Hot cross buns recipe

Written by The Modern Milkman

Hot cross buns recipe

Try our homemade hot cross buns recipe and save yourself a trip to the shops, where their buns are wrapped in single-use plastics. Once you’ve made your own, there’s no going back to shop-bought.


For the buns:

  • 300ml whole milk
  • 50g butter
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 7g easy-blend yeast
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 80g sultanas
  • 50g mixed peel
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 apple peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the cross:

  • 80g plain flour

For the glaze:

  • 4 tbsp apricot jam


Step 1

Heat the milk in a pan until it comes to a boil, then remove it from the heat, add the butter and leave it to cool. In a large mixing bowl, add the strong bread flour, salt, caster sugar and yeast, mix thoroughly with your fingers, and form a well in the centre. Once the milk and butter have cooled to a safe temperature to handle, pour it into the well and add the beaten egg – together with a large wooden spoon and get in there with your hands until you have a sticky dough.

Step 2

Tip the mixture onto a floured surface and knead – by holding the dough it back on yourself. Repeat for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic, and all your stress has gone, ahhhhh! Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise – for 1 hour or until it’s roughly doubled in size. Top tip: When the dough is ready, you should be able to leave a dent in it with your finger.

Step 3

Tip the sultanas, mixed peel, chopped apple and cinnamon into the bowl with the dough and knead everything together until you’ve evenly distributed the fruit. We don’t want anyone complaining about a lack of sultanas! Cover with the tea towel for an additional hour or until it doubles in size again.

Step 4

Divide the dough into a baker’s dozen (13 even pieces), and roll into smooth balls on a lightly floured surface. Arrange the buns on baking trays lined with greaseproof paper, leaving enough room for them to expand. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave them for an hour to prove.

Step 5

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Mix the plain flour with 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – adding a bit at a time until you have a thick paste. Spoon the paste into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Remove the tea towel from the buns and pipe your crosses across your buns. Feel free to add your own initials or emojis if you get bored half-way through piping.

Step 6

Bake the buns for 20 minutes on the middle shelf until golden brown. Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, brush it over the top of the buns and leave them to cool – if you can stand the wait!

Happy Easter! We hope you enjoy our recipe and remember to top up on fresh milk, butter and eggs from your milkround.

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