Fun for Easter, Good Friday or any spring occasion, these hot cross buns are a sweet and tasty treat you’ll love to eat! Made using currants, cinnamon and nutmeg, these hot crossed buns are then topped with a powdered sugar glaze for an added bit of sweetness.
Hot cross buns are a staple at most Good Friday and Easter meals, but they also make a great addition to any spring holiday or celebration. Flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg and topped with a sweet sugary glaze, these sweet rolls can be served for breakfast, brunch or dessert!
What are Hot Cross Buns?
A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun often made with fruit, such as currants, raisins or cranberries. The top of the bun is marked with a cross, made by cutting the dough or piping icing.
Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday and are often used to mark the end of the Christian season of Lent. They can also be served for Easter or a spring baptism or baby shower.
Hot Cross Buns
For the Buns
- ½ Cup Currants Dried
- ¼ Cup Hot Water
- 4 ½ Cups All Purpose Flour Plus More for Sifting
- 1 ½ Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- 1 ¼ Cups Warm Milk (105°F)
- 2 Packages Active Dry Yeast (0.25oz. each)
- ¼ Cup Granulated Sugar Divided
- 3 Eggs Divided
- ½ Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened (1 stick)
- 1 ½ Teaspoons Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
- Non-stick vegetable spray
For the Glaze
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar (confectioners sugar)
- 1-2 Tablespoons Milk
- ¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Step 1: Currants
- In a small bowl, pour the hot water over the dried currants to help them rehydrate. Let them sit until the currants are soft again, about10 minutes.
- You can also use cranberries or raisins instead of currants. Simply chop the cranberries or raisins roughly before rehydrating.
Step 2: Prepare the dry ingredients
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Step 3: Prepare the wet ingredients
- In a large bowl, stir together the warm milk, yeast and 1tablespoon of granulated sugar. Let this mixture stand for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it looks foamy.
- Add the butter, remaining 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar,2 eggs, lemon zest and salt. Using an electric mixer with the dough hook attachment, mix everything together on medium speed until combined.
Step 4: Add the dry ingredients
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Continue mixing on medium speed until a smooth, elastic dough forms. This should take anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes
- Finally, add the currants, along with any of the remaining water. Continue mixing until everything is combined and smooth. Your dough should be nice and soft at this point!
Step 5: Prepare dough for first proof
- Spray a large bowl with non-stick vegetable spray (you can also grease the inside with butter, if you prefer). Form the dough into a ball and place it in the greased bowl. Turn the dough ball a few times in the bowl to make sure all sides are greased. This will prevent your dough from drying out.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place to proof. Let the dough proof until it has doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes
Step 6: Prepare dough for second proof
- Prepare a 9 x 13 in. pan with non-stick vegetable spray
- Once your dough has doubled in size, punch it down to release some of the air. Divide the dough into 12 equally sized pieces, about 3.5 oz. each.
- Form each portion into a ball and place the dough balls into your prepared pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and put it back in the warm space to proof once more, until the dough balls have doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes
Step 7: Bake the buns
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Once your buns have doubled in size, remove the plastic wrap. In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with 2 tablespoons of water. Lightly brush the egg wash over the buns.
- Bake your buns until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped, about20 to 25 minutes. Let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove them to a cooling grid to cool completely before decorating
Step 8: Decorate!
- To prepare the glaze, combine the powdered sugar with 1tablespoon of milk. Add more milk as necessary until a smooth, thick, glaze forms.
- Place the glaze in a decorating bag or resealable zipper bag and pipe a cross shape on each roll.