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Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns. Not just for Easter Sunday, these delicious, fragrant, yeast raised sweet rolls have become a brunch staple year round at our house.

Perfect Hot Cross Buns

Perfect Hot Cross Buns

Here’s an Easter specialty that will be much appreciated after the morning egg hunt. The scent of these cinnamon and vanilla infused buns baking will wake the entire house in eager anticipation.

Raisins for Hot Cross Buns shown in a white bowl.

Sultana Raisins

I like sultana raisins in mine but dark or golden raisins or currants are also good. If your family is not fond of dried fruits, these are also exceptionally delicious with chocolate chips substituted for the raisins.

If you’re looking for an incredibly easy and totally delicious Easter Ham recipe for lunch, I highly recommend Our Brown Sugar and Dijon Glazed Ham.

Perfect Hot Cross Buns

Perfect Hot Cross Buns

Like this Hot Cross Buns recipe?

You’ll find lots of great ideas in our Bread and Baking Category and for Easter dessert, check out the hundreds of ideas in our Desserts Category.

Perfect Hot Cross Buns

Perfect Hot Cross Buns

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

2019 UPDATE We now have a new version of Christmas Hot Cross Buns

Christmas Hot Cross Buns photo with title text for Pinterest
For even more delicious ideas for special brunches or teatimes, we have put them together into one amazing collection of our 25 Best Scone Recipes.

25 Best Scone Recipes image with title text for Pinterest

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Originally published March 2015.

Perfect Hot Cross Buns
Yield: 12 buns

Hot Cross Buns

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Not just for Easter Sunday, these delicious, fragrant, yeast raised sweet rolls have become a brunch staple year round at our house.


  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water, around 100 degrees F
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 envelope regular yeast, 2 1/2 to 3 tsp
  • 3 cups flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sultana raisins, or golden raisins
  • 1 egg yolk, reserved from preparing the dough
  • 1 1/2 tbsp water

For the vanilla glaze

  • 1/2 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tsp milk


  1. Dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface. Do not stir. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment or in a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, salt cinnamon and sugar.
  3. Add the prepared yeast along with the melted butter, 1 egg, 1 egg white, and vanilla extract.
  4. Knead with the mixer's dough hook for about 5 minutes or mix together with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together, then knead by hand for about 10 minutes. You may need to dd a little more flour as you knead, if your dough is too sticky. This is not unusual when making yeast doughs of any kind.
  5. Whether you are using an electric mixer of making the dough by hand you should always knead the raisins into the dough by hand; the mixer tends to crush the raisins and you want to keep them intact, so gentle hand kneading is best to incorporate the raisins into the dough.

Proofing the dough.

  1. Cover and let stand in a draft-free, warm place for 30 - 40 minutes.
  2. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form into balls.
  3. Place them in the prepared pan and let rise for about an hour or until about doubled in size.
  4. Whisk together the reserved egg yolk and 1 1/2 tbsp water. Brush over the tops of the buns before baking. You need not use it all. This step makes a glossy finish to the tops of the buns.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30-35 minutes or a little longer.
  6. Remove from pan and let rest on a wire rack for about 15-20 minutes before piping on the vanilla glaze crosses.

For the vanilla glaze

  1. Mix together the icing sugar, vanilla extract and milk until smooth. You will want this to be quite a stiff glaze so only add enough milk to bring it to a thick consistency.
  2. Pipe crosses onto the tops of the warm buns. A Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off works well for this if you do not have a piping bag.


The total time in this recipe does not include time for the dough to proof. Allow 1 1/2 to 2 hours additional time for this. Warmer kitchens may take less time, colder kitchens will take longer.

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Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 384Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 57mgSodium 138mgCarbohydrates 68gFiber 3gSugar 28gProtein 6g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Friday 15th of April 2022

Well darn.. should have read the comments before I baked… everything went great and my mouth was watering when I placed them in the oven…but… I panicked at 30 minutes seeing they were about to burn… they turned out looking great, but a bit dry… I used a glass pan and didn’t adjust temp nor time.. arghhhhh .. next time.. dropping temp 25 deg F and watching the time close at 20+ minutes..


Sunday 10th of April 2022

I enjoy your recipes, Barry, and have had many successes. I just made two dozen of the Hot Cross Buns and was disappointed in the flavour. Have you considered adding other spices in addition to the cinnamon, or did I miss something in the recipe?

Carmel Rose Moher

Tuesday 27th of April 2021

Can you cut the recipe in half ?


Tuesday 13th of April 2021

This is the best recipe ! I’ve tweaked it a bit , I use warmed goat milk , also instant yeast.When they come out of the oven I use a hot sugar, water and vanilla glaze .I bake for a market and theses are a delicious , delicious success . Love ALL of your recipes


Saturday 3rd of April 2021

I dissolved the sugar in the warm water in a glass measuring cup and sprinkled the regular yeast on top and did NOT stir as per instructions. The yeast that was touching the sugared water did bloom but the rest of the yeast rose up on top of the foam and did not get to touch the sugared water and appeared not to bloom at all. Will this affect the rising time of the dough? I put it all into the flour mixture anyway and am hoping for the best. The first rest time of 30-40 minutes did not appear to make much difference in the size of the dough before dividing the dough into bun portions. The buns are now proofing for an hour and are definitely not doubled in size but are slowly rising in the oven with the light on. Usually a long rise means better flavour and I am hoping this is the case here. My yeast is new so that is not an issue. Did I do something wrong?

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