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How to make hot cross buns

Celebrate Easter by baking a batch of classic hot cross buns to share with family and friends. They're surprisingly easy to make and these seasonal spiced treats can be mastered in just a few easy steps with our Easter recipe. Don't forget to screenshot or print the handy ingredients list at the bottom before you go shopping.

  1. Make the dough

    Put 225ml milk in a small pan and gently heat until just below boiling point. Stir 50g diced butter into the hot milk until melted. Leave to cool for 5 mins, then stir in 2 beaten eggs. Sift 500g strong white bread flour, 50g caster sugar, 7g (1 sachet) fast-action dried yeast, 1 tsp cinnamon and ½ tsp mixed spice into a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt; stir. Make a well in the centre, then gradually pour in the milk mixture, stirring to form a slightly sticky dough.

    Make the dough
  2. Knead

    Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 10 mins, or until soft and shiny (the dough should spring back when you press your thumb in). Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with a clean cloth. Set aside to prove in a warm place for 1 hr, or until doubled in size.

  3. Add the fruit

    Punch back the dough to knock out any air bubbles. Flatten slightly, then scatter 150g raisins and 75g mixed peel into the centre; bring up the sides to enclose the fruit. Knead, on a floured surface, for 5 mins more. Roll into a ball, flatten slightly, then divide into 12 equal pieces.

    Add the fruit
  4. Shape the dough

    Shape each piece of dough into a smooth ball. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with nonstick baking paper, leaving a 3-5cm gap between each one. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for about 20 mins, or until a fingertip leaves a small impression in the dough.

    Shape the dough
  5. Pipe the crosses

    Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Mix 100g plain flour with 6 tbsp water to make a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 5mm round nozzle. Pipe a cross onto each bun, then bake for 20 mins, or until golden with the bases sounding hollow when tapped.

    Pipe the crosses
  6. Glaze

    Leave the buns to cool a little on the baking tray. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp shredless orange marmalade in a small pan to make a runny glaze. Dip a pastry brush in the glaze and brush over the surface of each bun.

  7. Enjoy

    Enjoy warm, from the oven or toasted, and spread with butter, if you like. 

    Hot cross buns FINAL H v2

  8. Delicious spins

    Raisins and mixed peel may be the traditional hot cross bun additions, but these fruity pairings make a nice alternative. Simply replace with one of the combinations below.

    Chocolate and cherry: Add 100g dark chocolate chips and 50g roughly chopped sour cherries.

    Apricot and almond: Fold in 75g each chopped dried apricots and toasted almonds, plus ¼ tsp almond extract.

    Cranberry and orange: Add 100g dried cranberries and the zest of 1 orange.

  9. Ingredients

    We've prepared a simple shopping list so you can easily get all you need to make these delicious hot cross buns. Be sure to note down the ingredients or take a screenshot before heading to the shops.

    225ml milk
    50g butter, diced, plus extra for serving
    2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
    500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
    50g caster sugar
    1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
    1 tsp cinnamon
    ½ tsp mixed spice
    oil, for greasing
    150g seedless raisins (optional – see flavour spins above)
    75g mixed peel (optional – see flavour spins above)

    For the crosses and glaze:
    100g plain flour
    2 tbsp shredless orange marmalade, for glazing

    Makes 12

    Each serving contains

    • Energy

    • Fat

      7g 10%
    • Saturates

      3g 16%
    • Sugars

      20g 22%
    • Salt

      0.1g 2%

    of the reference intake
    Carbohydrate 58.6g Protein 7g Fibre 2.6g