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Traditional Hot Cross Buns

On Easter morning, our family always looked forward to a breakfast of dyed hard boiled eggs and Mom's hot cross buns. I still serve these for special brunches or buffets. —Barbara Jean Lull, Fullerton, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. + rising Bake: 15 min.
  • Makes
    2-1/2 dozen


  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm whole milk (110° to 115°)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 6 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ICING:
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 to 6 teaspoons whole milk


  • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. In a large bowl, combine eggs, butter, sugar, salt, spices, yeast mixture and 3 cups flour; beat on medium speed until smooth. Stir in currants, raisins and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until dough is smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide and shape into 30 balls. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Cover with kitchen towels; let rise in a warm place until doubled, 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut a cross on top of each bun. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk and water; brush over tops. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool slightly.
  • For icing, in a small bowl, mix confectioners' sugar and enough milk to reach desired consistency. Pipe a cross on top of each bun. Serve warm.
Nutrition Facts
1 bun: 171 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 28mg cholesterol, 145mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • Sampada
    Jul 11, 2020

    I halved the recipe and 24 mini buns came out perfect fluffy moist...

  • BilliePock
    Apr 22, 2019

    Made these to take the Easter potluck at the fire station. They are wonderful. There were a few leftover. Can’t wait to have one with my coffee in the morning.

  • Diana
    Apr 18, 2019

    No comment left

  • Orbs
    Apr 15, 2018

    I added diced dried apricots. They were delicious with honey and tea. Thank you, Barbara Jean, for sharing this recipe.

  • Patricia
    Mar 26, 2018

    No comment left

  • cathybuxy
    Mar 24, 2018

    I just made these today. They turned out wonderful. I iced only a few then froze the rest for Easter next week. Easy recipe.

  • Cheri Mondus
    Mar 20, 2018

    No comment left

  • I_Fortuna
    Mar 12, 2016

    Killing the yeast with water that is too hot, over or under kneading and not enough rise time can cause buns that are not good.Following the recipe is not enough. Baking is an art and one has to know when, how much and how to knead the dough.One can make this dough and let it rise overnight in the fridge or let is rise longer in a warm area.Experience is the best teacher, so keep trying until they come out good. : )

  • deb9962
    Mar 3, 2016

    easy, traditional

  • Maddi03
    Apr 13, 2015

    Was good but I halved all the ingredients to make 15 and it worked out perfectly