Hot Cross Buns

My daughter, Helena, lives in Berlin, Germany. It’s a bit of a foodie heaven over there, so it’s not often that she craves something from home. Today was one of those days. “Mum, what I’d do for a cup of tea and some Hot Cross Buns, slathered in butter! Can you send some over?” 

What’s your guilty little secret at Easter?

For me, Easter is about bringing the family together. And that inevitably involves great food, with more than the the odd mini-egg thrown in for good measure! I’d recommend making your own Hot Cross Buns. Start now and perfect the art by Good Friday! As soon as you’ve tasted  them, you’ll realise why the effort is worth the salt … Enjoy!



for 12 buns
  • 1 tbsp quick action yeast
  • 50g caster sugar plus a tbsp for the yeast mix
  • 150 ml luke warm milk
  • 75ml luke warm water
  • 450g strong white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 50g melted butter
  • 1 free range egg, beaten
  • 75g raisins
  • 2 tbsp chopped mixed peel
  • 50g shortcrust pastry (I use bought pastry for this)
For the glaze:
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp sugar



  1. Grease a large baking sheet. Mix the yeast, 1 tbsp of the caster sugar, milk and water with 100g of the flour briefly with a fork, then leave in a warm place for about 20 minutes. It is meant to go frothy so don't worry!
  2. Sift the rest of the flour into a bowl and add the salt, spices and 50g sugar. Stir in the butter, egg, yeast mixture, raisins and peel and mix until it comes together into a soft dough.
  3. Choose a large, clean surface and sprinkle on some flour. Turn out the dough and knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. It should not be sticky. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise, until it has doubled in size.
  4. Turn the dough out again onto the floured surface and knead for about 3 minutes. Divide the dough into 12 and roll in your hands until you have a round bun shape.
  5. Place on the baking sheet, cover again with the tea towel, and leave in a warm place until doubled in size again.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190 C.
  7. Roll out the pastry thinly on the floured surface. Cut into thin strips (about 10 cm long). Dampen the pastry strips on one side and then lay, damp side down, on top of the buns to make a cross.
  8. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. While the buns are baking, heat the milk, sugar and water together. Take the buns out of the oven, brush with the glaze, and leave to cool on a wire rack.
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