We couldn't get to these dates without the recipe for Hot Cross Buns , those delicious typical Easter buns, filled with raisins and marked with that cross that makes them so recognizable, so pretty and so tempting. The truth is that there are many stories that surround them, Rosa (author of Pemberley Cup&Cakes ) tells us some of them -You will see how beautiful!-, and brings us this delicious recipe so that you can make them at home too. Very happy Easter!

I have to tell you that on this occasion I am especially excited to bring you this recipe and thus be able to share it with you. Hot cross buns , for those of you who don't know them yet, are tender, slightly sweet, spiced buns garnished with raisins and crowned with a characteristic cross-shaped mark on top. It is a traditional recipe of British cuisine, typical for Easter, which has been regularly consumed and since time immemorial for breakfast on Good Friday. But the thing does not stop there.

As it happens with most of the recipes with history, today there are several versions that try to account for its origin. One of the most popular refers to the custom of a 12th century Anglican monk who began to mark the rolls he baked with a cross to celebrate the fact that it was Good Friday. Others argue that this distinctive cross has no connection to Christianity, but dates back to Celtic culture and represents the intersection of earth with heaven, of the human with the divine. It has been said that it even symbolizes the four elements of nature (earth, fire, water and air) and even the four phases of the moon.

As a curious fact —I love these things— Queen Elizabeth I promulgated a decree in 1592 prohibiting its sale beyond Good Friday, at funerals or at Christmas (some say with the intention of stopping references Catholic, others so that their supposed curative or beneficial properties would not be exhausted by abusive use). If someone was caught ignoring this measure, they were forced to donate all their "illegal" buns to the poor. So people got used to making them at home. But its popularity only grew and the law became increasingly difficult to apply, so it was finally repealed. Today, they are for sale throughout the year.

Whatever their origin, symbology or mishaps, these hot cross buns have always given rise to a whole series of superstitions and legends, such as the fact that the buns baked on Good Friday are kept fresh throughout the year, or that if they are hung in the kitchen, they will protect the house from evil spirits and fires. Sailors used to take them with them when embarking to protect them from shipwrecks and even peasants hid them among their crops to scare away rats and other pests. It is also believed that sharing one of these buns with a loved one ensures a good relationship for a whole year.

Once properly presented, I think it's time for me to leave you with the recipe for these emblematic hot cross buns, based on that of one of the most followed and revered British bakers today, Paul Merry. I really hope you enjoy them!

Laura Ashley porcelain stand , Laura Ashley dish towels , Chemex coffee maker, Le Creuset espresso cups and Laura Ashley porcelain plates

Ingredients (for 15 buns)

All ingredients must be at room temperature, unless otherwise indicated.

For the preference:

  • 280g of milk
  • 14 g fresh yeast (or 4.5 g dry yeast)
  • 120g of strong flour

For the bun dough:

  • 70g of raisins (I have used sultanas)
  • Sweet wine or rum, to soak the raisins
  • 25g candied orange peel, in small pieces (optional)
  • The previous preferment
  • 400g of strong flour
  • 1 egg (L)
  • 45g of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 15gr (3 teaspoons) of spice mix*
  • 65g butter
  • 1 egg + 1 teaspoon of milk, for brushing

For the crosses:

  • 75g of strong flour
  • 60-75ml of cold water

To brush (optional):


Of the preferment

  1. In a large bowl (like this one made of Mediterranean glass , in which I have also made the subsequent kneading) we combine all the ingredients of the preferment until we achieve a smooth texture without lumps.
  2. Cover with transparent film and let it ferment for about 45-60 minutes or until it acquires a light and fluffy texture (you can guess little bubbles on the surface).

From the dough of the buns

  1. To start, we put the raisins (and the chopped candied orange peel, if we are going to add it) to soak with the liquor in a small bowl and reserve.
  2. Once our preferment is ready, we add the flour, sugar, egg, spices and salt and mix with a spatula until more or less combined, although the mixture will still look quite coarse. Next, we begin to knead (in the same bowl, as I have done this time, on a work surface or with the help of an electric mixer ) until everything is well combined; the dough will still have a somewhat sticky texture.
  3. Next, we add the butter in several batches, kneading well between one and the other until it is well incorporated, and we continue kneading until we get a soft, elastic and smooth dough.
  4. Next, we roll out the dough with the help of a rolling pin on a work surface, lightly floured, and spread the raisins (and candied orange peel, if applicable) on it, well drained, fold the dough over itself with the fruit inside and knead again until it is well integrated and distributed throughout the dough.
  5. Finally, we shape it into a ball and place it in a bowl greased with a thin film of oil (sunflower oil, for example, which does not add flavor). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place away from drafts until it doubles its initial volume, which can take about 1-1 ½ hours.
  6. Once our dough has risen, we divide it with the help of a large, sharp knife or a baker's scraper into 15 equal portions (approximately 65g came out for me; it would be very useful to have a scale here as well). kitchen ). Next, we form each of the rolls, rounding each portion well until the surface of the dough is smooth and uniform.
  7. We then place the already formed buns on a De Buyer non-stick tray , leaving a minimum separation between one and the other, so that they join later as they grow.
  8. Preheat the oven (electric and airless) to 190ºC and place the rack in the central position.
  9. Meanwhile, we prepare the pasta to make the crosses, for which we will combine the flour with the cold water in a bowl. There should be a homogeneous and quite thick paste, although flexible; so we will start adding the water little by little until we reach the desired consistency.
  10. Once our buns have visibly grown (it is not necessary for them to double their volume again), we brush with the egg and milk mixture with a pastry brush and make the crosses with the help of a pastry bag .
  11. We put the tray with the buns in the oven and bake for about 18-20 minutes until they acquire a nice golden color on the surface.
  12. As soon as we take them out of the oven, brush them this time with a little peach jam (previously heated) to give them shine and let them cool on a wire rack.

Mediterranean glass bowl , ceramic spoon rest from Le Creuset and measuring jug from Kitchen Craft

I recommend that you eat them still warm or, failing that, open in half, toasted and spread with a little butter. The first day is the best to enjoy some very tender and fragrant hot cross buns , but even so, they maintain a good part of their tenderness for a couple more days when stored at room temperature and well protected from the air (although it is advisable to give them a touch of heat before to consume after the first day to renew its tenderness).


  • *To prepare your own homemade spice mix, you just have to combine, for example: 1 part ground cinnamon + ¼ part ground nutmeg + ¼ part ground ginger + ¼ part ground cardamom + part ground cloves. Still, you can try adjusting the proportions or selection of spices to your personal preference.
  • Instead of peach jam, you can use golden syrup (also hot) to give them that final touch of shine (be careful because when hot, golden syrup can burn a lot).
  • If you use a conventional tray to bake your hot cross buns , remember to cover the base with parchment paper.
  • If the times of the raisings do not fit with your forecast (for example, if you want to have some good freshly baked hot cross buns for breakfast in the morning), you can start the process the afternoon of the day before and do the penultimate raising (once the raisins to the dough) in the fridge overnight. Very early, you remove the dough from the refrigerator, let it acclimate a bit, shape your buns and let rise again until they grow (it is very likely that, following this guideline, this rise will take a little longer).

De Buyer non-stick tray , Laura Ashley porcelain stand , Chemex coffee maker and Laura Ashley porcelain plates

All the best,



Claudia said:

Gracias a ti Elena, un saludo!

Elena said:

Me encanta esta receta, y tan bien explicada seguro que sale. Me la guardo para probarla. Muchas gracias !!!!!

Claudia said:

Oh sí, Yvette, no dejes de prepararla porque verás que no tiene complicación alguna! Y el resultado es espectacular!! :) Saludos

Yvette said:

Interesante receta con sus anécdotas. En principio parece fácil de preparar. Me animaré a probarla. :-)

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