Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Howdy, friends!  Hopefully you are a big fan of the concept “better late than never”… because this post was meant to go out last Friday… Good Friday… the day you’re actually supposed to make Hot Cross Buns.

But stuff happens.  Like you take your daughters out for a day of girlie shopping and giggling… or you do a random pull-up contest with your son (ok, maybe this is not so common, but it happened at my house)… you hang out and swim and watch Lord of the Rings and eat the said hot cross buns and never actually sign onto your computer the whole holiday weekend.

Hot Cross Buns

Sound familiar?  If it does, then we’re in good company.  I used to push myself and push myself to hit ALL. MY. DEADLINES.  If a task was written on my calendar, I would DO IT, no matter how much stress it caused me, how much sleep I lost, or how much it compromised my time with my family.  But the older I get, the more I recognise that certain things are not so important, like arbitrary deadlines written on calendars.  And certain things are, like spending time with my kiddos, who frequently remind me, “Mama, do you realise that Theda only has 3 more years at home before she goes to college?!”  I think it amuses them to see the look that crosses my face… but one day they’ll be parents too, and then they’ll understand.

Hot Cross Buns

But I still want you to have this recipe, even if it’s too late for this year’s Easter celebration.  This bread would be delicious anytime of year.  Milk bread is very forgiving…and you can make it as rich or as lean as you like.  I used a combo of soy and almond milk (but feel free to use regular milk if you’re not lactose intolerant), one egg, and the lower amount of sugar and butter called for in the recipe.  This still turned out a very tender and plenty sweet sheet of buns.  I didn’t add the usual raisins or currants, out of deference to my children’s preferences.  They were appropriately grateful!

Hot Cross Buns

These buns are simple to make: just mix up the dough, knead it, and let it rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Then punch it down and make it out into little rolls.  Place them barely touching on a greased cookie sheet.

Hot Cross Buns

Then cover with oiled plastic wrap and let them rise again, this time about an hour to an hour & a half.

Hot Cross Buns

Bake for about 12-15 minutes in a hot oven… your kitchen will smell amazing!  Meanwhile, whisk up a simple glaze of powdered sugar and milk.  While the buns are still warm, make a cross in the centre of each with the glaze.  Yum.  They’re best while warm, but still very good the next day.

Hot Cross Buns

So I’ll make a confession… I put off going to the gym to do my super-tough leg day workout by writing this post.  So I’ll go now.  Better late than never, right??

Hot Cross Buns

Prep Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 20 buns

Hot Cross Buns


    For the bread:
  • 1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
  • 1 cup milk (I used a combo of soy & almond), warmed to 105-115 F)
  • 2-4 T. unsalted butter (I used 2)
  • 2-4 T. sugar (I used 2)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups white flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup currants or raisins (optional, soaked in warm water until soft and drained)
    For the glaze:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 T. milk


  • Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
  • Melt the butter in the milk while you warm it. Add this along with the sugar, egg, & salt to the dissolved yeast. Mix well.
  • Add the white flour, cinnamon, ginger, & nutmeg to the liquid mixture and stir well.
  • Add the whole wheat flour and stir, kneading in the drained currants at the end.
  • Turn out onto a floured board or counter top and knead for 5-7 minutes until dough is smooth & elastic.
  • Turn into an oiled bowl, cover loosely with a clean towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2-2 hours.
  • Punch down dough and make into 20 balls, smoothing out the tops. Place barely touching on a greased baking sheet, cover with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise again for about an hour or until doubled in volume.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F (200C.) Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a baking sheet before decorating with the glaze.
  • While the buns are baking, make the glaze by stirring together the powdered sugar & milk. When buns are still slightly warm, make a cross on each with the glaze.


Prep time includes rising time

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4 thoughts on “Hot Cross Buns”

  1. I love this post so much! Especially the pictures! They look amazing! Thank you for including me in this post. I am glad that you are spending more time with us, but you are perfect already! There is nothing you can do to make me love you less! These hot cross buns were SUPER DELICIOUS!!!!!! You should make this an easter tradition. I would definitely get out of bed sooner if you made these. Keep posting WONDERFUL posts!

    1. Sara, you just make me smile SO MUCH with you sweet and thoughtful comments!! Thank you for always posting such uplifting words… you warm my heart. I adore you and your brother and sister so very much… you are the lights of my life. 🙂 And I’m so glad you liked the buns!! Here’s to an early Good Friday morning next year! 😉 xoxox

    1. Ha ha… well if it makes you feel any better, Aunt Arlene, I did a nutrition analysis on these guys… each one is 97 calories & about 1.5 grams of fat! Not too bad unless you eat the whole pan, which I have to admit was tempting… 😉 xoxo

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