Hot Cross Buns With Icing

Hot Cross Buns at Easter
Maria Burmistrova/Shutterstock


1 cup milk, scalded
1/2 cup sugar
8 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 yeast cake dissolved in 1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 egg, well beaten
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup dried currants (or, raisins)
1/4 cup shredded citron
pinch of ground cloves
1 egg, well beaten
confectioners' sugar and milk


Combine the milk, sugar, butter, and salt. When lukewarm, add the yeast cake dissolved in water. Add the egg and mix well. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, and cloves, add the currants and citron, and mix thoroughly. Add to the wet ingredients and mix well. Cover and let rise in a warm place (75-85 degrees F) until doubled in bulk. Shape into round buns and place close together in a well buttered pan. Let rise again. Brush the top of each bun with beaten egg. Make a cross on each bun with a sharp knife. Bake in a hot oven (400 degrees F) for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and make crosses with a mixture of the confectioners’ sugar and milk.


10–12 buns

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Hot Cross Buns

Since I come from an English family; most of whom still live in England, and I was raised on these every Easter, I will say that traditionally they are eaten from Good Friday through to Easter Sunday. Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent; and there is no sugar or risen goods eaten for forty days (hence Pancake Tuesday the day before). But this recipe has far too much spice in it; and we do not traditionally put icing crosses on the buns. Instead, a cross is cut into each bun gently before baking, and then checking it for rising about halfway through the baking time. After that, a mixture of either water and sugar or milk and sugar is brushed on the top to make a shiny and somewhat sweet taste, without over doing the sugar. There are many bakeries here in America though that have all kind of things in them; even lemon icing crosses on the tops. They might taste good, but are not authentic.

Hot Cross Buns

Wonderful, basic traditional recipe but we've always known of Hot Cross Buns to be served at the beginning of Lent, on Ash Wednesday. That is when commercial bakeries premiere their hot cross buns in grocery stores and when local bakeries feature theirs as well. We are here in northern NJ in the NYC tristate area. Happy Easter to all !


What is a yeast cake????

hot cross buns

if you want the traditional white stripe mix a little flour and water to make stiffish paste and pipe across the cross before baking

Hot cross buns

Last bit about another egg and this a topping.

Hot Cross Bun Recipe

How many buns does this recipe make and what is the nutrional information ?

Is it a one ounce of two

Is it a one ounce of two ounce cake of yeast?

It seems at least one step

It seems at least one step has been left out. Should I combine the wet and dry ingredients before allowing to rise?

...also How many buns does

...also How many buns does this recipe make and how much milk and sugar are needed to make the crosses?