Classic Hot Cross Buns

Classic Hot Cross Buns

Although it’s not hard to make hot cross buns, there are 3 parts – the dough, the crosses, and finally a sugar glaze. These buns keep fresh for up to 2 days, and are best eaten warmed in the oven or microwave, or split and toasted, and spread with lots of butter. (This amount makes 8 hot cross buns and can easily be doubled)



350 grams strong white bread flour

45g caster sugar

1 (7 gram) sachet dried yeast

1.5 teaspoon mixed ground spice

1  teaspoon salt

100 grams raisins

120 ml warm water

100 ml milk (or dairy free milk for a vegan version)

30ml vegetable oil


2 tablespoons plain flour

Approx 4 tablespoons cold water


3 tbs caster sugar

4 tbs cold water


  1. To make the dough,measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix to combine ( flour, sugar, spices, yeast, salt and raisins).
  2. Then add the liquids (oil, water, milk) into the bowl of dried ingredients, mixing it in well with a fork. When it gets too hard to stir, use your hands to combine all the ingredients into a sticky dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto the table and knead well for 5-10 minutes until it is soft and elastic (in an electric standing mixer this only takes 3 minutes). It will be a very sticky dough, but try to add as little extra flour as possible, and use a scraper to get the dough off the table and your hands if it is sticking. Poke back in any raisins that jump out!
  4. Once you have kneaded the dough (the longer the better!) put it back in the bowl and leave it to rise for 60-90 mins until it has doubled in size.
  5. While the dough is rising make the mixture for the crosses: Mix the flour with just enough cold water to make a to make a thick, pipe-able paste, the consistency of toothpaste. Pour it into a piping bag or sandwich bag ready to pipe crosses on the buns (you’ll be snipping off a corner of the bag to pipe it just before baking).
  6. When the dough has doubled in size, knead it again quickly for a minute to get the air out. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces; shape them into balls and place on a baking tray, with enough space around them to rise.
  7. Leave them to rise again for another 20-30 minutes before baking them (the puffier they get before baking, the lighter they will be). Note: You can leave them in the fridge overnight to rise slowly, ready to bake fresh in the morning.
  8. Just before baking, pipe two stripes of the paste to make a cross on top of each bun.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or equivalent until they are risen and cooked through and sound hollow if you tap the bottoms. While the buns are cooking make the glaze.
  10. To make the glaze: In a small saucepan dissolve the sugar in the water on a low heat (just simmering) for 2-3 minutes.
  11. As soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush their tops with sugar glaze to make them shiny and sticky, then let the buns cool a bit before you eat them!