Hot Cross Buns

Do you know where Hot Cross Buns originated? In 12th century, buns were baked by Anglican monk and marked them with a cross to remind us of Good Friday. Later on, Hot Cross Buns were so popular, and eventually became a symbol of Easter weekend.

Today, we can eat Hot Cross Buns anytime we want, as it is available in our local supermarket. We can also make it at home. They’re very similar to Cinnamon buns but it has more spice in it. It could be enjoyed plain, with raisins, dried currants or even cranberries. But my daughters don’t really like raisins, so I just omitted the dried currants from the original recipe from Delish.

Hot Cross Buns Recipe



1 cup warm milk

2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast, plus 1 tablespoon sugar for activating the yeast

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading)

1/2 cup 1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup raisins, optional

1 teaspoon lemon zest Egg wash, for brushing


1 cup icing sugar

1 tablespoon milk

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

How to Make Hot Cross Buns?


1. In a medium bowl, combine milk, yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Allow the yeast to activate by leaving it in a warm place for about 5-10 minutes.  

2. Whisk in butter, egg yolk and vanilla into the bowl with yeast mixture.  

3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the yeast mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour-yeast mixture until thick. Stir in raisins.  

4. In a lightly floured surface, turn the dough in and knead until it is soft and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Do not over knead. Shape the dough in a big ball.  

5. Grease a large bowl with butter and put the dough in. Cover with plastic wrap or cloth. Let is rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.  

6. Turn the dough in a lightly floured surface, pat the dough and shape it into a large rectangle. Divide the dough into 12 proportions using a sharp knife or pastry silicone cutter. Butter a 9” x 12” baking pan.  

7. Shape each dough piece into a roll, tuck the edges under. Place into the buttered pan, seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap or cloth and let it rise in a warm place until the dough pieces have doubled in size, about 45 minutes.  

8. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F or 180 degrees C. Brush the tops of the buns with egg wash. Bake the buns until they are golden and puffy, about 22-25 minutes.  

9. MAKE GLAZE: Whisk together icing sugar, milk and lemon zest until smooth, Transfer into a piping bag and make small cut in the corner of the bag or use round piping nozzle. Pipe a thick cross shape over each rolls.  

Serve and enjoy these Hot Cross Buns with family and friends!


  • Do not over-knead the dough or the hot cross buns will turn out hard.
  • You can add raisins, dried currants or cranberries.
  • Use all-purpose flour.
  • Make sure the yeast mixture is foamy and activated.
  • Use the baking pan, not cookie sheet. 

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