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Classic (and XL!) Hot Cross Buns

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5 from 2 reviews

These Hot Cross Buns are an incredible addition to your Easter table!


Units Scale

For the Dough:

  • 217.5 g (1.5 c) raisins
  • 500 g (2 c) boiling water
  • 325 g (1.33 c) whole milk
  • 1 tbsp yeast (instant or active dry)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 512 g (4 c) all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 50 g (1/4 c) brown sugar
  • 50 g (1/4 c) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange zest (optional)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 57 g (1/4 c) butter

For the Flour Cross:

  • 100 g flour
  • 125 g water water

To Finish:

  • 1/2 c Apricot Preserves (I love Bonne Maman)


  1. Place the raisins in a heat-proof bowl.  Carefully pour the boiling water over the raisins.  Set aside for 10 minutes.  Drain the water from the raisins and place the raisins in a single layer on a clean dish towel or some paper towels.  We want dry raisins for this recipe!
  2. Warm the milk to 113°F to 115°F.  Add the yeast and 1 tsp of granulated sugar.  Combine thoroughly.  Allow yeast to bloom for 8 minutes.  
  3. Place flour in a container by itself and set aside.
  4. Cut butter into 1 tbsp-sized pieces.
  5. Once the yeast has bloomed, add yeast mixture, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar, granulated sugar, orange zest (if using), egg, vanilla, and ~450 g of flour to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Using the dough hook, combine the ingredients until a dough ball begins to form.  Add flour, one tablespoon at a time, if the dough remains sticky after five minutes.  The dough should pass the windowpane test before adding the butter.  At most, this recipe will require 1-2 additional tablespoons of flour, beyond the original 512 grams.  However, it’s possible that you won’t need all of the flour!
  6. Once the dough passes the windowpane test, add the butter, one tablespoon at a time.  Mix each pat of butter until it’s fully incorporated into the dough.
  7. After all the butter has been added, knead with the dough hook until a supple dough forms.  The dough should not be shiny and it should again pass the windowpane test.
  8. Add the raisins to the dough.  On lowest speed, combine the raisins until they are uniformly incorporated into the dough.  This could take 1-2 minutes on lowest speed.  Don’t increase the speed of your mixer, because the raisins might break into pieces.  Patience, Friend.
  9. Place the dough in a greased bowl and loosely cover it with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise for an hour and ten minutes, or until it passes the finger poke test.
  10. Split the dough into either eight (for XL) or twelve equal pieces (a digital kitchen scale works amazingly for this task!) and shape into balls.  Place each ball 1″ from its neighbor in a 9″x13″x baking dish.  Need help with shaping?  Watch my video that shows my techniques for bread making by hand here!
  11. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rise for 45 minutes.  While the dough is rising, make the flour paste for the crosses and heat your oven to a true 375°F.
  12. To make the flour paste, add the 100 g of flour and 125 g of water to a small bowl.  Stir until completely combined.  The final texture of the flour paste should be thick, but pipeable.
  13. Place the flour mixture in a gallon-sized freezer bag.  Cut a tiny hole at the tip of the bag.  Smaller than you think you need!  Pipe crosses onto the buns and bake immediately.
  14. Bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes (28-35 minutes for XL buns), or until the buns are a deep golden brown.  While the buns are baking, prepare the apricot preserves.
  15. To prepare the apricot preserves, place them in a microwave-safe container. Microwave until melted, or about a minute.
  16. Once the buns are out of the oven, brush them immediately with the apricot preserves.
  17. Enjoy warm!


  1. Bread baking is as much an art as a science.  So, the amount of flour that you need for this recipe might vary.  Variations in humidity, protein content, and many other things will impact how much you need.  BUT you should not need more than 1-2 tbsp more than the recipe calls for.  Want to be absolutely confident with your flour?  Use a digital kitchen scale to measure it!
  • Author: Shani