Hot Cross Buns

With the sweltering heat in Johannesburg I regretted making Hot Cross Buns. Halfway through I honestly wanted to quit.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns on a cooling rack

But as you all should know by now I am no quitter. Seeing how long my blog is going, despite the ups and downs should tell you something.

In a couple of weeks I will be celebrating 6 years of blogging. I can’t believe I have been doing this for that long.

Clearly I love what I do. If I didn’t I promise I would have quit.

I am the kind of person that gets bored easily. But how can anyone get bored creating recipes and eating…haha!

There’s something about making bread that gives me so much comfort. I honestly think I sold bread in my past life.

Just the thought of working with dough makes me so happy.  These Hot Cross Buns definitely put a smile on my face. 

My hubby popped home to drop off my son today and he is a sucker for freshly baked bread of any sort.

You should have seen the smile on his face when I lathered some with butter and handed it to him. He ate two and said he could honestly eat more but he is watching his weight so he had to resist.

And he eats them with butter and cheese. I am not sure about that combination or maybe I am just boring.

I have many bread lovers in our home, including little Max, our naughty but oh so lovable Jack Russell. I baked another bread too.

Max was standing in the kitchen growling at me until I gave him a piece of freshly baked bread with butter. Yes it has to have a spread of butter.

Lets talk about the Hot Cross Bun

I have seen so many recipes on the internet where the buns are huge. The ones I made are a normal size, at least what we call normal here in SA.

So if it’s not enough for your family I suggest you make two batches. One batch which consists of 12 buns is enough for us.

Because I am obsessed with simple, easy recipes I only use the dry instant yeast. I don’t have the patience for anything else.

If you are using Active Dry Yeast it has to be dissolved in warm liquid and once it gets foamy you add in your dry ingredients.

Fresh yeast gets crumbled and also dissolved in some liquid. 

This recipe uses basic ingredients, the only thing you may not have lying is probably some sultanas/raisins and if you’re not into spice then maybe you need to get that.

How to make Hot Cross Buns

Yes, making the buns is a little bit of a task but so worth it in the end.

Firstly you will mix your dry ingredients together, then add your wet ingredients and the sultanas/raisins.

You can knead the dough by hand, should take about 10-12 minutes. I use the stand mixer and it took me about 10 minutes.

I personally feel kneading a little longer, not over kneading, does relax the gluten and the result is a soft, delicious Hot Cross Bun.

Baking the Buns

It take about 20-25 minutes to bake. Mine took 23 minutes to be exact.

The buns will be golden brown on top. 

Once out the oven you can brush it with some apricot jam, that’s heated in the microwave for 20 seconds. This gives the buns a lovely glossy top.

I was trying to capture photos but didn’t realise my camera didn’t have a card in. So of course, I lost some of my best photos because half the buns was already eaten.

In a few days I could have possibly made the Hot Cross Buns again and captured new photos. However, these photos is a reminder that life doesn’t always work out as perfectly as we want.

Sometimes it’s ok to make mistakes and it’s also okay to show our imperfections. These photos will do until I decide I want to re-capture them.

More Recipes to try:

Easy Braided Bread

Soft Brioche Hamburger Buns

Easy Homemade Crescent Rolls

Hot Cross Buns on a cooling rack

Hot Cross Buns

Super soft and delicious with just the right amount of spice
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine Western
Servings 12


  • 2&1/2 cups cake flour or all purpose flour plus 1/4 cup extra See Note 1
  • 1&1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 50 grams butter soft
  • 1/2 cup sultanas/raisins
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 3 tablespoon water


  • 2 teaspoon apricot jam
  • 1/2 teaspoon water


  • Ad the sultanas/raisins to a bowl and pour in some boiling water. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, drain the water and set aside.
  • Place all the dry ingredients in a stand mixer of large bowl. Mix well
  • Mix the soft butter with the warm milk and add it to the dry ingredients together with the egg. Add the sultanas/raisins
  • Start mixing on a low speed, on my kitchen aid it is speed 2. Once the flour is combined with the wet ingredients increase to a medium speed and knead for 10 minutes. You can also knead the dough by hand, should take between 10 and 12 minutes. If the dough is too sticky you can add a tablespoon of flour and add more only if required. You still want a very soft dough but not sticky
  • When the dough is ready it will pull away from the sides of the bowl
  • Grease a large bowl and place the dough into the bowl, rubbing some oil on the dough as well. Cover with a clean Kitchen towel and allow to rest in a warm place until it has doubled in size. Should take about an hour to an hour and a half depending on the weather and environment
  • Once the dough has risen remove the kitchen towel and punch to deflate
  • Knead the dough lightly and divide the dough into 12 equal pieces
  • Pinch the ends of the dough to gather in the centre and roll in your palms to create a neat round ball
  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius
  • Place the dough in a lined baking tray and cover again with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for another 20-30 minutes or until the dough has risen again
  • Pipe the crosses on top of the buns and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown
  • Mix the water and apricot jam and microwave for 20 seconds. Brush this on top of the hot cross buns whilst they are still warm. Remove the hot cross buns from the pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack


  • To make the crossed mix the flour with the water. Add the water a little at a time to form a runny paste, not too runny or too thick. Adjust the water as required


  1. You can use bread flour for this recipe. I use cake flour for most breads because it's more easily accessible to the majority
  2. To help my dough rise, especially in cooler weather I heat the oven, at the lowest temperature for just a few minutes and I turn it off. That was the oven gets warm, not hot and allows the dough to rise faster
Keyword easter recipes, easy hot cross buns, hot cross buns
Tried this recipe?Mention @tamarindnthyme


And this is our Max, looking very content with himself after demanding a piece of bread WITH butter.

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