Hot cross buns are a longstanding Easter tradition. These yeasty sweet buns are spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg and studded with raisins, currants and candied fruit peel. The distinctive cross on the top of the buns is made from a small amount of unflavoured dough.

Yield: Makes 18.



  • 1 3/4 cups milk (2%)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup very warm water
  • 5-6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp mace
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup candied mixed peel
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup cool water


  1. To scald milk, heat in a saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles form around edge of pan.
  2. Add 1/4 cup sugar, butter and salt; cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast over warm water; let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Stir into milk mixture. Add 3 cups flour and combine to make a sponge.
  4. Allow to rise in a warm place until slightly risen, about 1/2 hour.
  5. Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, spices and egg yolks; add to sponge. Add currants, raisins, peel and enough of remaining 2 – 3 cups flour to make a stiff dough.
  6. Turn out onto a lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 7 - 10 minutes.
  7. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Let rise until doubled in volume.
  8. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board. Knead 4 – 5 times to remove air bubbles. Divide dough into 18 pieces. Form into balls and place in two well-greased 9 inch square baking pans.
  9. With a sharp knife, cut a cross pattern 1/4 inch deep into top of dough.
  10. Combine 1 cup flour, oil and 1/2 cup cool water to form a soft dough. Roll a small amount at a time into a thin rope. Cut and place in cross on top of dough.
  11. Allow buns to rise until doubled in volume. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F.
  12. Beat egg whites lightly; gently brush onto surface of buns.
  13. Bake at 400°F until done, about 20 minutes. Brush once more with remaining egg whites halfway through baking time. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.
Nutritional analysis per 1 bun serving:

256 calories, 4.3 g fat, 6.3 g protein, 48 g carbohydrate, 2.1 g fibre, 173 mg sodium