Classic Easter Hot Cross Buns

Celebrate the Easter season with the comforting aroma and irresistible taste of homemade hot cross buns. Our classic hot cross bun recipe offers a delightful combination of soft, fragrant dough infused with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, studded with plump raisins, and finished with a simple yet symbolic cross topping.


For the buns:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, warmed to about 110°F (45°C)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup raisins or currants

For the crosses:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4-5 tablespoons water

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Apricot jam or honey for glazing (optional)


  • In a small bowl, mix the warm milk with the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until frothy.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and spices.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the yeast mixture, melted butter, and egg. Mix until a rough dough forms.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.
  • Flatten the dough and sprinkle the raisins or currants over the surface. Fold the dough over and knead again until the raisins are evenly distributed.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1-1.5 hours, or until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the risen dough and divide it into 12 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving some space between each bun.
  • Cover the buns with a kitchen towel and let them rise again for about 30-45 minutes, or until puffy and almost doubled in size.
  • Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • In a small bowl, prepare the crosses by mixing the flour and water to form a thick paste. Transfer the paste into a piping bag or a small plastic bag with a tiny corner snipped off.
  • Pipe a cross shape onto the top of each bun.
  • Place the buns in the preheated oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until they turn golden brown.
  • While the buns are baking, prepare the glaze by heating the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  • Once the buns are out of the oven, brush them with the warm sugar glaze. Optionally, you can heat some apricot jam or honey and brush it over the buns for a shiny finish.
  • Allow the buns to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy your homemade hot cross buns!

These hot cross buns are best served fresh but can also be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days. They are perfect for Easter breakfast or brunch! With their tender crumb, delicate sweetness, and subtle spice, these classic buns are a testament to the enduring traditions of Easter and the simple pleasures of gathering with loved ones.