Basic Easter Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns
Harrison Eastwood/Digital Vision/Getty Images
  • 47 mins
  • Prep: 2 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 9-12 servings
Ratings (11)

Hot cross buns have a long history as sweet breads made for offerings to ancient deities. As religions evolved and changed, Christians adopted hot cross buns as a special bread to be made and eaten every year on Good Friday.

This basic hot cross bun recipe makes a sweet dough that can be divided into 9 large rolls or 12 smaller rolls. Each roll is topped with a deliciously sweet icing, making it a special treat for everyone who has a sweet tooth, or several sweet teeth.

What You'll Need

  • For the Buns:
  • 1 12 fl. oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. yeast
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 5 cups flour (all-purpose, approx.)
  • For the Icing:
  • 3/4 cup sugar (confectioners)
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tbsp. butter (melted)
  • 1/3 tsp. almond extract

How to Make It

  1. In a large bowl, stir in the evaporated milk and melted butter. Add the sugar, salt, and yeast. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Mix in beaten egg, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Slowly mix in flour, one cup at a time until a soft dough is formed.
  3. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
  4. Put dough into a greased bowl and turn dough over so that the top is greased.
  5. Cover and let rise in warm place for 1 hour.
  6. Turn out dough and knead out air bubbles. Divide dough into 9 large rolls or 12 small rolls. Shape into rolls and place on greased baking or cookie sheet.
  1. Cover and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes or until double in size. Slash X on each bun top (optional).
  2. Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and allow to cool to warm.
  3. Mix icing ingredients into small bowl. Make a cross on top of buns with icing.

Bread Baking Tips:

  • You can omit the egg in this recipe and replace it with 1/4 cup water.
  • Egg substitute can be used in place of the egg.
  • Keep yeast stored in an airtight container and in the refrigerator. Heat, moisture, and air kills the yeast and prevents bread dough from rising.
  • Store flour properly to keep it from spoiling.
  • You can use any type of milk in this recipe: whole milk, skim, low fat, etc. Evaporated milk can also be replaced with water and nonfat dry milk.
  • There is a milk to dry milk powder conversion table. Use it to figure out how much dry milk to add to the water when replacing the milk in the recipe.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 244
Total Fat 13 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Unsaturated Fat 4 g
Cholesterol 49 mg
Sodium 257 mg
Carbohydrates 30 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 4 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)