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Christmas Hot Cross Buns

Christmas Hot Cross Buns. Not just for Easter, these festive sweet rolls are a fantastic addition to a Holiday brunch or even for gifting to friends and family.

Close up photo of finished Christmas Hot Cross Buns on a wire rack.

Christmas Hot Cross Buns. Not just for Easter!

A few years back when I was planning my Christmas Cookbook, I was reminded of a few messages I had received from our followers. I have been asked quite a few times leading up to the Christmas season if I had a recipe for Hot Cross Buns.

Rock Recipes Christmas Cookbook cover

I really had only associated them with Springtime and Easter. It appears though, that for some folks, it was a traditional Christmas treat as well in their families. 

Actually, there has been a very popular recipe for Easter Hot Cross Buns on this website for quite a few years. 

Perfect Hot Cross Buns

I always liked the photo for these because it really does convey a spring vibe. So, I again thought, why not a Christmas version? Why not indeed? 

Hot Cross Buns for the Holidays

The Holidays are a wonderful time to try these delicious, warm, comforting, sweet rolls. Not just for Easter any more, this Christmas twist on the classic hot cross buns will be appreciated by anyone lucky enough to taste them.

Plan them for Christmas Eve or Christmas morning as a special way to start the day. In fact, any time at all during the season is the perfect time to enjoy these home baked treats.

I like to use both red and green glacé cherries for a more festive look.

In a recent radio interview, I said that food gifts were a favourite way to show appreciation to friends and family. That’s for a couple of good reasons.

First of all, everyone appreciates a sweet treat, especially at this time of year. More than that though, what you are actually giving is a gift of your time and thoughtfulness.

plate of glacé fruit on checkered dishtowel

Mixed glace fruit.

Especially recently, and particularly at the Holidays, time is a precious commodity for so many busy people. Other material gifts are quite thoughtful too, but a gift of time and talent says so much more.

I am, and always was, a believer that it is just as easy to bake a double batch of any recipe as it is to bake just one. That’s the best way to be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour and show your appreciation for someone else as well.

So go ahead and bake these wonderful seasonal delights and share them with those you love the most. It might just become a favorite Christmas tradition.

Looking for more Christmas baking inspiration?

You’re in the right place.  We have gathered a collection of our Most Popular Christmas Recipes of the past 14 years.

Best Christmas Baking Recipes photo collage 

Like this Christmas Hot Cross Buns recipe?

If you’re looking for other food gift ideas for the Holidays or just lots of seasonal recipe suggestions for both cooking and baking, be sure to browse our Christmas Recipes Category.

It’s easy to keep up with the latest home style cooking & baking ideas from Rock Recipes. Be sure to follow Rock Recipes Facebook Page and follow us on Instagram

Plus you’ll see daily recipe suggestions from decadent desserts to quick delicious weekday meals too. 

Christmas Hot Cross Buns cooling on a wire rack with title text added for Pinterest

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Close up photo of finished Christmas Hot Cross Buns on a wire rack.
Yield: 12 servings

Christmas Hot Cross Buns

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes

Christmas Hot Cross Buns. Not just for Easter, these festive sweet rolls are a fantastic addition to a Holiday brunch or even for gifting to friends and family.


  • 4 cups flour (Approximately)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice (or 1/4 tsp cloves) (All the spices are optional. You can also cut the amounts in half for lightly spiced buns.)
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 3/4 cup mixed glacé fruit
  • 1/2 cup glacé cherries, quartered
  • For the glaze
  • 1 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk (Add only enough to make a thick glaze.)


  1. Combine 2 cups of the flour along with the sugar, instant yeast, salt (and spices if you are using them) in a large
    bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer that uses a dough hook.
    Add the melted butter, warm milk, eggs and vanilla extract.
  2. Using a wooden spoon or the regular paddle of your electric mixer mix for 4-5
    minutes at slow speed until the mixture is smooth with no lumps.
  3. If using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook at this point and begin to slowly
    incorporate the remaining flour.
  4. If not using an electric mixer keep mixing in the
    flour gradually until a soft dough forms that leaves the sides of the bowl. You may
    need to use a little less or a little more flour than indicated in the recipe, this is not
  5. Knead the dough for an additional 10 minutes either in the electric mixer or on a
    floured breadboard or counter top.
  6. Place dough in a large bowl and leave to rest and let it rise for only about 45

Forming and baking the Christmas Hot Cross Buns

  1. Punch the dough down and gently knead in the mixed fruit and glacé cherries by hand for a few
    minutes just enough to distribute them evenly throughout the dough.
  2. Divide dough in 12 equal portions and form into round balls. 
  3. Place dough balls in a greased 9x13 baking pan.
  4. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise until about double to triple in size,  about 2 hours.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes or until golden
  6. Cool completely or for about 30 minutes if serving them warm from the oven.
  7. To make the glaze mix the icing sugar and milk together and pipe crosses onto the buns.
  8. You do not need a special piping bag for this, most often I use a ziplock bag with a corner snipped off.



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