Quick Hot Crossed Buns

Easter is just around the corner and in our house that means Hot Crossed Buns all 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 always 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:

39 kitchen triptic4 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 & nutmeg.

In a saucepan heat the milk, water & butter, stirring until butter melts & 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 & kneading with a heavy-duty stand mixer or food processor.) Knead in candied peel & 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 (this is what I do); flatten the balls slightly with the palm of your hand; cover with greased waxed paper & 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.

Glaze the Hot Crossed Buns:

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

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

Phyllis Signature


  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!

Leave a Reply