Horizontal image of decorated individual Easter rolls with a cross design.

Hot Cross Buns

  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 25 minutes
  • Yield: 15 buns 1x


A traditional British Isles bread popular during Easter, sweet and fluffy hot cross buns are thought to be a sign of lasting friendship.



For the Dough:

  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

For the Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk

For the Icing:

  • 2 cups vanilla buttercream frosting


  1. In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir in the yeast and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together on low speed the flour, salt, spices, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Switch to the dough hook and mix in the yeast mixture, softened butter, eggs, vanilla, and remaining 3/4 cup milk at medium-high speed. Mix in the currants, raisins, lemon zest, and orange zest.
  3. Knead the dough until soft and elastic, but still a little sticky, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Form the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl greased with a thin layer of vegetable oil. Roll the ball entirely in the oil. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap, and rest the dough at room temperature for 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  5. Punch down the dough. Turn the dough out of the bowl and pat into a large rectangle. Divide the dough into 3 roughly even ropes. Divide each rope into 5 pieces, yielding 15 pieces total. If using a scale, each piece should weigh about 3 ounces.
  6. Roll each dough piece into a smooth ball shape. Place each ball, seam side down, on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Leave about 1/2 inch of space between each one, arranged 5 across and 3 down.
  7. Place a towel over the dough. Let it sit at room temperature until the balls double in size, about 1 hour.
  8. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  9. Prepare egg wash by beating 1 egg and 1 tablespoon milk in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush each bun with egg wash.
  10. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the buns are browned and shiny on top.
  11. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Place the buttercream frosting in a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe two lines of frosting across each bun to create a cross. Serve!


Foodal recommends using half of a batch of this rich and fluffy American-style Buttercream for the decorations.

  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Baked Goods

Keywords: hot cross buns, Easter, bread