Every year there is the same debate: how early is too early for hot cross buns? It’s never too early if you ask me. They’re delicious all year round. but the real question should be: how do you use up leftover hot cross buns when Easter is over?
Unless you’ve got a chest freezer — one of those big boys that is very much your friend when it comes to bulk cooking and meal prep — then the smallish freezer attached to your fridge will fill up pretty quick if you stock it with hot cross buns.
I know because one year I got given dozens and dozens of hot cross buns, and when my freezer became overloaded I had to find other ways to use them up.
Side note: I hate food waste. I partly blame/credit my dad on this front because when we were growing up he had a rule whenever we went to Sizzler that whatever you put on your plate you had to eat. All you can eat came with responsibilities, and it’s stuck with me.
Anyway, back to the hot cross buns. I decided to use up half a dozen in the most delicious way: bread and butter pudding. Not only can you use any variety of hot cross buns — traditional, chocolate, coffee, fruitless, whatever takes your fancy — but you can dress them up however you like, and use up some leftover Easter eggs in the process.
How to make Hot Cross Bun Bread & Butter Pudding
6 hot cross buns
1/3 cup caster sugar
Extras to add your own flair: butter, jam or marmalade, frozen berries, chocolate eggs
Preheat your oven to 160C (keep in mind that all ovens are different — mine, for example, tends to be hotter than what the thermostat says).
Cut each of the hot cross buns in half and spread with your choice of butter, jam or marmalade. I used raspberry jam with chocolate buns, but orange or mandarin marmalade would be great with traditional buns, too.
Place all six buns into a baking dish (best go with one that is high enough so the custard mixture doesn’t overflow), and in the gaps you can place frozen berries and/or small chocolate Easter eggs. I went with raspberries and white chocolate in my choc-tastic number. Milk chocolate eggs would be amazing in the traditional and marmalade number.
Whisk the eggs, cream and sugar together and slowly pour it over the buns. Leave it for 30 minutes so that every bun soaks up that custard mix.
Place the baking dish in a roasting pan with enough water to come half-way up the dish. Bake for 35 minutes or until the pudding is set (if it jiggles a lot, it isn’t set). If you have a super sweet tooth you can dust with icing sugar.
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