Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Hot Cross BUns
  • Total: 80 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Servings: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
179 Calories
6g Fat
30g Carbs
3g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 179
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 331mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 3g
Calcium 51mg 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 aren't just for Easter Time! The sweet, citrusy rolls are simple to make and are bursting with flavor!

This recipe uses a simple roll dough with the addition of sweet and juicy raisins and bright orange zest! The raisins taste best in the rolls when they have been soaked in a bit of warm water and then drained before adding them to the roll dough. 

Hot cross buns are best served hot out of the oven! Start your Easter Brunch or any brunch off right with a tray of these rolls and some delicious bacon and eggs! 


  • For the Dough:
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) package of active dried yeast (or 2 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast)
  • 1/4 cup water (lukewarm)
  • 1 cup milk (scalded)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of milk

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, these buns are broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Soak the raisins in some warm water for about 20 minutes, or as long as it takes to make the dough. This ensures that they will be moist and delicious in the bread!

  3. Combine the yeast with the lukewarm water and let sit for a few minutes.

  4. Combine the hot, scalded (not boiled!) milk with the butter, sugar, and salt. Allow the butter to melt and the sugar to dissolve in the hot milk. Cool the milk and butter mixture until it is lukewarm.

  5. Combine the lukewarm milk mixture with the water and yeast mixture.

  6. Beat in the egg and the orange zest.

  7. Place the mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer and slowly add in the flour until it is completely incorporated and a soft dough has formed.

  8. Strain the water off of the raisins and add them into the dough. Mix again until the raisins are fully incorporated into the dough. 

  9. Cover the dough and allow to rise for 30 minutes, until the dough has about doubled. 

  10. Cut or divide the dough into 12 equal balls. Form the dough into smooth round balls. Place them snugly in a buttered baking dish, a 13-by-9-inch pan works best.

  11. Cover the pan with a clean dish towel and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.

  12. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

  13. Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Make the Glaze

  1. While the rolls are baking, combine the 1/4 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a small saucepan. Heat on medium until the sugar has dissolved and some of the water has evaporated. 

  2. When the rolls are taken out of the oven, glaze them with the sugar and water mixture. 

  3. Combine the powdered sugar with the milk. It should be rather thick in consistency, add more powdered sugar or milk as needed.

  4. Place the mixture in a piping bag, or a plastic bag with the tip snipped and draw crosses over the top of each bun.

  5. Serve while warm and enjoy!