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Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Do you know the song, "Hot Cross Buns"? It was the first little song I taught my kids on the piano. It’s likely the first little song everyone learns on the piano.

So, the first time I made hot cross buns at Easter, when my daughter was about 6, she was quite confused. Because how do you make a song?

Hot Cross Buns Photo

It makes sense that she didn’t know they were an actual thing, as I’ve never bought them, because in my opinion hot cross buns make a great little song but aren’t really worth eating. Until I tried this recipe.

These ones are good. I don’t what it is about the hot cross buns at the store, but I always think they’re way too dry.

Hot Cross Buns Picture

And I’m sorry, but I cannot get on board with candied fruit in bread. That just shouldn’t happen.

Needless to say – there’s no candied fruit in this recipe. I suppose you could replace the raisins with candied fruit. Just don’t tell me about it.

Hot Cross Buns Image

These may not even be like traditional hot cross buns. I really don’t know. But a number of years ago I made a Greek celebration bread, the braided kind with hard boiled eggs tucked in between the strands, for Easter, and my mom said that it reminded her of hot cross buns.

So, since that bread was tasty, I figured I could make a variation of it into hot cross buns that I would actually eat.

Hot Cross Buns Pic

Maybe not traditional, but they’re light and fluffy, filled with spices and raisins, and have a sweet honey lemon glaze on top.

And they’re delicious.

If you’re looking for more great brunch recipes for Easter, you might like these: Apple Crisp French Toast Casserole, Cinnamon Roll Pancakes, and Lemon Raspberry Sweet Rolls

Hot Cross Buns Photo

Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Stacey Mebs
These homemade hot cross buns are so easy to make and taste much better than the ones you get at the store! Soft and fluffy spiced buns filled with raisins and topped with a honey lemon glaze – they make the perfect treat for the Easter season!
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Cuisine Frosting
Servings 12 1 bun
Calories 213.13 kcal


  • 3 Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 Granulated Sugar
  • 0.75 Salt
  • 3.5 Instant Yeast
  • 1 Lemon Zest zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Cinnamon
  • 0.25 Nutmeg (Ground)
  • 0.25 Allspice
  • 0.25 Ground Cloves
  • 2 Egg at room temperature, slightly beaten
  • 0.5 Buttermilk at room temperature
  • 2 Unsalted Butter melted
  • 1 Pure Almond Extract
  • 0.25 Water at room temperature
  • 1 Raisins
  • 2 All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Water
  • 2 Water
  • 2 Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Honey
  • 1 Lemon Extract


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.
  • Add the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and almond extract and start to mix on low speed.
  • Drizzle in the water slowly with the mixer running, using just enough water to form a soft dough.
  • If the dough still looks dry add more water, a teaspoon at a time until it’s a soft ball.
  • Knead the dough with the dough hook for 5 minutes (7-8 minutes by hand) until it is soft and slightly tacky, but not sticky at all. If it’s too sticky sprinkle in a little more flour, if it is stiff then add a little more water, until you have a smooth, soft dough.
  • Add the raisins and knead for 1-2 more minutes until they are dispersed throughout the dough. You may have to do the last of the kneading by hand to get all of the raisins into the dough.
  • Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, turning it to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until doubled, about 60-90 minutes.
  • Lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray. Punch down the risen dough and remove it from the bowl to an oiled countertop.
  • Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces, about 3 ounces each, and roll each piece into a round ball. The easiest way is to roll the dough pieces on the counter, cupping your hand around the dough, with the edge of your hand on the counter. After 10-15 seconds of rolling it this way it will form a nice round ball with a smooth top.
  • Place the buns in the prepared baking dish. Cover them with plastic wrap sprayed with non-stick spray.
  • Allow the buns to rise until doubled, about one hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and water for the crosses to form a paste. Spoon this paste into a ziplock bag or a piping bag.
  • Cut a small corner from the ziplock bag and pipe the paste into cross shapes on the tops of the buns.
  • Bake for 25-27 minutes until the buns are golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of one reads 190°F.
  • Allow the buns to cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the water and the sugar to a boil.
  • Add the honey and lemon extract and whisk to combine and then remove from the heat. Remove the buns to a wire rack and brush with the glaze, you may not need it all.
  • Let the buns cool completely on the wire rack.


Calories: 213.13kcalCarbohydrates: 39.48gProtein: 5.25gFat: 2.83gSaturated Fat: 1.38gSodium: 170.23mgFiber: 1.25gSugar: 10.38g
Keyword Baked, Baking, Bread, Easter, Family Meals and Snacks, Frosting, Holidays, Lunchbox, Raisins
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