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5 from 3 votes

Hot Cross Buns

Tender, soft Hot Cross Buns with a spiced dough with raisins are a traditional Easter recipe.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Rising Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 15
Calories: 361kcal
Author: Julie Evink



  • 1 packet active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
  • ¾ c. warm milk about 105-110 degrees F
  • ¼ c. granulated sugar
  • 3-3 ½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ c. unsalted butter softened
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 c. raisins plumped in hot water and drained


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • Icing
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 4-5 teaspoons milk


  • In a small bowl, add milk and sugar, sprinkle yeast over the top of mixture. Let set until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour, cinnamon, allspice and salt.
  • Then create a well in the center of flour mixture. Add yeast mixture, butter and eggs.
  • Mix together using a stand mixer or wooden spoon until well combined.
  • Stir in plumped raisins until well incorporated.
  • Turn dough onto floured surface to knead or use the dough hook on stand mixer to knead the dough.
  • Add more flour if it is sticky a little at a time. Form a ball and place back into mixing bowl.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm area to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Coat 13x9 inch baking dish with butter.
  • Punch down dough and turn onto floured surface. Then divide dough evenly and shape into balls, about 14-16 dough balls.
  • Place balls on baking sheet, cover with towel and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Optional: score the top of the rolls using a knife with a cross pattern
  • In a small bowl, whisk together glaze ingredients until smooth then brush over the top of the buns.
  • Place in preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees F or until lightly browned.
  • Remove from oven and let cool slightly, transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for icing, it should be thin enough to pipe onto buns easily but not too thin.
  • Transfer to plastic bag and snip off the corner of the bag. Pipe a cross onto each bun. Allow icing to set to firm up.
  • Store in airtight container


Yeast Tips: Before you make the rolls, double-check the expiration date for the yeast. If it’s expired, toss it and use a new packet. Also, be sure to use warm milk between 105 to 110°F – if it’s too hot, it can kill the yeast. If it’s too cold, it might not activate.
You don’t need a stand mixer! It is a lot easier to make and knead the dough with a mixer, but you can mix the dough with a spoon and knead it by hand. It will just take longer.
Storage Tip: Hot cross buns will keep in an airtight container for two to three days. I wouldn’t’ make them more than a day in advance – that way they’re really fresh when you serve them


Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 180mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 170IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 3mg