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Hot Cross Buns: Traditional Easter Sweet Yeast Rolls with Candied Fruit

Hot cross buns are a delicious treat that enhance the pleasure of a cup of coffee or tea. Slightly sweet with a hint of lemon, hot cross buns make a delicious breakfast or afternoon snack.

Many countries claim a version of the hot cross bun; the tradition of eating a raised loaf or biscuit marked with a cross or divided into four sections is hundreds of years old. In Christian countries, the cross represents salvation and rebirth. Tradition says you are supposed to kiss the bread before it is eaten and you will have good fortune and health all year.

Other countries have used marked breads as a celebration of spring and rebirth, these celebrations can be found dating all the way back to ancient Greece and the Celts.

However you decide to mark them or eat them one thing is sure, hot cross buns are delicious, especially when they are hot out of the oven.

Hot Cross Buns


  • 3 1/2 – 4c flour
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 6tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 c candied citron or orange peel
  • 1/2 c currants (optional)

Mixing Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer add all dry ingredients. Flour, yeast, salt, cinnamon and lemon zest
  2. Cut in 4tbsp of the butter with a pastry knife or using an electric mixer
  3. Add in eggs one at a time
  4. Mix in lemon zest
  5. Slowly stir in just enough milk to form a ball of dough that pulls away from sides of bowl
  6. Using an electric mixer, knead dough for 2 min. Or you can place dough on a floured surface and knead by hand for 2 min
  7. Add in more milk in small increments if needed
  8. Knead in candied fruit and currants
  9. Place dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap
  10. Allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours until about double in size
  11. Punch dough down
  12. Pinch off pieces to form 12 balls
  13. Roll dough balls by hand and flatten slightly
  14. Place rolls on greased cookie sheet
  15. Allow to rest for 1/2 an hour until almost double in size

Pre-heat oven to 375

Baking Directions:

  1. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a microwave safe dish
  2. Add honey and mix well
  3. Brush tops of rolls with honey mixture
  4. Bake about 20 min until golden brown
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 min.
  6. Using a spoon or a pastry bag form crosses on top of buns using sugar drizzle

Sugar Drizzle


  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract (or substitute 1/4 tsp vanilla)
  • 2 tbsp milk

Mixing Instructions:

  1. Place milk in microwave safe dish
  2. Heat milk for 20 to 25 seconds, just enough to warm the milk
  3. Stir warm milk and lemon into sugar to form a paste

These buns are usually eaten on Good Friday but they are also served on Easter Sunday. They make an excellent addition to a brunch or lunch buffet.

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