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No Knead Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

“Hot cross buns, hot cross buns, everybody loves hot cross buns!” are the words to the children’s song and they hold true even now. These little buns are traditionally served at Easter time: A sweet dough, spiced, studded with dried (sometimes candied) fruit and decorated with a cross made of icing. I made them after many requests and my kids devoured them within minutes; they were nervous about the raisins, but the cream cheese crosses and scent of cinnamon and nutmeg drew them in.

As I researched these delicious buns I realized that there are just as many ways to make them as there are families who bake them. Some people slash the dough to make the cross, others use a flour and water paste to create the symbol and others use the sweet icing. Tell me how you make your buns, and if you don’t have a family tradition yet, you can start with these!

Hot Cross Buns

If you follow along on Red Star Yeast’s Instagram story highlights, you can watch us make the buns in our Instagram stories. The recipe comes from our latest book, Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which also has a whole chapter on Easter bread recipes.

Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns

No Knead Hot Cross Buns

No Knead Hot Cross Buns
A sweet dough, spiced, studded with dried (sometimes candied) fruit and decorated with a cross made of icing.
Yield 8 or 9 buns



Hot Cross Buns

  • 2 pounds (907g) dough (recipe below)
  • 4 ounces (113g) cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup (57g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup (85g) maple syrup


  • Makes about 5 pounds (2495g) of dough
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) lukewarm water (90-100°F )
  • 2 (0.25ozeach) packages (14g) or 4 1/2 teaspoons Platinum Yeast
  • 1 tablespoon (17g) kosher salt
  • 8 large (455g) eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 cup (170g) honey
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) unsalted butter (melted)
  • 7 1/2 cups (1065g) all-purpose flour (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest (grated)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) currants or raisins
  • Egg wash: 1 egg yolk plus 1 tablespoon water (beaten together)


  • Mixing and storing the dough: Mix the water, yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter in a 6-quart bowl, lidded (not airtight) food container, or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Mix in the flour, spices, zest, vanilla, and raisins without kneading, using a spoon or heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). If you’re not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour. The dough will be loose but will firm up when chilled; don’t try to work with it before chilling.
  • Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature for 2 hours, then refrigerate.
  • The dough can be used as soon as it’s thoroughly chilled, at least 3 hours. Refrigerate the container and use over the next 5 days.
  • On baking day: Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 2-pound (907g, cantaloupe-sized) piece. Divide the dough into 8 or 9 equal pieces and quickly shape into balls.
  • Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat, cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for about 45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, with a rack placed in the center of the oven.
  • Brush the tops of the risen buns with the egg wash and place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until richly browned.
  • Allow to cool completely on wire rack. Pipe the icing in a cross over the top of each bun. There will be some extra icing for spreading on the buns.
  • To make the icing: Mix the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, and maple syrup in a small bowl until smooth.


Artisan Bread in Five recipes use the scoop and sweep method for measuring flour.
Recipe by Artisan Bread in Five.

Authors: Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François met in their children’s music class in 2003 and have written bread cookbooks with more than 715,000 copies in print. Jeff, a doctor by training, is a self-taught baker who grew up eating great bread and pizza in New York City, and longed to recreate it himself. Zoë is a pastry chef and baker trained at the Culinary Institute of America. Her work appears in blogs all over the United States, and her dessert menus grace fine restaurants in the authors’ hometown, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jeff and Zoë were among the very first cookbook authors to support their readers with personal responses on their website,, beginning in 2007, where they blog about their super-fast yeast breads.

Review & Comments

Carla | Reply

Delicious recipe and super easy to follow. Will definitely make again!

Cindy Melby | Reply

My Grandmother taught me how to make homemade cinnamon rolls. I like the Hot Cross buns – I used to have them on Palm Sunday when I was younger. I
look forward to making the Hot Cross Bun recipe. I like to try new recipes. I am looking forward to trying these recipes. I enjoy using Red Star Yeast products.

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