Homemade Hot Cross Buns are soft, fragrant and far easier to make than you think. My biggest tip to ensure maximum success is to use bread flour. This will give you buns that are just that little bit lighter and fluffier.

Hot Cross Buns

April 19, 2019
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Homemade Hot Cross Buns are soft, fragrant and far easier to make than you think. My biggest tip to ensure maximum success is to use bread flour. This will give you buns that are just that little bit lighter and fluffier.

I have been working really hard to get this recipe out there on time. So here they are, homemade Hot Cross Buns.

My recipe is very simple and is a good starting point for you to add anything else you might like. Personally, l don’t add anything else, but here’s a few suggestions if you want to go down that path.

  • lemon or orange zest
  • diced apple
  • mixed dried fruit
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground ginger
  • ground cardamon

Whether you knead by hand or use a stand mixer with a hook, you should aim for a smooth, springy dough. Using a stand mixer is less tiring, but you’ll be missing out on a good work-out 💪

Making your own Hot Cross Buns will definitely impress the family, and in my most humble opinion, my buns look better than anything l’ve seen in the supermarkets (they taste terrific too).


Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 portions


  • 10 g / 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast (note 1)
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar + 2 tsp extra
  • 375 ml / 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
  • 1 lightly beaten egg (room temperature) (note 2)
  • 50 g / 2 oz melted butter
  • 4 1/4 cups / 635 g bread flour (note 3)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 1 1/2 cups sultanas (note 4)

The Crosses

  • 1/2 cup plain / all purpose flour
  • 75 ml / 2.5 fl oz water

The Glaze

  • 1 tbsp apricot jam


  1. Place yeast and 2 tsp sugar in a large bowl. Add the milk. Set aside for 5 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. Add the egg, butter, sugar, flour, spices and sultanas. Use a large spoon to mix ingredients until they come together.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, or until you get a soft, smooth dough. If the dough is too wet, add a little flour at a time (note 5).
  4. Place the dough inside a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with tea towels. Place in a warm corner of the kitchen for 1 – 1 1/2 hours (note 6). It needs to expand to double its size (or close to).
  5. Line a 32 cm x 24 cm / 12.5 ” x 9.5 ” rectangular baking tray with baking / parchment paper.
  6. Punch the dough in the middle. Remove it from the bowl. Knead lightly for a couple of minutes.
  7. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. I am hopeless at judging equal portions, so l weigh my dough and divide that number by 12. This gives me 12 portions that weigh roughly 120 g / 4 oz each.
  8. Roll each portion into a smooth round ball. Place on the baking tray in 3 x 4 rows. Cover and place in a warm spot for 45 minutes. Half way through the rise, preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F.
  9. Prepare the cross mixture. Pour it into a piping bag or a zip lock bag with its end snipped off. Pipe crosses onto the buns.
  10. Place the tray on the centre rack of your oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the buns are golden brown in colour.
  11. Place the jam in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Brush the surface of the buns with the jam while they are still warm.
  12. Carefully lift the buns from the tray and place on a rack to cool.
  13. Homemade Hot Cross Buns are best eaten the day they are made. If eaten a day or two later, reheat in the microwave for about 20 seconds to make them soft again.


  1. Please check the use by date of your dry yeast. If your yeast doesn’t froth, it means that it isn’t active and your dough won’t rise. I use Tandaco Dry Yeast.
  2. I use a 55 g / 2 oz egg .
  3. Bread flour is used for making all sorts of breads and pastas. It will make your buns just that little bit lighter and fluffier. I have also made Hot Cross Buns with plain / all purpose flour and they were fine.
  4. Not all sultanas are equal. When l looked through my packet of sultanas, they varied greatly in size. I removed the very large ones and only included the smaller sultanas in my mixture. Seriously, some sultanas were twice the size.
  5. Instead of kneading by hand, use a stand mixer with a dough hook.
  6. I wrap my bowl in tea towels that have been warmed up in the clothes dryer. I reheat the tea towels a couple of times during the rising process. It helps to get things moving along, especially in cooler weather.

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  • Avatar
    Marilyn Quaile
    April 5, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    Just made Danielle’s hot cross buns today. Absolutely beautiful! Thank you

    • Danielle
      April 6, 2020 at 8:10 am

      What a wonderful comment to wake up to. Yes, they are lovely and glad they worked out so well for you. Keep safe and healthy 🙂

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