1. Don't rush the yeast

    Pour 80ml warm water into a jug, stir in ½ x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast and set aside for 5 mins until frothy.

    Step 1Tip: When the yeast froths it is alive and active and is releasing the gas needed to make the dough rise, meaning it is ready to be added to your mixture.

  2. Rub in the butter

    Sift 250g strong bread flour, 25g caster sugar, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp each of ground nutmeg, mixed spice and ground cinnamon into a large bowl and, using your fingertips, rub 50g chilled cubed butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in 1 lightly beaten large egg and the yeast mix and bring together with a wooden spoon.

    Step 2Tip: Using cold cubed butter and keeping handling to a minimum makes blending easier and quicker.

  3. Knead the dough

    Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and knead for 10 mins. To knead, fold the dough, then use the heel of your hand to gently press it down and away from you. Fold the dough in half and turn 45 degrees. Repeat until the dough is smooth on the outside and springs back when you press it. Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl; cover loosely with oiled clingfilm. Leave to prove in a warm place for 1-2 hrs or until doubled in size.

  4. Shape into smooth balls

    Knock the air out of the dough by kneading for 2 mins on a floured surface. Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces, then shape into smooth balls by rolling them on the surface with the palm of your hand. Divide the dough balls between 2 lightly greased baking trays, leaving 3cm between each for them to expand as they prove. Cover loosely with oiled clingfilm; leave to prove in a warm place for 1-2 hrs or until doubled in size.

    Step 4Tip: Only dust your hands and the work surface with the smallest amount of flour necessary to stop the dough from sticking – otherwise it could dry out.

  5. Pipe the crosses

    When ready to cook, mix together 20g plain flour, 2-3 drops of almond extract to taste and 20ml water, then spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 0.5cm plain nozzle. Pipe crosses over each dough ball.

    Step 5Tip: A piping nozzle will make your crosses neater and more uniform, but if you don’t have one in the correct size, simply snip a small hole off the end of a disposable piping bag.

  6. Fry and dust the doughnuts

    Pour 1ltr sunflower oil into a large, deep saucepan; use a kitchen thermometer to heat the oil to 160°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, drop a cube of bread into the oil – it should take 30 secs to turn golden. Working in batches, use a slotted spoon to lower dough balls into the hot oil. Fry for 1-2 mins each side until golden brown. Transfer to sheets of kitchen paper with the slotted spoon and leave to cool for 5-10 mins. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Roll gently in the remaining sugar while they are still warm.

    Step 6Tip: Keep checking the oil temperature is at 160°C to cook evenly. Alternatively, bake the doughnuts in a medium oven on a greased tray for 8-10 mins until golden, then roll in the sugar.

  7. Serve and enjoy

    Serve the doughnuts warm, with cream, if you like. Stir almond extract into whipped cream and serve alongside the doughnuts to dip.

  8. Get ahead

    Follow the recipe until you knock the air out of the dough in step 4. Instead of dividing into balls, re-cover with greased clingfilm and chill in the fridge overnight. The following day, divide into 20 pieces and roll into balls as in step 4. Leave to prove for 4 hrs or until doubled in size, and continue to follow the recipe from step 5.

    Doughnuts are best enjoyed on the day they are made, but you can make up to 1 day ahead and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Revive by popping in the oven at 160°C for 5 mins, or in batches in the microwave for 15 secs. To freeze, place in an airtight container or wrap in foil. Defrost, uncovered, for 30 mins-1 hr.

  9. Ingredients

    We've made a handy shopping list, so you can get everything you need to make these hot cross bun doughnuts. Don’t forget to screenshot before you go shopping!

    ½ x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
    250g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
    75g caster sugar
    ½ tsp salt
    ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
    ¼ tsp mixed spice
    ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
    50g chilled butter, cubed
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1ltr sunflower oil for deep-frying, plus extra for greasing
    20g plain flour
    2-3 drops almond extract (to taste)