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5 from 4 votes
Close up of hot cross buns in a baking pan.
Hot Cross Buns
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Rising Time:
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 45 mins

Easy old fashioned Hot Cross Buns recipe for soft and lightly spiced rolls. Studded with raisins, a traditional cross, and glazed with an apricot glaze.

Course: Breads/Rolls
Cuisine: American
Keyword: traditional hot cross buns
Servings: 12
Calories: 400 kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
  • cups (295ml) warm milk (about 110°F)
  • teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup (55g) sugar
  • 3-3½ cups (460g) bread flour
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest of ½ an orange
  • 1 cup (135g) raisins, currants, or sultans
  • cup (45g) all purpose flour
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
Sweet glaze:
  • Apricot jelly or orange marmalade
  1. Whisk together the milk, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and let stand for 5 minutes or until mixture is foamy.

  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine then switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed (speed 1 or 2) for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Lightly grease a bowl and place dough in the bowl to rise. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area until doubled in size.

  3. Grease a 9×13 baking pan and set aside.

  4. Punch the dough down and turn out onto a work surface. Don't add flour at this point. Knead the dough a few times to remove any trapped air bubbles and divide dough into 12 equal portions. Shape each into a smooth round ball and place in prepared pan.

  5. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm area until almost doubled in size. Add the cross. Combine the flour with just enough water to form a thick but pipeable paste. Spoon into a piping bag or sandwich bag and cut the tip off. Pipe a thick cross on each bun.

  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before glazing. To glaze combine a small amount of jelly with a tiny bit of water and brush over the tops of the rolls.

Recipe Notes
  1. Storage: Store completely cooled rolls tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room tempurature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. 
  2. Make-Ahead: After you have kneaded the dough place in a lightly greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for up to 15 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and allow the dough to come to room temperature (about 2 hours) before continuing with the recipe.
  3. Freezer Friendly: Let the dough rise 1 time then punch the dough down and shape into rolls. Place on a greased pan and freeze several hours until frozen then transfer to a freezer safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To use remove from freezer, place on a greased baking sheet, and thaw completely at room temperature (about 4-5 hours) then bake as directed. Or freeze completely cooled rolls by wrapping tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
  4. Nutrition facts: Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate. Nutrition facts does not include the apricot glaze. 
Nutrition Facts
Hot Cross Buns
Amount Per Serving (1 roll)
Calories 400 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 23mg8%
Sodium 244mg11%
Potassium 293mg8%
Carbohydrates 78g26%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 132IU3%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 51mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.