Cooked hot cross buns on a wire rack.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Good Friday is traditionally the day when Hot Cross Buns are eaten… that’s not to say you can’t eat (or make) them at other times! Hot cross Buns are one of those things that are great to keep in the freezer for when you have hungry teenagers asking ‘what’s for snack?’! 😛

Cooked and glazed hot cross buns on a wire rack.
Hot Cross Buns

I’m actually eating one now as I write this – just the smell of the spices and the warm sweet fruit goes perfectly with my cup of tea. I’m eating mine plain gently warmed through (okay, I made it a bit too hot and I’m impatient to eat it) but I also love them split and toasted with a smidgen of butter… or melted chocolate! How do you eat yours?

Split hot cross bun covered in melted chocolate on a flower patterned plate.
Hot Cross Bun with Chocolate

Hot Cross Bun Memories

My first memories of Hot Cross Buns are many many years ago at my best friends house. I will always remember being in her kitchen when her Mum had trays and trays of buns proving. I was astounded that anyone would actually make them when you could buy them at the bakers, and thought it was a great faff! Now, over 30 years later of course I know that homemade is always best and the satisfaction of making something which everyone enjoys is beyond compare! Oh and of course, you get that totally amazing smell in the kitchen, wafting through the whole house!

Hot cross buns on a teflon sheet ready to bake.
Hot Cross Buns ready to bake

How do you make hot cross buns look authentic?

Recipes will always differ in the way you put the crosses on the buns! I used to make the buns, then add crosses afterwards. What I’ve discovered is if you make a simple flour and water paste and drip (or pipe if you wish) the crosses on pre-baking, that is the best way! Whilst the buns are still warm, you then brush them with a glaze. You can use simple sugar water, or maple syrup, or, as we did this time, melted sugar free apricot jam.

Hot cross buns stacked in a pile on a clear tray.
Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Bun Recipe

So, now you are all excited by these luscious buns and the thought of the smell wafting through the house, let’s check out the recipe!

5 from 4 votes
Cooked hot cross buns on a wire rack.
Hot Cross Buns
Keyword: breads, easter, hot cross buns
Serves: 12 buns
Created by:: Laurena @LifeDietHealth
  • 2 tablespoons linseeds / flaxseeds (or sub 2 eggs/favourite egg replacer)
  • 6 tablespoons water (for use with linseeds only)
  • 500 g plain flour
  • 10 g salt
  • 50 g sugar
  • 7 g dry yeast (check you can mix it in dry)
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon mixed spice (older spices have less taste)
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon (older spices have less taste)
  • 50 g butter (we used Vitalite)
  • 200 g dried fruit – raisins, sultanas, currants (or sub dry mincemeat mixed with a spoon of flour)
  • 225 ml milk (see notes) (flax egg or alternative & milk make to 300ml)
  • for the crosses…
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2-4 tablespoons cold water
  • 1-2 tablespoons apricot jam / maple syrup warmed
  1. Prepare your flax egg by mixing the flaxseeds with the water and setting aside. If using an alternative egg, prepare ready for use. Weigh your egg mix so you will have 300ml liquid in total (e.g. flax egg should be 75g, so milk will be 225ml)

  2. In a large bowl mix flour, salt, sugar, yeast, mixed spice and cinnamon.

  3. Rub the butter through the flour mix, then sprinkle in the dried fruit and ensure it is all broken up into individual pieces. (If you don't have dried fruit, you can use a jar of mincemeat – try and get the driest part without any liquid and make it drier by mixing some flour in before adding to your flour mix).

  4. Make up your flaxegg (or alternative) and milk mix to 300ml and pour into the flour mix. This will get messy! Use your hands to combine everything together! Keep mixing!

  5. Tip everything out onto a clean worktop and start kneading the dough. You can pull it, fold it, stretch it, punch it and squish it! Just keep working it all together for 10 minutes (yes, this is also a workout! 😛 ) Set a timer – 10 minutes no less!

  6. Put the dough back into the bowl (you can wash it or not). Cover the bowl with something such as a silicon cover, lightweight chopping board or shower cap. Then cover that with a clean tea-towel. Set aside (somewhere warm) for at least one hour.

  7. Check your dough – it should have doubled in size, if not, leave it a bit longer. Prepare your baking trays (we use a tray lined with a silicon sheet). We used 1 large, 1 small tray. Take the dough out and divide in half, then half again. Cut each piece into three and shape into a ball in your hands. Try and get a smooth surface on the top, then place the bun on the tray. Repeat. Cover the trays again as before and leave for another hour.

  8. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7 (425f / 220c). Mix the 2 tablespoons of flour with the 4 tablespoons water until you have a smooth dropping consistency. When the buns have finished proving, using a spoon (unless you want to be a perfectionist, then you can use a piping bag!) drizzle a cross on the top of each bun.

  9. Bake the buns in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes. They should be golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and leave on the trays. Gently heat your glaze and brush over each bun. Remove from the trays and allow to cool on a wire rack.

  10. Serve as they are, split and toasted, with jam, butter or chocolate spread! Store covered for 3 days or freeze (wrapped) for up to a month.

  11. Enjoy!

What do I need to make Hot Cross Buns?

Split from top to bottom fresh hot cross bun showing the fluffy inside. On a white flower patterned plate.
Hot Cross Buns

Look at that delicious fluffy inside! 😀 Don’t you just want to make these!

Here a few things which would help you! 🙂 We do receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase through these links – this helps with our site fees! Thank you! 🙂

Come on… you know you want one! or two! 😛

Cooked hot cross buns stacked on a clear tray.
Hot Cross Buns

Other Hot Cross Bun Ideas

So, this of course, isn’t the first recipe for hot cross buns on Life Diet Health! Last year we posted this amazing Hot Cross Bun Loaf and we also made Hot Cross Bun Muffins! 😀 We love anything Hot Cross Bun!?

Ideas for lockdown

While the world is still in this difficult phase, here are a few new things to keep you occupied! Tonight (Friday 10th April) at 7pm UK time, you can watch the Musical Jesus Christ Superstar (and for 48 hours afterwards).

I’ve also recently discovered that you can watch all sorts of wildlife webcams including Owls, Falcons and Badgers! If you missed my posts the last couple of weeks, there are loads of links on them of things to do too – places to visit, exercise to join in with, things to learn, etc. Check them out by clicking the links below (scroll to the bottom of each post):

Stay safe, stay happy.

Potato, aubergine & chickpea bake

Banana Muffins

Fiesta Friday

One last thing! This week I am co-hosting again over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday. I haven’t been over there for a while so I’m excited to see everyone again! 🙂 I’m co-hosting with my lovely friend Jhuls from The Not So Creative Cook. Why not come over and see us and join in… this is Fiesta Friday #323! Wow!

Other Blog Parties

This week you’ll also find me blog-hopping at the following link-ups.

Weekend Potluck

Cooked hot cross bun on a white flower patterned plate. Mug of tea behind the bun - mug says 'nice cup of tea'
Hot Cross Bun

If you’ve read all the way to here, thank you! 😛 Oh look, here’s a hot cross bun song! 😛

As always, remember that if you do have a go at making these hot cross buns or any of our recipes, please share your photos using the hashtag #LifeDietHealth or tag us @LifeDietHealth on instagram. If you’re not following us everywhere already, then have a look and see what we’re up to on InstagramPinterestTwitter and Facebook! We’d love you to join us! Don’t forget to subscribe here as well so you get your free weekly recipe straight to your inbox! ? 

Have a fantastic weekend! Make the long weekend like a real weekend – check out some of the online activities and bake hot cross buns! Drop me a line below and let me know what you’re up to! 😀 Speak soon!

Speak soon

Laurena x


  • Irene 10th April 2020 at 15:58

    I love hot cross buns!

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 10th April 2020 at 15:59

      Thanks Irene! Have you ever made your own?

      • Eva Gallon 11th April 2020 at 10:54

        Hi Laurena, I’m not sure if it’s because we live in a rural area but it appears to be ok to go out and about on hikes, cycling and jogging (although I’m surprised the latter is still allowed, all that panting can’t be hygienic when they pass you!!) Not seen any police patrolling around here. Re the supermarkets, there’s been a new rule that you have to go in with a trolley even if you don’t need one?Surely that makes things even more problematic, touching it when you could have just grabbed the two or three items you need? Maybe there’s some logic to it I’m not yet aware of lol

        • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 11th April 2020 at 11:32

          Eva, I’ve not been to a supermarket yet! I’m aware there are queues to get in and as I don’t do standing for longer than necessary (read about 5 minutes at a time), then I would be worn out before I even got inside! 🙁 I’ve seen a few police cars outside – there do seem to be more people than necessary walking about! Yesterday I saw 4 people walk past, 2 go into a house, then 2 come back past! One of them had fingers all over her face and in her mouth too! Shocking when the rules say stay home and only socialise with those in your own homes! Hope you get to enjoy the weather this weekend then! 🙂 x

  • Eva Gallon 11th April 2020 at 08:00

    Well done Laurena, these look lovely? (no, I’ve never made my own but I think you knew that?). Ahh, I miss the M&S apple-spiced ones. Hope you’re all well and have a lovely extended weekend, although this year is very different of course…

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 11th April 2020 at 08:56

      Thank you Eva? I’m going to teach you to make bread!? (& then hot cross buns will be easy)!??An apple spiced variety sounds delicious… and I have apples! I hope you both manage to have a great weekend too- are you allowed out much?

  • Rosemary 11th April 2020 at 09:53

    These hot cross buns look delicious. I love them but have never made them before but am definitely going to give it a go as we get through A LOT in our house with lots of hungry teenagers!

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 11th April 2020 at 09:55

      Thanks Rosemary! You should definitely make some – let me know how they turn out! Oh… how many is LOTS of hungry teenagers!? We get through a lot (of sanity too 😛 ) with just one teenager in the house at the minute!

  • Beth F 11th April 2020 at 11:25

    I have a yeast order in and it’s supposed to come this week. I think these buns are going to have to be on my list.

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 11th April 2020 at 11:34

      Excellent Beth! Hopefully your yeast arrives soon! Thankfully we had some yeast in (& we have a couple of sourdough starters too) and managed to get some more by post! You should definitely make these as they are so delicious! Have a fantastic weekend!

  • zeba 11th April 2020 at 17:26

    These look absolutely amazing and I am going to give them a try this weekend!

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 11th April 2020 at 17:49

      Hello Zeba, thank you!? Let me know how they turn out… I’d love to see a photo!⭐Have a fabulous weekend.

  • Liz 11th April 2020 at 20:04

    These look delicious. And thank you for all the links, great suggestions and I can’t wait to watch. Stay safe and thank you for cohosting FF.

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 11th April 2020 at 20:19

      Thank you Liz. I hope you’re keeping well. Stay safe.

  • Dee | Grammy's Grid 11th April 2020 at 23:08

    Oh YUM, they look good!! Thanks so much for linking up with me at my #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 11, open April 1 to 26. All entries shared on social media if share buttons installed. I’d like to invite you to check out my other current link parties too!

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 12th April 2020 at 00:37

      Thank you Dee… have you ever made hot cross buns? Yes, I’ll check out some more of your link parties soon! Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Speak again soon.

  • Angie | Fiesta Friday 17th April 2020 at 04:35

    Yay, hot cross buns! I’m drooling all over since I didn’t get any this year, so sad… Thanks for cohosting! If you can find the time to do it again in May, I’d sure appreciate it. Just let me know!

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 17th April 2020 at 10:01

      Thank you Angie! I wish I could have sent you some… these were so good! Yes, I can co-host again soon – it’s not like I’m going anywhere :p ! Our current lock-down is until at least 7th May! xxx

  • Three different ways to get your delicious hot cross bun flavour ⭐ Life Diet Health 14th April 2022 at 13:48

    […] a traditional hot cross bun, as you would expect, packed with fruit, full flavours of spice and a soft squishy […]


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