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5 from 3 votes

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns just in time for Easter! They're soft, dense, and perfectly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Once you taste this homemade recipe, you won't go back to store-bought.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Buns, Cross, Hot, Raisin, Rum
Servings 24 large (or 36 small)
Author Fraiche



  • 1/3 cup water or spiced dark rum
  • 1 cup sultana raisins
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups lukewarm water
  • 3 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 7-8 cups all-purpose flour (5 cups then up to 3 cups for kneading)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Cross Dough

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup water approximately

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water



  1. Place the raisins in a small microwave-proof bowl, pour over the water or rum, and microwave for 1 minute.  Stir and set aside to cool and soak for an hour (or longer).

  2. Combine boiling water, honey, butter, and salt in a large bowl and cool.

  3. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the lukewarm water and sugar until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, until it bubbles.

  4. Once the water, honey, butter and salt mixture is cooled, add the eggs and 1 cup of flour. Stir well. Add the yeast mixture, and stir untill combined. Drain the raisins with a sieve and discard the liquid. Add the raisins along with 4 of the remaining cups of flour, and the cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg: stir until you can’t stir with a spoon (will get too difficult), adding more flour as needed.

  5. Put the dough on a well-floured surface (counter) and using your hands, knead the dough for about 10 minutes. You will need to add more flour as you knead the dough to keep it from sticking to your hands and the counter. The dough will look smooth and ‘elastic’ when it is ready.

  6. Put the dough in a well-greased large bowl, cover with a towel, and place in a warm draft-free place to rise. Once it has doubled in size (about 30-45 minutes), punch it down. Cover and let rise another 30 minutes. Punch down again.

  7. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a large baking sheet with oil, margarine or butter and line with parchment paper. You will need to grease an additional small 9" round pan or a loaf pan if you are making small buns.  Divide the dough into approximately 3 ounce portions (a small handful), and shape into buns (balls) with your hands. Space the buns evenly in a grid on the pan, you should get approximately 24 buns in a large baking sheet (4 buns down by 6 or 7 buns across). Cover the pan with a towel and let rise until doubled.

The Cross

  1. In a small bowl, mix all of the above ingredients together to form a thicker batter. Start with the 1/4 cup of water and add more until you have a batter that is the consistency of a thick pancake batter. It will need to hold its shape when piped but still be able to flow out of the piping bag.

  2.  Fill a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip and pipe a cross, starting at one end of a row of buns and running along the centre of the entire row until you get to the end of the buns. Repeat on each row running length-ways, and do the same through the middle of the buns running the opposite direction to form a cross along the buns.

  3. Bake for 15 minutes or until they are starting to turn golden brown.

Egg Wash

  1. Whisk together the egg and water in a small bowl and, using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash with a pastry brush and return to the oven.

  2.  Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the buns are golden brown.