Hot Cross Buns are the perfect addition to your Easter celebration. They are soft and tender, lightly spiced with cinnamon, lemon, orange and filled with sweet craisins.
What are Hot Cross Buns?
A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet yeast roll made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top. The cross is either made with frosting or additional dough. They are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, the Friday before Easter. They are often served for Easter brunch or dinner.
There are several stories and superstitions about Hot Cross Buns. One story states that buns baked on Good Friday and and hung from the rafters of a home would ward off evil spirits in the coming year. Another version mentions that sharing the bun with a loved one guarantees friendship in the coming year. I think I like the second tale the best!
How to Make Hot Cross Buns
- Hot Cross Buns start with a sweetened yeast dough that is also lightly spiced with cinnamon along with the addition of lemon and orange zest. My favorite part are the craisins that are added. Traditionally raisins are used but I’m not a raisin fan and much prefer the craisins. If you have questions about working with yeast see this post.
- The dough rises until double and then is punched down and formed into 12 balls which then rise again until doubled in size.
- Brush the top of the rolls with a mixture of egg yolk and water. This will give the rolls a nice finish and shine.
- Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow the rolls to cool and then add your frosting cross.
- I place my frosting into a ziploc bag and then snip off a corner and pipe the lines on.
Can I freeze Hot Cross Buns?
It is very easy to freeze hot cross buns after baking them. . I prefer to freeze them after baking but before I have added the frosting. Wrap your rolls in plastic wrap so they are fully covered and air tight. I will also then wrap them in foil to make sure they are fully protected. When ready to serve, remove them from the freezer and allow the rolls to thaw for several hours at room temperature and then rewarm them in the oven at 300 degrees F for about 5 minutes. Add frosting before serving.
Some other favorite Easter recipes:
Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Hot Cross Buns
- 3/4 cup milk warmed to 110 degrees F
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
- 3 Tbsp butter softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup craisins
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp orange juice
- 2 tsp milk
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- Place yeast into warmed milk and allow to proof, about 5 minutes.
- In your stand mixer, mix together butter, sugar, slat, egg, egg white, lemon zest, orange zest, cinnamon and flour.
- Add in yeast mixture, mix and knead for about 5 minutes until dough is soft.
- Place in a greased bowl and allow to rise until double, 40-60 minutes.
- Punch down dough and place on a floured surface. Divide into twelve balls.
- Place dough onto a greased baking sheet and cover. Allow to rise until rolls are doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Mix together egg yolk and and water and brush over the top of rolls. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until rolls are cooked through and golden brown.
- Allow rolls to cool and then add crosses with frosting.
- Mix together the powdered sugar, milk, orange juice, and lemon zest until you have a nice piping consistency. Place frosting into a zip lock bag and clip off a corner of bag. Pipe crosses onto rolls.
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