Hot Cross Buns

Authors: Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François

Hot Cross Buns | A sweet dough, spiced, studded with dried (sometimes candied) fruit and decorated with a cross made of icing. Find recipe at redstaryeast.com.

 

“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!

If you follow along on Instagram, 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 | A sweet dough, spiced, studded with dried (sometimes candied) fruit and decorated with a cross made of icing. Find recipe at redstaryeast.com.

 

Hot Cross Buns | A sweet dough, spiced, studded with dried (sometimes candied) fruit and decorated with a cross made of icing. Find recipe at redstaryeast.com.

 

Hot Cross Buns

(From Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day)

Dough (yields 5.7 lbs, about 25 buns)

1 ½ cups (340g) lukewarm water (100F or below)

1 tablespoon Red Star Platinum Yeast

1 tablespoon (17g) kosher salt

8 large eggs (455g), lightly beaten

½ cup (170g) honey

1 ½ cup (3 sticks | 340g) unsalted butter, melted

7 ½ cups (1065g) all-purpose flour

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground allspice

2 teaspoons orange zest, grated

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 ½ cups (200g) currants or raisins

Egg wash (1 yolk with 1 tablespoon water), for brushing buns

Icing

4 ounces (113g) cream cheese, room temperature

4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup (57g) confectioners’ sugar

¼ cup (85g) maple syrup

 

Hot Cross Buns | A sweet dough, spiced, studded with dried (sometimes candied) fruit and decorated with a cross made of icing. Find recipe at redstaryeast.com.

 

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 (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 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. 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.

 

Hot Cross Buns | A sweet dough, spiced, studded with dried (sometimes candied) fruit and decorated with a cross made of icing. Find recipe at redstaryeast.com.

 

4.7 from 24 reviews
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
Ingredients
For the dough:
  • 1 ½ cups (340g) lukewarm water (100F or below)
  • 2 packages (1/4oz, 7g each) RED STAR Platinum Yeast
  • 1 tablespoon (17g) kosher salt
  • 8 large eggs (455g), lightly beaten
  • ½ cup (170g) honey
  • 1 ½ cup (3 sticks | 340g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 7 ½ cups (1065g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest, grated
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (200g) currants or raisins
  • Egg wash (1 yolk with 1 tablespoon water), for brushing buns
For the icing:
  • 4 ounces (113g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup (57g) confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup (85g) maple syrup
Instructions
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature for 2 hours, then refrigerate.
  4. 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.

  5. On baking day: dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 2-pound (cantaloupe-sized) piece. Divide the dough into 8 or 9 equal pieces and quickly shape into balls.
  6. 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.

  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F, with a rack placed in the center of the oven.
  8. Brush the tops with the egg wash and place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until richly browned.

  9. Allow to cool completely. Pipe the icing in a cross over the top of each bun. There will be some extra icing for spreading on the buns.

  10. To make the icing: mix the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, and maple syrup in a small bowl.
 

 

We’re giving away one (1) copy of the new Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook to three (3) randomly chosen winners.

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Hot Cross Buns | A sweet dough, spiced, studded with dried (sometimes candied) fruit and decorated with a cross made of icing. Find recipe at redstaryeast.com.

 


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, BreadIn5.com, beginning in 2007, where they blog about their super-fast yeast breads.

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80 Comments
  1. I would say dinner rolls.

  2. I love making the dinner rolls every year.

  3. At Easter, I make a tradition of a baking a lovely braided bread. The one year that I neglected to make it, the family asked about it, “Where’s the braided bread? We LOVE that!”, even though I’d made rolls instead. 🙂

  4. I love to use a trusted Buttermilk recipe to make enough for 18 cloverleaf rolls and 18 crescent rolls, they’re such fun as dinner rolls, slider-size sandwiches, or snacks with butter and/or jam.

  5. I love making dinner rolls every year.

  6. Hot cross buns make our Easter Egg Picnic so yummy 😋

  7. Definitely Hot Cross Buns.

  8. I love to bake for the Holidays!! Homemade rolls, Easter bread, cinnamon rolls…
    I always bake from scratch!! For me it’s the only way to bake and I only use Red Star Platinum Yeast!!! Love these recipes!! Going to bake them tomorrow!!
    Happy Easter!!!

  9. I like to try out recipes for traditional Italian bakes like colomba at Easter.

  10. Hot cross buns!

  11. Eating food with the fam.

  12. My favorite Easter baking tradition is making bunny & chick shaped rolls with my son for Easter dinner with family.

  13. May favorite is family get togethers.

  14. Cinnamon Rolls are always a must on Easter!

  15. I’ve actually never had a hot cross bun! But my husband did teach elementary music for 6 years, which includes a recorder lesson on “Hot across Buns” so that counts for something, eighth? 😂

  16. Well now that I have a recipe for hot cross buns, that will be my favorite Easter baking tradition. I do remember one year we made carrot cakes in the shape of carrots… that was fun but we only did it that one year because it was too much work. We stuck to cookies every year after that.

  17. Easter bread. On my to-do list for tomorrow!

  18. Glazed cinnamon raisin rolls ❤️

  19. I will be making some hot cross buns this Easter. Maybe it will be the beginning of a new tradition.

  20. So many great recipes, so little time!!

  21. We love Easter bread

  22. My mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls were always a favorite.

  23. I use to love Hot Cross Buns but have not had any for years. This recipe looks like a great one to try. Thank you for sharing the recipe.
    I have had difficulty in finding Red Star Yeast. Please tell me which grocery stores in Virginia Beach, Virginia stock it. Thank you.

  24. Hot Cross Buns! I’ll need to try this recipe!

  25. My favorite Easter baking tradition is making fresh rolls for Easter lunch and also making peanut butter eggs.

  26. Hot cross buns were an Easter treat we always looked forward to 🙂

  27. The hot cross buns look great! We normally make Easter bread in our home but maybe we will have to give these a try too.

  28. Would love to add this to my collection of yeast cookbooks. Love making a variety of breads to give away

  29. Homemade dinner rolls to go with the ham and fixings.

  30. Have never tried them, but have thought about it a few times since they do look good!

  31. I like to make cinnamon rolls for breakfast!

  32. Our little family is just starting out so I need to figure out some baking traditions! I do love baking but I’ve never tried hot cross buns, this might just be the year!!

  33. love dinner rolls always a favorite

  34. love to make hot cross buns

  35. I like making homemade rolls.

  36. These hot cross buns look delicious! I might need to start a new family tradition!

  37. Cinnamon rolls and buns for yummy ham sandwiches!

  38. Hot cross buns!

  39. I love cinnamon rolls with orange icing. I enjoy baking with my granddaughter.

  40. I love making big bakery style cinnamon rolls for Easter morning and dinner rolls for our Easter dinner.

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

  42. Freshly made orange nut bread for breakfast.

  43. Always some kind of sweet. Cinnamon rolls, sticky buns or crumb cake.

  44. Definitely Easter rolls

  45. I made Hot Cross Buns for the 1st time Friday – 2 doz. They were so good that I made more on Saturday to give as gifts!!! Yummy!!!!!

  46. Rolls so you can have ham sandwiches after Easter Dinner!
    I am going to try the hot cross buns this year

  47. I start the holiday by making hot Cross Buns on Good Friday and freezing one for the next year its tradition, then on Saturday I love coloring Easter eggs with my family, then I bake all day Saturday making Easter breads.

  48. I love to make holiday breads such as hot cross buns and paska!

  49. I bake yeast rolls for dinner, monkey bread for breakfast, and a decadent chocolate cake for dessert–all from scratch.

  50. Love to bake fresh dinner rolls to go with our Easter ham!

  51. I help my friend’s bake Kolaches and have fun eating them as well.

  52. We love to make rolls. The rolls aren’t too sweet. There’s enough sweet stuff already on the table!

  53. We’ve never had a tradition of hot cross buns, but printed and will start one this year!

  54. My favorite Easter baking tradition is a cute bunny cake with jelly bean eyes and nose and licorice whiskers

  55. 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.

  56. my favorite Easter baking is Greek Easter bread. it has red dyed eggs in a round braid.

  57. Looks delicious!

  58. love Easter twisted sweet bread with golden raisins, it has many names like paska, babka, ect… so good, also many different types has just raisins, or and candied fruit in it.

  59. SINCE I CAN NOT PRINT ON MY PRINTER, I HAVE TO WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING BY HAND. BUT MY GREAT GRANDMA AN MY GRANDMAMA BOTH TAUGHT ME HOW TO BAKE FROM SCRATCH, AN THAT IS WHAT I DO. I AM NOW JUST ABOUT 80 AN STILL DO THAT. I LOVE TO DO ROLLS AN HOT CROSS BUNS FOR EASTER. WE USE TO HAVE A BIG FAMILY COME TO THE FARM IN CONNECTICUT. SO WE WOULD BAKE A LOT FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
    DONALEE

  60. Love, love, love these books. My family looks forward to each new bread I try. Hot Cross Buns this week.

  61. Hot cross buns are my favorite tradition

  62. These look amazing!!

  63. In the past, I always baked cinnamon or hot cross buns for breakfast and cloverleaf rolls for Easter dinner. My wonderful mother-in-law, Ossie, introduced me to yeast baking 43 years ago. Haven’t stopped since! 😃. Happy Easter, everyone!

  64. I would love to win a copy of Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook! It would I know give me delicious and tasty ideas to serve to my family and friends. And if they are good my folks at work 🙂

  65. My family favorite Easter (and Christmas) holiday baking is my grandmother’s Hungarian Nut Rolls. Brings all the family memories back and to celebrate our roots.

  66. Hot cross buns are a favorite.

  67. My favorite Easter tradition is coloring eggs!

  68. I’ve never made hot cross buns (not sure I’ve even tried them) but they look great. I suppose my baking tradition would be to make some sort of dinner roll. No specific recipe as I’m always trying new things.

  69. Portuguese Easter yeast bread that my mother makes every year. Also my mother’s wonderful shortbread cookies, and swirl cookies that she’s baked since we were kids. Just fabulous. Every year she out does herself.

  70. Hot cross buns are usually a pre-Easter tradition for me, and I bake them during the week or two before Easter. But for Easter itself, carrot cake is always on my baking to-do list!

  71. These look delicious! Can’t wait to make them at home.

  72. My favorite Easter baking tradition is making Ukrainian Nut Rolls.

  73. Would love to win copy of latest giveaway book. Bread is such a essential part of my diet

  74. Hot Cross Buns..I use Red Star ein baking…..5 Stars

  75. My tradition is making Easter babkas as gifts for family members. Everyone looks forward to them.

  76. a beautiful Easter tradition

  77. My favorite Easter baking tradition was visiting my Grandparents and making holiday treats with Grandma! It was then as a little girl I got my love for baking from scratch. Whenever I miss my Grandma I simply bake bread and she seems a little closer. Hot Cross Buns were and still are my favorite Easter tradition!

  78. I really enjoy the bread n rolls recipes that I have tried with red star yeast products. My favorite tops are potato bread, dinner rolls. But I enjoy al the items that I make for my family.

  79. I love to make hot cross buns.

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