Hot Cross Buns

How To Make Spiced Easter Rolls

This Easter why not try baking your own hot cross buns, nothing beats that smell of home baking throughout the house. Hot Cross Buns take about 15 minutes to prepare although you have to leave the dough alone for different periods during the preparation.

There are few recipes in our collection that have a longer or more interesting history than Hot Cross Buns. Their beginnings have been traced back to the Saxons and their worship of the deity Eostre. They typically baked buns or cakes with a cross at the start of the spring. The name Eostre became the name for the month of April and it has also been suggested this is the origin of the word Easter. Some historians have pointed out there was also bread made with crosses on top in Greece. If you're looking for more interesting local dishes check out our recipe directory.

Although the term 'hot cross bun' is not recorded as being used before 1730, the history of spiced Easter bread goes back at least to the sixteenth century. Local folklore suggest that buns made on Good Friday have health giving properties and can even protect against accident or misfortune in certain circumstances.

A Local Reference

There are a number of place names associated with or derived from the name of the goddess Eostre, most in Germany but a few exist in other parts of Northern Europe including Eastry in Kent.

Hot Cross Buns Recipe

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Preparation Time: 50 Minutes
Cooking Time: 25 Minutes

By Joan

Ingredients: Serves 8-10

600g plain flour
2 tablespoons dry yeast
70g caster sugar
40ml warm milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla essence
100g butter
1 egg lightly beaten
150ml warm water
50g raisins
50g dates de-stoned and chopped
50g mixed peel
1 tablespoon marmalade

Flour Paste:

80g plain flour
2 tablespoon caster sugar
100ml water

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Place sugar, yeast, and milk in a bowl. Stir until the yeast has dissolved. Then cover the bowl with cling film and put in a warm place for 20 minutes.
  2. Mix the flour and vanilla essence in a mixing bowl then rub in the butter. Stir in the yeast mixture and egg, water and dry fruit. Cover the bowl with cling film again and leave in a warm place for about an hour.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Then split the dough into 20 equal pieces, kneading each piece into a ball shape.
  4. Places the balls onto a large greased baking tray; leave to stand somewhere warm for 20 minutes.
  5. To make the flour paste; combine flour and sugar in a bowl, gradually blending in the water until smooth.
  6. Place the flour paste into an icing bag, pipe crosses onto the buns. Put the buns into an oven for 10 minutes at 180°C then reduce the heat to 150°C for a further 15 minutes. Places the buns on a cake rack and lightly brush with warm marmalade and allow to cool.

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