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Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Fluffy, spiced Hot Cross Buns, with warm, aromatic spices and raisins, are traditionally served for Good Friday, the Friday before Easter. The x on top represents the Cross.
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Keyword Hot Cross Buns
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rise Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 546kcal


  • 1/4 cup rum or apple juice
  • 1 ½ cup golden or dark raisins
  • 3 teaspoons Instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups (540 g) all purpose flour or bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 1/4 cups warm milk
  • 6 Tablespoons butter room temperature
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk (save the white for the top)

Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon milk or water

For Crosses:



  • Combine the rum and raisins together in a bowl and heat in the microwave until very hot. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  • In a bowl, combine the yeast, brown sugar, granulated sugar and the warm milk. Stir well and let sit till frothy. (If it doesn’t get frothy, your yeast is dead and you will need to begin again with new yeast.) If your yeast is fresh, you can skip this step altogether and move to step 3.
  • Add the yeast, brown sugar, white sugar, flour, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, salt and orange zest to the bowl of a stand mixer and combine.
  • Add the liquid ingredients, milk, butter and eggs to the mixer and mix with the paddle until combined. Add the raisins and rum and combine.
  • Using the dough hook attachment, knead the dough for about 5 minutes on 2 speed. The dough is ready when it is stretchy and smooth.
  • Gather the dough in your hand and form a ball, then place back in the bowl. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Place in a warm place and let it rise till doubled in size, about an hour.
  • Spray a baking pan with cooking spray. Remove the dough and divide into two equal pieces, divide each piece into 6 equal pieces, or 12 total. (You can make smaller rolls and make 18 rolls.)
  • Take each piece of dough and roll it into a ball, then place in the pan.
  • Combine the egg yolk and milk and brush over the tops of the rolls. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled.
  • Mix the flour, sugar, water and vanilla together in a small bowl. Place in a piping bag with a small circle piping tip, or use a ziplock bag instead. Then clip off the very end of the bag to create a very small hole.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Starting near the bottom of one side of a roll, slowly pipe a small line across the roll to the bottom of the other side. Turn the roll to make a cross and pipe another line across the roll making the X in the middle. Repeat piping over each roll.
  • Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the rolls are golden.
  • In a small bowl, combine the confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla.
  • Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then spoon the glaze over the rolls.


  • You can make these hot cross buns gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour or bread flour. 
  • You can enjoy your hot cross buns at room temperature or fresh out of the oven. Slicing leftover hot cross buns in halves and toasting them in a toaster or the oven is another delicious way to serve these up together with some butter, jams, and jellies. 
  • It’s really important to measure the flour accurately for the hot cross buns dough. To do so, I usually spoon the flour in the measuring cup so that it isn’t packed. It’s best to start with a little less flour and then add little amounts as needed - this will ensure that the dough stays soft. 
  • I highly recommend using a stand mixer for making the dough as it’s much easier than kneading by hand. Nevertheless, you can knead by hand if you wish - it’s likely to take about 10 minutes of hand kneading. 
  • You’ll know that your dough is ready to rise when it has become smooth in appearance and elastic, stretching when pulled instead of breaking. 
  • To make the ‘X’ cross on the top of the raw buns, simply pipe the thick paste over the top of each bun from side to side and repeat this motion across the opposite way to create an X.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Calories: 546kcal | Carbohydrates: 104g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 467mg | Potassium: 339mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 269IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 5mg