Home » Recipes » Breads and Muffins » Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns are wonderfully spiced yeast bread rolls studded with raisins and drizzled with cream cheese glaze in the form of a cross. Such a classic Easter recipe.

Nine Hot Cross Buns on a baking sheet.


What are Hot Cross Buns?

They are yeast rolls that are slightly sweet and flavored with a few spices and either raisins, currants, or dried fruit. A cross, usually made from icing, decorates them and makes them easily recognizable. They are a traditional Good Friday treat.

If you haven’t eaten a Hot Cross Bun before, they are a little like a slightly sweet and spiced dinner roll with a soft, but somewhat dense texture.

These rolls are flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. A delicious combination.

Hot Cross Buns in baking pan.


How to Make Hot Cross Buns:

  1. Mix together the yeast dough. You’ll need an electric mixer with a paddle attachment.
  2. Knead the dough. Either by hand or with your stand mixer.
  3. First Rise. Place the dough in a bowl and let rise until doubled.
  4. Second Rise. Shape into 15 balls and let rise a second time until doubled.
  5. Bake. They should take 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Brush with sugar syrup when you take them out of the oven.
  7. Let cool and then pipe on the glaze.

Recipe Tips:

I prefer currants instead of raisins but sometimes they are hard to find.

Best eaten fresh out of the oven.

How to Make Ahead: Follow all the steps through shaping the dough into balls. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the oven about 2 hours before you are ready to bake them.

Single Hot Cross Roll on a plate.

More Easter Recipes:

Nine Hot Cross Buns on a baking sheet.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns are wonderfully spiced yeast bread rolls studded with raisins and drizzled with cream cheese glaze in the form of a cross. Such a classic Easter recipe.



  • 3/4 cup whole milk, warmed to 110 degrees
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast, (1 standard packet)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons salted butter, softened and cut into 5 pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup raisins


  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar


  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-3 teaspoons whole milk


  • Combine the milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar in a small bowl. Let sit 5 minutes.
  • Place yeast mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer.
    Add brown sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and 1 cup flour.
    Beat on LOW speed for 30 seconds. (You can use either the dough hook or the paddle attachment.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the rest of the flour and raisins. Beat on Medium speed for 2 minutes.
    Dough should be sticky, but it should pull away from the sides of the bowl. If it doesn't add more flour 1 tablespoon of a time.
  • Knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes. OR you can beat it at medium speed in the electric mixer for 2 more minutes.
  • Lightly grease a large bowl with oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat it with oil. Cover and let rise for 1 to 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  • Grease a 9x13-inch pan. Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces and shape each one into a ball. Place in the prepared pan.
    Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Bake rolls for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Bring the water and granulated sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Let boil for a few minutes to thicken.
    Brush the tops of the rolls with syrup.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla.
    Whisk in enough milk to get it a good piping consistency.
  • Place cream cheese glaze in a plastic zip top bag. Snip the corner and pipe a cross on each roll.


Calories: 286kcal
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easter, rolls, yeast rolls

Want to Save This Recipe?

Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Hot Cross Buns

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

I accept the Privacy Policy

1 thought on “Hot Cross Buns”

Scroll to Top