Hot Cross Bun Recipe

Posted on 25 March 2022

Tags: Recipe

Imogen and John from our team had a hot cross bun off recently, and we’re sharing Imogen’s family recipe for you to try at home. John made a sourdough version from a recipe on the BBC. If you have a sourdough starter at home, you can try it here.

The main takeaway is that they are not for the fainthearted! But baking is good for the soul and the results were delicious, so we think it’s well worth it. If you share a photo of your creations on Facebook or Instagram, please tag us @theCOOKkicthen – we’d love to see. 


(makes 12 buns)

  • 400g / 1lb of plain white flour

  • 50 g  / 2oz of caster sugar

  • 25g / 1oz fresh yeast or 1 level tablespoon of dried yeast

  • 150 ml / 1/4 pint of lukewarm milk

  • 4 tablespoons of lukewarm water

  • 1 level teaspoon of salt

  • 1 level teaspoon mixed spice (add another 1/2 teaspoon to make them more spicy)

  • 1 level teaspoon cinnamon (again, you could add another 1/2 teaspoon)

  • 100g /4oz of currants

  • 50 g  / 2oz chopped mixed peel

  • 50 g /2oz butter, melted, cooled

  • 1 standard egg

  • Zest of an orange

  • A little runny honey


  • 50 g  / 2oz granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons of milk

Cross Paste:

  • 75g plain flour

  • 5 tbsp water


  1. Sift 100g / 4oz flour into a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  2. Blend the yeast  with milk and water, add to sifted flour and sugar. 
  3. Mix well and leave 20-30 mins or until frothy.
  4. Meanwhile sift the remaining flour and add the salt, orange zest and spices into another bowl. Add the rest of the sugar, currants and peel, and mix lightly together.
  5. Combine the yeast mixture with the flour and spices and dried fruit, add a beaten egg and the butter. Knead to a fairly soft dough that will leave the sides of the bowl clean. 
  6. Turn the dough mixture out onto a floured board and knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Then pop it in a bowl, cover, and leave to prove for an hour until the dough doubles in size. 
  7. Turn it out onto the floured board, knead lightly and divide into 12 equal-sized pieces. Shape each section into a round bun, stand these buns on a buttered or lined tray. Leave a bit of space between them, as they will rise and expand. Cover and leave to prove for another 30 minutes, until the dough feels springy when pressed.
  8. Heat your oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix 75g plain flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross, adding the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create the crosses.
  9. Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown. Then try and resist the urge to scoff them all at once.

Good luck!

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