Bread Machine Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Bread Machine: 60 mins
  • Servings: 16 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
171 Calories
7g Fat
22g Carbs
5g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 171
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 122mg 41%
Sodium 304mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 5g
Calcium 47mg 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.)

Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday in some areas of America and other countries, though these days people enjoy them any time of the year. The signature cross—representing the crucifixion—is formed on the top of each bun with icing. 

These classic hot cross buns are started in the bread machine, so there no manual kneading required. 

The dough is mixed and kneaded in the bread machine and then the rolls are shaped and baked by hand. The delicious thin vanilla icing is drizzled over each bun to form the classic "cross."

These are very easy to prepare, and so soft and delicious!


  • 3/4 cup milk (low-fat is fine; lukewarm)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (scant)
  • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup softened butter (cut into 4 to 6 pieces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 to 1 cup currants (or finely chopped dried peaches)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • For the Icing:
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or vanilla bean paste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Whisk together the 3/4 cup milk, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and the egg.

  3. Add the milk mixture, flour, granulated sugar, salt, yeast, and butter to the bread machine, adding in the order suggested by your bread machine manufacturer.

  4. Set the machine on the dough cycle; add cinnamon and currants or chopped dried fruit at the beep. If the mixture seems too dry, add water in very small amounts.

  5. When the dough is done and doubled in volume, remove to a lightly floured surface. Punch down, knead about 6 to 8 times, and let it rest for 10 minutes.

  6. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.

  7. Tear off small pieces of dough (about 2 to 2 1/4 ounces each) and shape them into balls. Place the dough balls in the prepared baking pan. Cover the pan with a cloth and let the dough rise in a warm place for 40 minutes.

  8. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  9. Stir together the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water. Lightly brush the tops of the buns with the egg yolk mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are nicely browned. Remove the pan to a rack to cool completely.

  10. Combine the confectioners' sugar with 2 tablespoons of milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; stir until smooth. Add small amounts of hot water or more confectioners' sugar, as needed, for drizzling consistency. With a spoon or decorating bag, drizzle crosses on the tops of the buns.

  11. Enjoy!


  • If you don't have a bread machine or if you prefer to knead by hand, mix the milk and egg mixture with the flour and yeast mixture in a large bowl by hand. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead, adding the currants and cinnamon in as you fold it over, until it is smooth and elastic about 10 minutes. Cover and let the dough rise until double, about 45 minutes. Punch it down and knead 5 or 6 times. Shape the dough into balls and continue with the recipe.