Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

Vanessa Levis


Quantity Ingredient
600g plain flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
30g compressed yeast
or 14g dry yeast
60g butter, diced
1/4 cup currants or sultanas
1/4 cup chopped mixed candied peel
110g caster sugar
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1 egg, lightly beaten

Paste for cross

Quantity Ingredient
35g self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cold water


Quantity Ingredient
1/4 teaspoon powdered gelatine
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar, to glaze


  1. Sift the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter, then mix in currants or sultanas and peel. If using dry yeast, stir it in now, with the sugar. Make a well in the centre.
  2. If using compressed yeast, cream the yeast with the sugar and add a little of the warm water to dissolve the yeast completely. Blend the remaining water and milk with the yeast and add with the beaten egg to the flour. Mix to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
  3. Shape into a ball, place in a clean, greased bowl and turn the ball over so that the top of the dough is greased. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 1/4–1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
  4. Turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently press out to 1 cm thick. Divide the dough into 12–14 pieces and shape each into a small ball. Place balls on a greased baking tray, at least 2.5 cm apart, or arrange in greased round cake tins. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 20–30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  5. To make the paste for the cross, combine the self-raising flour and water and beat to a smooth paste. Put into a baking paper funnel or a small piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Using a sharp knife, make a slight indentation in shape of a cross on top of each bun just before baking and pipe the prepared paste into cross.
  6. Bake the buns for about 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, to make the glaze, sprinkle the gelatine over the water in a small saucepan. When softened, dissolve over a low heat. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat. Remove the buns from the oven and brush with the glaze while still hot. Stand the buns in a warm place, such as near the opened door of the turned-off oven. This helps to set the glaze.


  • Icing cross

    If liked, omit the paste cross and decorate with a sweet icing cross. Mix 1 cup sifted icing sugar with enough hot milk (about 2 teaspoons) to make a firm consistency. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a plain tube and pipe crosses on the baked warm buns.
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