Linda's 'handwritten' hot cross buns recipe

  • Serves 12 (makes 12 large or 16 small buns)
  • 35 mins to prepare and 15-18 mins to cook, plus proofing
  • 274 calories / serving
  • Healthy
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Linda, in our story, loves baking hot cross buns for her grandchildren, even though they can never agree on a filling they all like. They’re coming over on Easter Sunday, so this year she’s baking a different flavour for each of them. So that they'll know whose is whose, she'll pipe each child's initials on the buns!

155x255 LindasHotCrossBuns mini
  1. Mix the bread flour, spice, sugar, milk powder and yeast in a bowl with a pinch salt. Make a well in the centre. Lightly beat together the butter, egg and 250ml (8 1/2fl oz) lukewarm water, then pour in to the flour mix. Knead the flour into the liquid slowly, until a soft dough forms.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Return to the bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise for 1-1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.
  3. Once risen, knock back the dough by punching lightly. Cut it into 4. To personalise, knead a filling into each quarter. Cut each piece into 3 (for 12 buns) or 4 (for 16), then shape each into a ball. Transfer to a greased baking sheet, cover with a damp cloth and leave for 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size. 
  4. Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. For the topping, mix the plain flour, 1/2 tbsp sugar and 2-3 tbsp water into a smooth, thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small plain nozzle.
  5. Mark a cross on each bun with the back of a knife, then pipe paste on top. Pipe the initial of who the bun is for, if you like.
  6. Reduce the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden. Cool. Glaze with warm honey, if using.

Little help

If your dough is a bit stiff, try adding a little more water at step 1 to loosen it up.


Mixed spice is also good with poached apples or pears, added to the egg mix for French toast, or used in fruit chutneys.

  • Ingredients

  • 525g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 heaped tsp mixed spice
  • 55g caster sugar, plus an extra 1/2 tbsp
  • 45g dried milk powder
  • 7g sachet dried yeast
  • 55g butter, melted then cooled slightly, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp runny honey (optional)
  • To personalise the buns

  • 35g chocolate chips
  • 35g dried apricots, diced
  • 35g raisins
  • 35g dried cranberries
  • Energy 1160kj 274kcal 14%
  • Fat 6g 9%
  • Saturates 3g 15%
  • Sugars 16g 17%
  • Salt 0g 1%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 51g Protein 7g Fibre 2g


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