Hot Cross Buns

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Have you ever made hot cross buns? These are so easy to make and they are perfect for your Easter weekend meal. They are typically served on Good Friday, but we make them on Easter Sunday. I love having traditions, and this is one of my favorite dinner roll recipes.

You know when my girls were growing up Easter Sunday was a special day for Easter dresses, cute hats, and little white gloves. So, when I was blessed with granddaughters, I did the same thing for them. We would talk about the meaning of Easter and enjoy a special homemade dinner to celebrate as a family.

I don’t usually talk about anything religious or political on my website, but today I wanted to share this special recipe. Hot Cross Buns are dinner rolls made with the same ingredients as your regular rolls, but you add cinnamon, vanilla extract, and Zante Currants. Then they are glazed with apricot jam and frosting crosses are placed on them.

Kitchen Items You May Need:

  • Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Rolling Pin
  • Sharp knife
  • Bread Mixer
  • Bread Maker, I highly recommend this one: Zojirushi Bread Mixer 
Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Step One

Gather your ingredients so you’re ready to make the hot cross buns.

Ingredients

Step Two

Mix all together and knead the dough for about ten minutes, if you’re using a mixer. I’m using my Zojirushi bread mixer today. I added water, cinnamon, and sugar to “the mixing bowl.”

Add the water, cinnamon, and sugar

Then I added the yeast, dry milk, vanilla, and salt.

I added the yeast, milk, and salt

After that, I added the flour, shut the lid, and followed the instructions below. It kneads the dough and lets it rise. Although I could, I don’t bake in it.

Add the flour and shut the lid.

Step Three

Add the dried currants to the dough. Let the dough rise, covered with buttered plastic wrap.

Hot Cross Buns

Step Four

This is what happens when you forget to add the Zante Currants to the dough before letting it rise. No worries, I mixed it in. Roll the dough out and then it roll up so you can slice it into 12 sections.

Hot Cross Buns

Step Five

Roll the rolls, or mold them, so the rough edges are folded under and the top of the rolls are smooth.

Cut the dough into 12 pieces

Let them rise with buttered plastic wrap on top until double in size.

Hot Cross Buns

Step Six

Preheat your oven to (350°F) = (176°C). Remove the plastic wrap when the rolls have doubled in size. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly brown and cooked through.

Bake the Hot Cross Buns

Step Seven

While the hot cross buns bake, mix the apricot jam and the powdered sugar. You will glaze the hot cross buns with a pastry brush while they are warm.

Hot Cross Buns

Finished Product

When they cool down, use a tube of white frosting gel to make the “crosses” on top of the buns. I wish you could smell my house, it smells so good! Enjoy.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Hot Cross Buns
Read More of My Articles  My No-Fail Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls Anyone Can Make
Hot Cross Buns
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Rest-Knead-Rise
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 35 mins
 
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 Dinner Rolls
Author: Linda Loosli
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dry instant milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon Saf Instant Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup currants or dried raisins
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tubes white frosting gel
Instructions
Hot Cross Buns Instructions
  1. 1. Combine everything in a bread maker (we will not bake in it) or use a stand mixer to combine all of the ingredients.

    2. I place everything in the mixing bowl in the order listed.

    3. Mix all together and knead the dough for about ten minutes.

    4. Let the dough rise covered with buttered plastic wrap until double in size.

    5. Roll the dough out and roll up and slice into 12 sections.

    6. Roll the rolls or mold them so the rough edges are folded under and the top of the rolls are smooth.

    7. Preheat your oven to (350°F) = (176°C).

    8. Remove the plastic wrap when the rolls have doubled in size.

    9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown and cooked through.

    While the hot cross buns bake, mix the apricot jam and the powdered sugar.

    1. You will glaze the hot cross buns while they are warm with a pastry brush.

    2. When they cool down, use a tube of white frosting gel to make the "crosses" on top of the buns. Enjoy.

Zojirushi Bread Mixer Instructions
  1. Add the ingredients listed to the Baking Pan in the order listed.

    1. Set the Baking Pan into the Main Body and close the lid.

    2. Insert the Power Plug into an electrical outlet.

    3. Press the "COURSE" UP button until it reaches Course #11 (for DOUGH ONLY), this is what I did today.

    4. Push the Start button.

    5. You'll also see the word "Rest" next to #11 telling you that it is in the "rest" phase as the unit warms up the ingredients.

    6. This "rest" phase should last about 20-25 minutes.

    7. You'll hear the unit move into the "knead" phase as the kneading blades start spinning to knead the dough.

    8. The screen will change from "rest" to "knead" during this period.

    9. After a few minutes, the unit will make a buzzing sound and you'll notice the word "add" flashing on the screen. This is the appropriate time to add things you want to your dough, like nuts, raisins, etc. You can open the lid, add the desired additional ingredients, and then close the lid without changing any of the settings.

    10. Once the knead phase is complete you'll see the word "rise" on the screen next to #11. This is the phase where the yeast kicks in and does its thing.

    11. When there are approximately 30 minutes remaining in the dough-making process, you'll see the time setting change from the estimated completion time to 30 minutes, which means there is that much time remaining. This clock setting will change in 1-minute increments until the dough-making phase is finished. When I could see the dough was ready through the glass opening in the lid, I skipped the machine's following steps. I turned off the machine and unplugged it.

    12. After it stops, you remove the dough from the Dough Bread Pan.

    13. Roll the dough out and roll up and slice into 12 sections. Roll the rolls or mold them so the rough edges are folded under and the top of the rolls are smooth.

    14. Place the Hot Cross Buns into your greased baking pan, cover with plastic wrap and let double in size.

    15. Remove the plastic wrap.

    16. Preheat your oven to (350°F) = (176°C). Remove the plastic wrap when the rolls have doubled in size. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly brown and cooked through.

    While the hot cross buns bake, mix the apricot jam and the powdered sugar.

    1. You will glaze the hot cross buns while they are warm using a pastry brush.

    2. When they cool down, use a tube of white frosting gel to make the "crosses" on top of the buns. Enjoy.

    PLEASE CHECK YOUR BREAD MIXER BRAND'S INSTRUCTIONS. Step-By-Step Instructions (Additional Help)

Read More of My Articles  Easter Rice Krispie Treats

How do I store leftover Hot Cross Buns?

We store them in a Tupperware-type container, or in a baggie on the countertop.

Can I freeze these after baking them?

Yes, they can be frozen after baking, and then thaw them the night before on the countertop. I would glaze them at this time and make the “cross” on top, if desired.

Why were Hot Cross Buns banned many years ago?

I quote Wikipedia, “In 1592, during the reign of Elizabeth I of England, the London Clerk of Markets issued a decree forbidding the sale of hot cross buns and other spiced bread, except at burials, on Good Friday, or at Christmas. The punishment for transgressing the decree was forfeiture of all the forbidden product to the poor.”

What are Hot Cross Buns called in America?

They are called Easter Buns. A few weeks before Easter, bakeries will start selling Easter Buns or Hot Cross Buns.

Why are these eaten during the Easter holiday?

I quote Wikipedia, “The bun marks the end of the Christian season of Lent and different parts of the hot cross bun have a certain meaning, including the cross representing the crucifixion of Jesus, and the spices inside signifying the spices used to embalm him at his burial and may also include orange peel to reflect the bitterness of his time on the Cross.”

What is a hot cross bun made of?

Typically, they are a yeasted bread recipe, filled with spices, and various fruits such as raisins, currants, or other candied fruit. They usually have a glaze drizzled on them with a white cross decorated on top representing the crucifix. Some people use bread dough to make the cross or a tube of frosting like I used today.

What are dried currants?

Dried currants are actually called Zante Currants, or in other words, very tiny dried grapes. They are grapes that are seedless and take up to three weeks to dry properly. They taste just like raisins because they are raisins, but about half the size.

Final Word

I hope you try making my hot cross buns recipe, whether you put the cross on them or not. It’s another recipe to teach our kids and grandkids how to cook from scratch. May God Bless this world, Linda

6 thoughts on “Hot Cross Buns

  • April 13, 2022 at 8:39 am
    Permalink

    Great idea for Easter! I haven’t made these in years and had forgotten about the recipe. I am not in the mood for regular rolls this Easter so I appreciate the recipe. Thanks for sharing a great tradition with your readers!

    Reply
    • April 13, 2022 at 9:04 am
      Permalink

      Hi Kay, thank you so much for your kind words. I got the giggles making them, I haven’t made them in years, and I said to my daughter, they taste so good even though they look like a third-grader made them. Using the tube for the “cross” made my hands shake so much! It’s so funny, Kay, the recipe reminds me of my mom’s brown bread. She made it with molasses, oats, wheat flour, and whatever. It had raisins in it, boy I miss her bread. Have fun making these, they are so yummy! Linda

      Reply
  • April 13, 2022 at 4:56 pm
    Permalink

    5 stars
    This was my first time having these! They are yummy! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • April 13, 2022 at 5:20 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Heidi, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend! We love them! Linda

      Reply
  • April 14, 2022 at 4:51 am
    Permalink

    5 stars
    Hi Linda:

    Thanks for the recipe. I had always heard of them but have never made them. On Easter we would go to my Bubbies and Zeides for a meal but Bubbie would make Challa because it is the Jewish Bread. Most of the time Easter or Resurrection Sunday came right after Passover. We celebrated both. I miss my Grandparents deeply even after 64 years. They made the holidays come to life. They were a special couple. My Zeide met my Bubbie on one day and married her the next,. They were married 49 years when Bubbie died and Zeide died on the exact date in the same month a year later. He could not live without his Maggie. Zeide was a Jew and Bubbie was Irish Catholic.

    Reply
    • April 14, 2022 at 6:20 am
      Permalink

      Hi Jackie, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend! I have never made Challah! Did you give me the recipe? I need to find that. I love hearing this sweet love story of your Bubbies and Zeides. I LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing stories like this! Thank you for sharing, Linda

      Reply

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