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+ servings
overhead of twelve hot cross buns on parchment paper with bite taken out of top right bun with white flowers around, a homey comb, jar of jam, citrus juicer, and measuring cup full of raisins

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

Soft, sweet, loaded with flavor, and so delicious! These Traditional Hot Cross Buns are the perfect pastry to make this Easter/Good Friday. A guaranteed crowd pleaser!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 14 mins
Proofing Time 3 hrs
Total Time: 5 hrs 44 mins
Author: Traci

Candied Lemon Peel

  • 1 cup lemon peel
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ⅔ Tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • extra granulated sugar, to toss lemon peel in

Plumped Raisins

  • cup raisins
  • cup spiced rum

Sponge

Buns

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 5 ⅓ teaspoons lemon zest
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 ½ teaspoons honey
  • All of the sponge
  • 6 Tablespoons candied lemon peel, finely chopped
  • cup plumped raisins, drained

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon water

Topping

  • ¾ cup cake flour
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 Tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze

  • ½ cup apricot jam

Candied Lemon Peel

  • Place lemon peel and 1 cup water in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Drain.
  • Return lemon peel to saucepan.
  • Add sugar, corn syrup, and water.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a low simmer.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until lemon peel is translucent, about 30 minutes.
  • Drain.
  • Toss with sugar.
  • Dry by placing in a 250° F oven for 20-30 minutes or leave out for 24 hours.
  • Finely chop. Set aside.

Plumped Raisins

  • Place raisins in a small bowl.
  • Pour rum over the top, making sure to cover raisins completely.
  • Cover. Set aside.

Sponge

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, yeast, and milk.
  • Mix on low speed for 2 minutes.
  • Increase speed to medium for 1 minute.
  • Scrape into a clean bowl.
  • Proof for 1 hour at warm room temperature (80° F). If not using a proofing box with a water tray, cover bowl with plastic wrap.

Buns

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, eggs, butter, honey, and the sponge.
  • Mix on low speed for 4 minutes.
  • Increase speed to high for 4 minutes.
  • Add lemon peel and raisins.
  • Mix on low speed or by hand until combined.
  • Place dough in a clean glass bowl.
  • Proof at warm room temperature (80° F) for 1 hour, or until nearly doubled in bulk. If not using a proofing box with a water tray, make sure to cover the dough with plastic wrap.
  • Line 3 sheet pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Divide the dough into 2 ounce portions, forming into rounds as you go.
  • Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap.
  • Let rest 15 minutes.
  • While dough is resting, make egg wash by whisking together the egg and the water in a small bowl.
  • Reshape each piece of dough into a tight ball.
  • Place 3 inches apart on prepared pans.
  • Brush with egg wash.
  • Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Heat oven to 375° F.
  • Allow dough to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
  • Brush again with egg wash.
  • Allow to dry for 5 minutes.

Topping

  • In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, lemon zest, butter, egg yolk, milk, and vanilla.
  • Add flour.
  • Whisk until smooth.
  • Spoon batter into a piping bag fitted with a #6 tip.
  • Pipe one line vertically and one line horizontally across the top of each bun.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Glaze

  • Place jam in a microwave safe bowl.
  • Microwave on high for 15 seconds, or until jam is melted.
  • Brush on top of hot buns.

Notes

  • The candied lemon peel and plumped raisins can be done several days in advance.
  • The candied lemon peel makes exactly enough for this recipe Though, if you're using store-bought, use 6 Tablespoons.
  • If you don't want to make the raisins in advance, you can put them in the microwave with the liquid for a few seconds!
  • Make sure you use an instant yeast for this recipe.
  • Check the expiration dates on your spices and yeast!
  • While these buns are easy to make, there is a lot of moving parts to this recipe! Plan accordingly.
  • When shaping the dough for the second time, try to get all the raisins on the inside of the dough. If too many raisins are left on the exterior, they might burn when baking.
  • If you don't have a piping bag with tips, you can use a zip-top bag and cut the corner off!
  • Watch these buns while they're in the oven. They made need to be covered to keep from over-browning.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bunCalories: 244kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 5gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 270mgPotassium: 125mgFiber: 2gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 204IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.