Homemade Hot Crossed Buns on Cooling Rack

Quick Hot Crossed Buns

Easter is just around the corner and in our house that means Hot Crossed Buns warm from the oven, not quite slathered in butter! Because I freeze them, then reheat as needed, I don’t bother with the icing as it would melt off. So, it’s up to you! I used to make a double batch every year because my mother simply loved them! Have no “yeast” fear because they are easy to make!

Makes Approximately 18 – 20 Buns

For the Hot Crossed Buns:

4 cups unbleached flour (approximately)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 pkg. instant yeast, or 1 Tbsp.
1 ¾ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. grated lemon rind (a Microplane does a great job)
½ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 cup homogenized milk
½ cup water
¼ cup butter
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup mixed candied peel
½ cup currants

For the Glaze:

1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp. milk

For the Icing: (optional)

1 cup icing sugar
2 Tbsp. milk (approximately)

Make the Hot Crossed Buns:

In a large bowl, stir together 3 cups of flour with the sugar, yeast, cinnamon, salt, lemon rind, allspice and nutmeg.

In a saucepan heat the milk, water and butter, stirring until butter melts and the mixture reaches 125 – 130 F on an instant read thermometer, immediately add to the flour mixture, stirring vigorously. Beat the eggs; blend in. Stir in enough of the reserved flour to make a slightly sticky dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, kneading in as much of the reserved flour as necessary to make a smooth elastic dough, about 10 minutes. (Or, do all mixing and kneading with a heavy-duty stand mixer).  Knead in candied peel and currants by hand. Cover with plastic wrap; let rest for 10 minutes.

Divide dough into 18 – 20 portions, depending on how large you want your Hot Crossed Buns; form each portion into a smooth ball. Place the balls 2” apart on 2 large rimmed greased baking sheets, or line baking sheets with baking parchment (what I do); flatten the balls slightly with the palm of your hand; cover with greased waxed paper and allow to rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Using a very sharp knife or a razor blade, slash a shallow cross on top of each bun.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Whisk together the egg yolk and milk in a small bowl and brush the glaze over the buns. Place the buns in the oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until crusts are golden and bottoms of buns sound hollow when tapped. Let cool on racks.

Glaze the Hot Crossed Buns:

Ice if desired by mixing together the icing sugar and enough milk to make a liquid icing. Carefully drizzle into the crosses.



  1. Are these a relatively soft bun? The recipes that I have tried have turned out quite hard and I don’t think that is preferred by the eaters of these things. Personally I can’t stand them, I don’t like dried or candied fruit.

    • First…I love hot crossed buns! They remind me of mom every time I make them because she loved them so much and I always had to make an extra batch for her! Yes, they are soft buns…not loaded with dried fruit either…currants and mixed peel only. I don’t bother icing them because we like to re-warm them and well you can imagine the melted mess that would create! Boy, you and your brother…you guys don’t like a lot of stuff…I can understand anchovies though!

  2. Remember when I used to pick out the fruit from the spumoni at Spaghetti Factory? A sure fire way to get me not to eat a cookie is to put raisins in it. Although I do eat currants. I will try this recipe as soon as I can get my hands on some of that mixed peel. Do you make your own? By the way, can you mail me a dozen Bay leaves, mine died again. Just slap them in a baggie and pop them in an envelope. Should be ok.

    • I remember…I didn’t care for that fruit either…it tasted weird. No I don’t make my own peel but I should. I should have brought some home from Italy last spring because theirs is so beautiful…big pieces of recognizable fruit and the colours are gorgeous! Galloway’s in New West is where I get it. Re the bay…a new tree really needs to be protected in the winter…so create a mini greenhouse for them. I overwintered mine in mom’s greenhouse for the first few years and now it’s outside but in a pot up against the house. Seems to work because it’s 10′ tall! It must be 20 years old. Will see about sending some. Unless you want to do a drive by and cut some branches?

  3. I do protect them but the longest one has survived is 3 years. Every winter I move it up onto the back porch and cover with plastic. I think this one caught something, it was dead before winter started. I will have to pull it up and return it to Gardenworks. I don’t think I will be in the area in the foreseeable future, was going to buy some at Galloway’s but they didn’t look that great.

    • Will try and get some when it dries out a bit, otherwise…they will go mouldy! They say covering with plastic is not the answer as it just attracts the cold…not sure but???

  4. I made this recipe the other day and it passed the taste tester. But he would like a bit more sugar in the dough and more fruit. I made my own candied peel. It was a snap, looked up a video on youtube. I used just lemon and orange but you can add any citrus. Even I thought it didn’t taste bad and the hubby liked it a lot. I also found that the icing melted and ended up looking like a thin glaze. When I make this type of icing I usually use water and a bit of almond flavoring (for over cinnamon buns) and it stays intact, so will try that next batch.

    • See…told you. Glad to see you made your own candied peel. I know it’s not hard but I have just been too lazy! I will be making some for my Christmas baking this year. I made some almond, orange peel stuffed figs for Easter and if I had homemade orange peel would have used it instead of freshly grated…especially later on in the year. As I mentioned, I never ice them because we like to eat them warm and the icing melts. I suppose the sweetness of the dough is an individual thing, same with the fruit…make to suit! Glad you liked them!

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