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Hot Cross Buns


Cross Buns

Cross Buns

Photo by Cynthia Nelson

I've always found Hot Cross Buns to be blah. They always have to be slathered with butter, jam or jelly to have a taste to satisfy me.

Determined to make a bun that was tender, sweet, well-balanced with spice and one that I can eat just as is, I came up with this recipe that I am sure will please you. Though these buns do not have crosses, they are still very much Hot Cross Buns.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Dough resting and rising: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 12 - 14


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm whole milk (110 - 115 degrees F)
  • 1 Tbsp dry active yeast or instant
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk


  1. Add sugar to bowl along with milk and stir to dissolve; toss in yeast and give a little stir (be sure to wipe off any yeast stuck on the spoon. Cover and let proof in a warm place for 10 minutes.

  2. Add flour to bowl along with ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt; mix thoroughly. Stir in raisins.

  3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast-milk mixture and mix to form a dough. Once formed, knead the dough for 2 minutes, place in an oiled bowl, cover and put in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has more than doubled in size.

  4. Punch down risen dough and knead for 2 minutes and then cut dough into equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a ball and placed in a large an oiled baking dish or pan. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.

  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with the rack in the middle, 20 minutes before the 1 hour of rising is complete.

  6. Add the 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons water to a small bowl and stir to dissolve sugar.

  7. Brush the risen dough with sugar water and transfer dish/pan to the oven. Bake for 12 minutes; brush with sugar water and bake for another 12 minutes. Brush again with sugar water and bake for 3 minutes.

  8. Remove dish/pan from oven, place on wire rack and brush a few times with the remaining sugar water and leave to cool in the dish for 10 - 12 minutes.

  9. Use a spatula to pry the buns from the dish/pan and transfer to a wire rack. Place the wire rack onto a baking sheet and let continue to cool.

  10. Meanwhile, add icing sugar and milk to a bowl and whisk to dissolve. Using a tablespoon, drizzle the glaze all over the buns - on the tops and sides. Let continue to cool until you are ready to serve them. 

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