RECIPE: John's Hot Cross Buns

  • RECIPE: John's Hot Cross Buns

RECIPE: John's Hot Cross Buns


makes 12x 100g buns

Enjoy freshly baked or next day warmed in the oven or toasted. Hot Cross Buns deserve lashings of butter. 

John's note:
The amount of sugar and mixed peel in this recipe slows down the yeast. This is why the amount of yeast required seems quite large.



75g currants

125g raisins

125g golden sultanas

75g mixed peel

75g butter, melted and cooled

280ml milk, warmed

30g instant dried yeast

280g flour {1st measure}

1 egg, lightly beaten

60ml honey, melted and cooled

280g flour, {2nd measure}

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon mixed spice

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

50g brown sugar


60g cold butter, diced

140g flour

about 125ml cold water


200ml water

100g sugar

finely grated zest of 1 orange

½ teaspoon gelatine powder


  • Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a baking tray with baking spray. Soak dried fruit in hot water while assembling the rest of the ingredients. Drain off liquid when ready to use.

  • Place butter in a large bowl with milk and stir to combine.  Check the mixture is no more than baby bottle warm and add first measure of flour followed by egg, honey and yeast. Stir well to make a batter-like mixture, cover and leave in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until it has risen.

  • Sift 2nd measure of flour with salt and spices into a large bowl. Add brown sugar and the drained dried fruit and toss ingredients together.  Add this mixture to the risen yeast mixture and mix to make a dough. It should be firm enough to knead, if not add a little additional flour.

  • Knead dough in bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook until the dough forms a soft ball. Alternatively knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes or until the dough forms a soft ball.  Cut the dough into 12 x 100g pieces and shape pieces into balls. Place each bun onto prepared tray leaving about 1 cm between.

  • Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place until doubled in size (usually takes 30-60 minutes).

 To make crosses: rub butter into flour and add the cold water to make a thin floury batter.  Transfer into a piping bag with a small round nozzle. Pipe a cross onto each bun. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned and hollow sounding when tapped lightly.

 To make the glaze, dissolve all ingredients except the gelatine in a pot and bring to the boil.  Remove from heat and cool for I minute. Add gelatine powder and whisk to dissolve. Brush the glaze over the hot buns.