It’s that time of the year again! 

Hot cross buns. You’ve gotta love ’em. Sweet, spiced, warm and slathered with butter on a cool autumnal Easter morning. Or any morning in the lead up to Easter, if your family is like ours!

I’ll tell you something though, which is going to make me sound very annoying. I do not buy hot cross buns. The ones in the shop are filled with all sorts of horrible things that we don’t need to consume. Palm oil. Unnecessary additives. Etc. Besides, they are very fun and very easy to bake in your own kitchen. And they’re cheaper. And you can make them however you prefer them: chocolate, fruit, plain.

So I’m going to show you how I make them, and then maybe you can give it a try. And once you make your own, I don’t think you’ll be in a hurry to buy them again.


  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 3 tsp instant yeast
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar (brown sugar is nice but you can use any sugar)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried fruit, chocolate chips (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 90g melted butter
  • For the milk wash and crosses:: Small amount of milk; 1/4 cup plain flour; 2-3 Tbsp water



  • Place instant yeast in the warm milk and leave to activate (it’ll be ready when it is foamy on the top)
  • Put all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and pour all the wet ingredients: egg, butter, milk.
  • I use my mixer to mix the dough until it comes together to form a ball, but you can use a spoon or your hands to achieve the same result. You want to knead the dough for about 10 minutes. 
  • Leave the dough in a bowl, covered with a plate, for an hour or so. It will double in size. 
  • Once the dough has risen, give it a quick knead and separate it into 16 parts. You might like to make larger buns – it’s up to you. Knead each piece into a ball shape, and place the balls onto a prepared baking tin to rise, covered with a tea towel, for another hour or so. Note: I tend not to knead the dough very much before the second proving. 
  • Once the buns have risen, you can pipe crosses onto them. Firstly, I brush the top of the buns with milk. Then I whisk together some flour and water to make a thin paste. I place the paste into a zip loc bag and snip a small opening into one of the corners of the bag. Then I slowly squeeze the paste onto each bun, making a little cross (sometimes you might like to do an egg wash, and use icing to make the crosses – it’s up to you. Kids like chocolate crosses. There are no rules!)
  • Preheat oven to 220 degrees (celcius). My oven is a fan forced convection oven. Your oven might be different. You want it fairly hot). Bake buns for 15-20 minutes. They should be golden brown on top.
  • Your house will smell amazing when these are baking!
  • When these buns are ready, serve them hot, with butter. Gosh. Yum. 
  • If you have leftovers, you can reheat them at 180 for about 10 minutes. Our children also like them cold, in their lunch box.
  • Enjoy