Stupid-Easy Recipe for Hot Cross Buns (#1 Top-Rated)


This modern and fresh take on hot cross buns features candied orange peel and lemon zest in a rich yeasted dough. Serve warm with a quick orange-kissed powdered sugar icing.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this easy-to-make recipe for Hot Cross Buns.

1. Info for Hot Cross Buns

  • Cook Time: 2 hr 45 min
  • Total Time: 2 hr 45 min
  • Servings: 24
  • Calories: 168 kcal

2. Ingredients for Hot Cross Buns

  • 1 cup warm whole milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
  • 5 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • dash ground cloves
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3 eggs (divided)
  • 2/3 cup dried currants
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup diced candied orange peel (can substitute zest of one orange)
  • 1 tbs. superfine sugar (can pulse regular granulated sugar in a food processor)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (for icing)
  • 2 tbs. milk (for icing)
  • 1 tbs. orange juice (optional for icing; if not using add 1 more tbs. milk)
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla (for icing)

3. Directions:

  1. In medium pot, heat milk, butter, sugar, and salt over low heat until butter is just melted and mixture is between 110°- 115° F. Remove mixture from the heat. Stir in yeast and let sit about 5 minutes, until foamy on top.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together flour, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and lemon zest. In a small bowl lightly beat 2 eggs. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; add the beaten eggs and yeast mixture, then add currants, raisins, and candied orange peel. Stir with a wooden spoon until dough comes together.
  3. Turn out onto floured surface and knead with floured hands until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Transfer dough to large greased bowl and turn once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead 1 minute. Cut dough in half; roll one half into a cylinder and cut into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball shape, tucking edges under, and place on a greased baking sheet 1 1/2 inches apart.
  5. Repeat with other half of dough. Cover buns loosely with plastic wrap and place in warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  6. With racks in upper and lower thirds of oven, preheat oven to 400°F.
  7. In a small bowl, lightly beat the third egg with the superfine sugar to create an egg glaze. Make crisscross slashes on top of each bun with a sharp, small knife, then brush buns with egg glaze.
  8. Bake, switching position of baking sheets halfway through, until buns are puffed and golden, about 12 minutes total. Transfer buns to wire rack to cool.
  9. Make powdered sugar icing: In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar, orange juice (if using), milk, and vanilla. Stir to blend, adding more milk if necessary to reach consistency for drizzling. Drizzle icing across the slashes in the bun to form a cross. Serve warm.

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