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Hot cross bunnies recipe

Hot cross bunnies recipe

13 ratings

Kids will love this adorable twist on traditional hot cross buns, shaping the dough into cute, long-eared bunnies instead. What's more, the orange-scented dough is also flavoured with white chocolate chips for extra sweetness! See method

  • Serves 16 (makes 16 bunnies)
  • 55 mins to prepare and 15 mins to cook, plus 2-3hrs rising
  • 350 calories / serving
  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian


  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 175g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra
  • 300ml milk, warmed but not hot or steaming, plus 3 tbsp for decorating
  • 600g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ ground nutmeg
  • 2 oranges, zested
  • 75g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 175g mixed dried fruit, plus about 10g for eyes
  • 200g white chocolate chips
  • sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 ½ tbsp milk
  • 50g plain flour
If you haven't got any white bread, try using brown instead

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    10g 14%
  • Saturates

    5g 26%
  • Sugars

    29g 32%
  • Salt

    0.1g 2%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 623g Protein 6.5g Fibre 2g


  1. Mix the yeast in a small bowl with the 1 tbsp sugar. Add 4 tbsp of the warm milk and set aside for 5 mins to activate the yeast.
  2. Put the flour, 125g of the sugar, the spices, orange zest and butter in a second bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the mixture together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir through the orange extract and dried fruit. Add the yeast mix and most of the remaining warm milk and mix to a sticky dough, adding more milk if the mixture is dry or crumbly. You might not need it all. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 mins or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add the chocolate chips and knead for a further 2 mins until evenly distributed.
  3. Place the dough on a lightly greased baking sheet and cover with lightly oiled clingfilm. Leave in a warm place to rise for 1-2 hrs or until doubled in size.
  4. Divide the risen dough into 16 equal balls, then roll each into an oval. Use scissors to make a horizontal cut a third of the way into each oval to make the ears, then shape the tops of the ears with your fingers so they are rounded. Divide between 2 greased baking trays, leaving enough space between them for each to double in size. Cover again with the oiled clingfilm and leave somewhere warm for 1 hr.
  5. Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190 ̊C, fan 170 ̊C. Carefully reshape the bunnies if necessary. Brush the egg yolk mixture evenly over the buns. Mix the plain flour with 3 tbsp milk and spoon into a piping bag with a 2mm round nozzle. Pipe ears, eyes, a ‘cross’ nose and a mouth, then stick on raisins or currants for the eyes. Bake for 15 mins until golden, and hollow-sounding when tapped on the underside. Transfer to a wire rack.
  6. In a small pan, heat the remaining 50g sugar and 2 tbsp hot water over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Brush the syrup over the buns; set aside to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.

See more Easter baking recipes

As part of a healthy balanced diet, we recommend this recipe for a special occasion or treat.

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