Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

The first time we left France was to relocate to the UK in a small town in Cornwall called Falmouth. I know England is not well-known for its gastronomy (especially from a French perspective 😬). But actually, during our time there, we discovered so many wonderful products. I would strongly recommend you to go and have a Fish and Chips at Harbour Light, or to try the Cornish pasties at Philps, and taste the local cheese such as the Cornish Yarg or the Cornish Kern. But if you are more in a vegan mood, don’t miss the Sloth and Sparrow Restaurant, a bit less local but definitly delicious! Anyway, we also discovered that English people love Easter! This is why today I want to talk to you about a treat they are making for this special occasion: Hot Cross Buns.

A bit of History on Hot Cross Buns…

Hot Cross Buns are small sweet buns with spices, sultanas and sometimes mixed peel with a cross on top on them. In the UK, they usually eat it on Good Friday. Their have some kind of religious origin and are very embede in British culture. You can find some info here, if you want to know more about this 😉.

There is also a lot of superstitions around Hot Cross Buns. You may have heard that if you bake and serve them on Good Friday, they won’t go bad or moldy for an entire year. Or that you have to keep one bun of the batch in case one of your family member gets sick, then you will give it to him/her to help the healing process. And last but not least, for the lovers of baking, if you hang up a bun somewhere in your kitchen, you will be protected against fire and all of your homemade breads will be successful! However, don’t forget it’s working only for a year, then you have to change your bun and hang up a fresh Hot Cross Bun!

But first… it tastes so good!

Well…to be honest, apart from the above, the real motivation fro making Hot Cross Buns is mostly because they taste so delicious… And because we are brioche lovers! You can imagine how many recipes there are out there, from family recipes to chef’s recipes. I’ve drawn inspiration from some of them to make my own blend of textures and tastiness. Try it and let me know what you think 😉.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns


  • 500 g flour
  • 60 g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 300 ml milk
  • 50 g melted butter
  • 20 g fresh yeast (1 small bag of dried yeast)
  • 150 g sultanas
  • 50 g mixed peel
  • 1 orange zest
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tsp mixed spices
  • Golden syrup

For the cross:

  • 60 g flour
  • 50 ml water (adjust the quantity of water to have the right texture)


  • Put the flour, sugar, spices and orange zest in the stand mixer bowl. Mix well.
  • Add the salt and yeast on each side of the bowl.
  • Add the butter and milk at room temperature. Start to mix and then add the egg.
  • Knead the dough on low speed until you obtain a ball of dough.
  • Once you have a ball of dough, add the sultanas and mixed peel. Knead for 5 minutes on low speed and 5 minutes on medium speed. The dough should detach from the sides of the bowl. You can help it a bit by scratching the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula.
  • Shape the dough in a ball and let it rest in the bowl. Cover it with a kitchen towel or cling film and let it rise for an hour. It should double its size. Take out the air for the dough and shape it again in a ball. Let it rise again for an hour.
  • When the dough has double its size, cut it in 12 equal-sized balls. (If you want to be precise, each balls should weigh approximately 95g)
  • Shape each ball and put them in a baking tray that you have previously buttered. If you have sultanas on top of the dough just push them underneath to prevent them from burning. Cover and let it rise for around 45 minutes.
  • While the dough is resting, prepare the mix for the cross on top of the buns. Mix the flour and water. If you find the mix a bit too thick, you can add some water, but be careful the mix shouldn't be too liquid.
  • Preheat the oven at 180°C.
  • Put the water and flour mix in a pipping bag or freezing bag and cut one of its corners. Once your dough is ready to be cooked, draw the crosses on top of the buns.
  • Put the tray in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • When the Hot Cross Buns are cooked and still hot, brush them with some golden syrup to make them shiny.


  • If you don’t have golden syrup, you can use maple syrup or apricot jam instead. And if you don’t put anything it’s totally fine, they will just be less shiny 🙂
  • You could make the dough by hand, but as any brioche dough, it will be sticky and you will need time before you obtain a ball of dough. I would recommend to use a stand mixer if you can. 

Bon appétit and Happy Easter everyone 🐰🐣!

Hot Cross Buns

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