Easy Hot Cross Buns Recipe Makes Easter Even Sweeter

Hot Cross Buns Hot cross buns are one of my favorite Easter treats. Traditionally served on Good Friday, I guess they are actually a precursor to the main event. It used to be I would run out and buy them at whatever local bakery was closest to my place of residence. That's because most of the recipes I'd find seemed pointlessly elaborate.

Then I developed a recipe of my own. Since it involves yeast, there is a certain amount of time you've got to plan for in order to let the dough rise properly. But they are in no way labor intensive, and a little planning can save you a tedious trip to the bakery. Hopefully this sweet tradition will be even sweeter with these homemade treats.


Hot Cross Buns Recipe



  • 1 1/4 cups milk, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, 1 separated
  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup raisins


  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • Or one pre-made, roll-out pie crust


  • In one bowl, combine all of the dough ingredients except for the raisins. Stir together until well mixed. Then add those raisins. Loosely cover and leave the dough in a warm, dry place to rise for about an hour. It should double in size.
  • Scoop out golf ball-sized chunks of dough onto a pre-greased baking pan, making sure to leave plenty of room for expansion in between. Cover them loosely again and leave to rise for another hour.
  • Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • While they're cooling, combine icing ingredients.
  • Using a piping bag (a sandwich baggie with an end cut off works just fine), make crosses on each bun -- but make sure they are totally cool before doing this!
  • If you feel like ditching this last step, simply cut up your pie crust into thin strips and arrange them on the buns before baking.
  • Enjoy!

Do you make hot cross buns for Easter?


Image via Erwin Gershteiner/Corbis

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