Bread Machine Hot Cross Buns

Bread Machine Hot Cross Buns

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Bread Machine: 60 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
216 Calories
4g Fat
40g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 43mg 14%
Sodium 150mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 36mg 3%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 144mg 3%
*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 lukewarm milk (low-fat is fine)

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 scant teaspoon salt

  • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 4 to 6 pieces

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 3/4 to 1 cup currants

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 2 tablespoons water

For the Icing:

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Bread Machine Hot Cross Buns ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

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

    Whisk together milk, vanilla, and the egg

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  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.

    Add the milk mixture, flour, granulated sugar, salt, yeast, and butter to the bread machine

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  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.

    add cinnamon and currants to the dough in the bread machine

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  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.

    dough on a floured surface

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  6. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.

    grease a baking pan

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  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.

    dough balls in a baking pan, covered with a towel

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  8. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 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.

    baked buns in a baking pan, on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  9. 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.

    sugar, milk and vanilla in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  10. With a spoon or decorating bag, drizzle crosses on the tops of the buns.

    Bread Machine Hot Cross Buns

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni


  • 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.

Recipe Variations

  • Use finely chopped dried peaches instead of currants.
  • For the icing, use vanilla bean paste as a substitute for the vanilla extract.