flour mixture and pour in yeast and egg mixtures, currants, raisins, and zests. Stir mixture until a dough is formed. Transfer dough to a floured surface and with floured hands knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (I  put the dough in my mixer with a dough hook.) Transfer dough to an oiled large bowl and turn to coat. Let dough rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Butter 2 large baking sheets. (I used parchment paper.)
On a floured surface with floured hands form into two 12-inch-long logs. Cut each log crosswise into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball and arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Let buns rise, covered, in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
While buns are rising, lightly beat remaining egg with superfine sugar to make an egg glaze. 

For the pastry crosses: On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin roll out pastry dough into a 20- by 6-inch rectangle (about 1/8 inch thick). With a sharp knife cut rectangle crosswise into 1/8-inch- wide strips.

Brush buns with egg glaze and arrange 2 pastry strips over center of each bun to form a cross. Trim ends of pastry strips flush with bottoms of buns. Bake buns in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until golden, about 12 minutes. Transfer buns to a rack to cool slightly. Buns may be made 1 week ahead and frozen, wrapped in foil and put in a plastic bag. Thaw buns and reheat before serving. 


  1. A lovely Easter treat!




  2. A gorgeous treat for Easter and I'm sure they must taste like a treat as well. Beautiful job Barbara. Happy Easter to you. I can hardly believe it's here!

  3. Love the pastry crosses. Any recipe that comes from Epicurious has to be great. Happy Easter Barbara.

  4. I am going to do a post perhaps on what a Hot Cross Bun Is Not supposed to look like..as I made them this week..
    I have made many recipes during my years and got tempted by a new recipe..a sucker for a pretty face..I only read the rveiews mid way..and they were spot on..case in point we only kept 2 and Lucas was over yesterday and said:" Oh what are those Nana?..they're huge.."..and yes they were..exploding muffins I called them..:(
    Yours are perfect.

  5. Really a ' good preparation nice to see and definitely good to eat . A good hug weekend

  6. Love hot cross buns and these look delicious !!

  7. These Easter buns look scrumptious!

  8. What a great idea to make the cross from pastry instead of sugar, Barbara! You know, I've never made a hot cross bun in my life, but when I decide to try, it will certainly be this recipe.

  9. i've eaten my fair share of these buns, but i've never made them! i like that these buns can stand alone and don't have to be mushed together to rise properly. :)

  10. Hi Barbara, these are so pretty, love that you made the cross from pastry. Happy Easter!

  11. My family enjoy organizing the parties! I often looking for the new dishes. And i think this dish will suit for my family. Thanks this article!

  12. Your hot cross buns are so cute...I love that they can be made in advance...
    Have a great week and Happy Easter :)

  13. They are so pretty! I will definitely give these a try this year...

  14. These buns look incredible.
    I tried to make them gluten free but didn't come up with satisfactory result.

  15. I always make a different pastry or sweet bread each year for Easter. But, I always wish I'd made some hot cross buns too! These look delicious.



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