Hot Crossed Buns

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Traditional Hot Crossed Buns with a cream cheese icing, brushed with a sweet syrup and filled with juicy raisins. Perfect for your Easter brunch.


I almost forgot all about Easter! Me who loves all holidays and plans for them way in advance, create my menu and get all excited way before the holiday! How is this possible?

Well I’ve been super busy at work and honestly Easter was the last thing on my mind. And to top it off I have a sore throat. But I’m here to make it up to you all and share with you my recipe for my favorite hot crossed buns. After all we can’t celebrate Good Friday without some delicious hot crossed buns.

I love these hot crossed buns, they are so soft and flaky and sweet, they melt in your mouth. This dough is so perfect in every way. You may think I’m weird but I get very excited by dough. Dough to me is like gold, especially this kind of dough that makes these wonderful flaky rolls. They would even be perfect for a bread pudding with leftover buns the next day. Oh and how great they are with a hot cup of milk, or a hot cup of tea. These here, simple perfection. I really think in my other life I was a baker!


Traditionally these hot crossed buns are not made with icing on top, but they are glazed with some syrup. The cross is usually made from just flour and water. But I wanted my buns to be extra special and I made a simple cream cheese icing and used that for my cross.

I chose to do it this way because this is how I remember hot crossed buns to be with a sweet glaze on top. When I was a teenager and worked in a bakery every year for Easter we’d sell these gorgeous hot crossed buns and while I can’t remember what the cross was made from I remember them being sticky and sweet and to die for. That’s how I wanted to make mine and this recipe is the best, at least in my eyes.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Hot Crossed Buns
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 15
For hot crossed buns
  • 1½ cups milk, lukewarm
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 - 4½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup raisins (soaked in rum if preferred)
For syrup glaze
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
For cream cheese icing
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tbsp water
  1. In a small bowl combine the lukewarm milk, sugar and yeast. Stir and let it rest for about 10 minutes until the yeast activates, you will notice bubbles forming.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer add 4 cups of flour, salt and nutmeg. Mix until combined.
  3. Add the eggs and butter to the yeast mixture and stir. Pour the yeast mixture over the flour, and using the dough hook attachment mix for about 5 minutes. Add raisins and continue mixing for another minute. If the dough is too wet add more flour as needed. The dough should be quite soft and elastic. You will know when it's done when it doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl anymore.
  4. In a large bowl add a bit of oil, about a tbsp and place the dough in the bowl, rolling it around so that it gets oil all over, this way it won’t get dry. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. You need to let the dough rise for a couple hours until doubled in size. You can also do my trick where I turn the oven on for about 1 to 2 minutes just until it’s warm in there, and place the bowl in the oven, close the door, make sure you turned off the oven and in about half an hour the dough would have doubled in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I used a roasting pan that's 16x12 inches.
  6. Clean and flour your work surface. Usually I don't add any flour to my work surface because I find it easier to roll the buns on a clean surface, but it's totally up to you. Cut the dough into 15 equal pieces and roll each one. Place the rolls in the pan and cover with a clean damp towel and let them rest for another 30 minutes until doubled in size.
  7. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. While baking make the syrup by mixing the sugar with the water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over low heat. Continue boiling for another minute or until syrup thickens a bit. Set aside.
  9. To make the icing, whisk all the ingredients together and pour in a piping bag and refrigerate until ready to use. If the icing is too thin add more icing sugar, if it's too thick add more water until desired consistency.
  10. When the buns are out of the oven, brush with the sugar syrup. Let cool for about 5 to 10 minutes then pipe the icing over the buns to form a cross.


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  1. Kathy says

    Mine are in the oven as we speak. I also am a fan of yeast risen doughs and this one was an absolute dream to work with. Can’t wait to sink my teeth in to these.

  2. says

    YEEEEESSSSS!!! Maybe a touch over-enthusiastic, but seriously these look so beyond delicious! They are so soft, with raisins and the perfect top…I can hardly stand it! And I couldn’t agree more with your addition of the icing crosses…sooooo much better! Pinned

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