5 Delicious (and Easy) Hot Cross Bun Recipes to Make At Home

5 Delicious (and Easy) Hot Cross Bun Recipes to Make At Home
Contributor: Lifehacker Australia

For a nostalgic take on Easter this year, why not try your hand at a hot cross bun recipe at home? Whether it’s baking them the traditional way or giving them a modern-day twist, we’ve got you covered with some great recipes.

Pair them with one of these Easter-inspired cocktails, or a few leftover chocolate treats and you’ll be sorted for this holiday.

What are hot cross buns and why are they eaten on Easter?

Hot cross bun recipe
Hot cross bun recipe. Getty Images

Maybe your family had a different tradition on Easter and hot cross buns weren’t a thing in your house. It might be time to change things up because these delicious treats are a must-have.

A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with either currants or raisins, frosted on top in the shape of a cross and traditionally eaten on Good Friday to mark the end of Lent, the period when the consumption of animal products is forbidden.

The cross on top of the bun signifies the crucifixion of Jesus and the spices used to make the hot cross bun signify the spices used to prepare his body for burial.

Easy hot cross bun recipes to try at home

Traditional hot cross bun recipe

If you’re making hot cross buns for the first time, maybe you want to go with a traditional recipe and have a familiar taste on the menu to bring back those fond childhood memories. Maggie Beer, the famous Aussie chef known for her farm shop and restaurant in Barossa Valley, has a great recipe for you so that you can easily ditch the store-bought stuff.

What you’ll need:

For the dough

  • 4 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 2 x 7g dried yeast
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cup currants
  • 40g butter
  • 300 ml milk
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 4 tbsp water

For the glaze

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 tbsp Maggie’s orchard apricot jam or a suitable substitute)


  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spice, salt and currants. Take a small pan and melt butter over medium heat and add the milk. Keep it on heat for a minute or until the mix is lukewarm. Now add the warm milk mixture to the bowl which has all your dry ingredients.
  2. Combine your dough with a flat-bladed knife until it almost comes together. Clean and pat your hands dry to finish mixing to a soft dough. Then, spread flour on a flat surface and knead the dough on it for about 10 minutes or until it’s smooth.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl and cover it with clingfilm. Set it aside in a warm place and let it rise for the next one to one-and-a-half hours or until the dough is double its size.
  4. Once the dough is ready, punch it down on a floured surface for about 30 seconds until smooth. Then divide it into 12 equal portions and place the pieces (1cm apart) on a large baking tray laced with baking paper. Lightly oil a piece of clingfilm and cover the tray, setting it aside in a warm spot for 30 minutes or until the buns double in size.
  5. Next, pre-heat your fan oven to 170C before making your flour paste. Add in 4 table spoons of water to a 1/2 cup of plain flour until the mixture is smooth. Add in a bit more water if it’s too thick. Put the paste in a piping bag and pipe it over the buns to form crosses. Place the tray in your pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes (or until the buns are cooked to perfection).
  6. While you wait for the buns to cook, it’s time to make the glaze. Place water and jam in a saucepan and stir until the jam fully dissolves. Bring to boil and then remove from heat after three to four minutes. Once the buns come out of the oven, brush over the glaze and either serve them warm or at room temperature.

Cheese and chive hot cross buns

jamie oliver hot cross bun
Image: Jamie Oliver

It may seem controversial but Jamie Oliver’s recipe for savoury cheese and chive hot cross buns sure looks good. Here’s how you can try it for yourself.

What you’ll need:

  • 200mL semi-skimmed milk
  • 55g unsalted butter
  • 2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast
  • 455g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 180g Cheddar Cheese
  • 180g red Leicester cheese
  • 1 bunch (20g) fresh chives

Find the full method for cheese and chive hot cross buns here.

Cheesecake pots

Image: Woolworths

Let’s get creative with our Hot Cross Bun recipes. Woolworths has given us this unique twist on the classic treat that combines a cheesecake pot with delicious hot cross buns.

What you’ll need:

  • 500g light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar mixture, sifted (plus 2 tsp extra to serve )
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 6 chocolate hot cross buns, cut horizontally into thirds
  • 250g strawberries, hulled, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chocolate syrup


  1. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, icing sugar, mixed spice and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth.
  2. Place bun bases in 6 x 8cm wide x 8cm deep glasses. Top each with 2 heaped tbs cream cheese mixture. Top with a few strawberries, then drizzle with syrup. Repeat layering with bun centres, remaining cream cheese mixture, strawberries and syrup, finishing with bun tops. Serve dusted with extra icing sugar.

Hot cross bun chip recipe

hot cross bun recipes
Image supplied

This novel idea for Hot Cross Bun chips comes from Chep and Philips Kitchen ambassador Elle Vernon who has found a way to combine the faithful air fryer with sweet buns.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 traditional fruit hot cross buns
  • 50g butter, melted
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 Tbsp raw sugar
  • ¼ cup store-bought chocolate sauce


  1. Cut each bun in half widthways, then each half into 3 batons.
  2. Place into a bowl and drizzle over half of the butter. Toss, drizzle over remaining butter and toss again.
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top, and toss to coat.
  4. Combine sugars on a dinner plate.
  5. In batches, press batons in the sugar mixture to coat on all sides.
  6. Arrange batons in a single layer, in the basket of the Philips XXL airfryer with Smart Sensing Technology. Set temperature to 180C and time to 8 minutes, cooking until golden.
  7. Serve hot, with chocolate sauce on the side to dip in as desired.

Cheesy melt

hot cross bun recipes
Image: Woolworths

Another savoury take on Hot Cross Buns? Say it ain’t so! Woolworths has come through again with this hack that turns your average hot cross bun into a delicious toasted snack.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 avocado, peeled, sliced
  • 1 pinch freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 6 brioche-style fruit hot cross buns, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup light tasty cheese, grated
  • 1 pinch sea salt ground (to taste)


  1. Preheat grill to 180°C.
  2. Place hot cross buns on a lined baking tray with the cut sides facing up and top with cheeses.
  3. Grill for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and buns are golden.
  4. Top melted cheese with a few slices of avocado, salt and pepper. Serve.

There you have it, a collection of hot cross bun recipe options to take you through the next few Easter seasons smoothly. And if you happen to over-prepare in the bun department, here’s a recipe for bread and butter pudding using leftover hot cross buns.

This article has been updated since its original publication.

Lead Image Credit: iStock

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