Hot Cross Buns
Learn how to make soft, tasty hot buns using this deliciously spicy yeast dough. Each bun is marked with a traditional cross, baked until golden, then topped with orange frosting. See the recipe notes for the frosting alternative, as well as the freezing and preparation instructions in advance.
For hot cross buns
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tbsp butter unsalted (1/2 stick), softened
- 1 cup raisins soaked in rum if preferred
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk lukewarm
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
For syrup glaze
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
For cream cheese icing
- 1 tbsp butter unsalted, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- 1/2 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a small bowl combine the lukewarm milk, sugar and yeast. Stir and let it rest for about 10 minutes until the yeast activates, you will notice bubbles forming.
- Soak the raisins in rum. This step is completely optional. If you're soaking them in rum, you'll need about 1/4 cup of rum.
- In the bowl of your mixer add 4 cups of flour, salt and nutmeg. Mix until combined.
- Add the eggs and butter to the yeast mixture and stir. Pour the yeast mixture over the flour, and using the dough hook attachment mix for about 5 minutes. Add raisins (drained if soaked in rum) and continue mixing for another minute. If the dough is too wet add more flour as needed. The dough should be quite soft and elastic. You will know when it's done when it doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl anymore.
- In a large bowl add a bit of oil, about a tbsp and place the dough in the bowl, rolling it around so that it gets oil all over, this way it won’t get dry. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. You need to let the dough rise for a couple hours until doubled in size. You can also do my trick where I turn the oven on for about 1 to 2 minutes just until it’s warm in there, and place the bowl in the oven, close the door, make sure you turned off the oven and in about half an hour the dough would have doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I used a roasting pan that's 16x12 inches.
- Clean and flour your work surface. Usually I don't add any flour to my work surface because I find it easier to roll the buns on a clean surface, but it's totally up to you. Punch down the dough, and cut it into 15 equal pieces and roll each one. Place the rolls in the pan and cover with a clean damp towel and let them rest for another 30 minutes until doubled in size.
- Bake for about 20 or until golden brown. Mine were actually done after 17 minutes so keep an eye on them.
- While baking make the syrup by mixing the sugar with the water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over low heat. Continue boiling for another minute or until syrup thickens a bit. Set aside.
- To make the icing, whisk all the ingredients together and pour in a piping bag and refrigerate until ready to use. If the icing is too thin add more icing sugar, if it's too thick add more water until desired consistency.
- When the buns are out of the oven, brush with the sugar syrup. Let cool completely before piping the icing over the buns to form a cross. Enjoy your baking!