The Best Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns
Debby Lewis-Harrison/Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Plus rising time: 90 mins
Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 24 buns
Yield: 24 buns
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
222 Calories
4g Fat
41g Carbs
7g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 222
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 109mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 30mg 2%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 169mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When these decorated rolls begin to appear in bakery windows and grocery store shelves, you know that Easter is approaching. But they are never better as the ones you can make at home, and this recipe will produce such great results, you'll want to make them every year — and maybe not just for Easter.


  • 1/2 cup warm water (105 F to 155 F)

  • 2 (0.25-ounce) packets active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 cup warm milk (105 F to 115 F)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

  • 6 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup dried currants

  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

For the Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg white

  • 1 teaspoon water

For the Lemon Icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Steps to Make It

Make the Buns

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Pour the warm water into the large bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle the yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar over it. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

  3. Add the remaining sugar, warm milk, salt, nutmeg, and butter.

  4. Add 3 cups of the flour, and using the paddle attachment of the mixer, beat at medium speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.

  6. Beat in the vanilla, currants and apricots and 1 cup more of the flour. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute.

  7. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft dough that just clears the sides of bowl is formed.

  8. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

  9. Place the dough in a large greased bowl. Turn once to coat the top and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  10. Punch down the dough. Cover with an inverted bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.

  11. Divide the dough into 24 equal portions. Roll each portion into a smooth ball. Place the balls about 1 1/2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet or pan.

  12. Let the rolls rise until doubled in volume, about 25 to 30 minutes.

  13. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

  14. Make the egg wash by mixing 1 egg white with 1 teaspoon water. Brush the rolls lightly with the egg wash.

  15. With a sharp knife, cut a cross no more than 1/2-inch deep in the top of each roll.

  16. Bake the rolls until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack and let cool.

Make the Icing

  1. In a small bowl, mix together all of ingredients until well blended.

  2. Spoon the icing int a party bag fitted with small plain tip, and pipe a cross over the top of each roll.

  3. Let the buns stand at least 20 minutes for the icing to set before serving.

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