Baltic Maid

British Hot Cross Buns

Posted on | April 7, 2012 | 9 Comments

Hot Cross Buns are sweet, spiced buns. They are traditionally eaten on Good Friday and Easter in general. I am always curious about the stories behind traditions and culture. Wikipedia has some interesting information about these hot cross buns. The most obvious part is the cross on top of the bun symbolizing Jesus’ crucifixion. The English Protestants sought these rolls banned from being sold in bakeries because they were a reminder of Catholicism. They wanted to eliminate Catholic symbols and rituals from their church. Queen Elizabeth I made a compromise and allowed the bakeries to continue to sell these hot cross buns but only during Easter and Christmas.

There are also many superstitions surrounding these buns. For example, hanging one of these buns in the kitchen will protect from fire and ensure that all baked breads will turn out perfectly. One roll is often kept to help with medical issues. If a piece of it is given to someone who is sick, it will help them recover. There are more beliefs surrounding these buns.

Frohe Ostern!  Happy Easter!  Joyeuses Pâques! Paşte Fericit! Vrolijk Pasen!  ¡Felices Pascuas!  God påske! Glad Påsk!

British Hot Cross Buns



  • 475 ml / 2 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 120 ml / 1/2 cup oil
  • 100 g / 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups whole spelt flour (you can also use all-purpose flour instead of whole spelt flour if you like)
  • 300 g / 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 60 g / 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Spiced Filling

  • 50 g / 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg yolk
  • milk


  • 1 egg white
  • powdered sugar, sieved


In a sauce pan, heat the milk, oil, and the sugar until almost boiling. Take the sauce pan off the heat before the milk starts to boil. Pour the milk into a large bowl. Let it stand for about 30 minutes to cool down.

Sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Sieve the 1 1/2 cups of spelt flour and the 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour over the yeast-milk mixture and stir to combine. The dough will be sticky at this point. Place the bowl at a warm location. Cover it with a kitchen towel, and let the dough rise for about an hour.

Then add 1/2 cup of flour as well as the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom.

Lightly flour your working surface and flatten the dough with your hands. Sprinkle about a third or less of the sugar and one third of the raisins onto the dough. Fold the dough over onto itself. Again, sprinkle spiced sugar and another third of the raisins onto the dough. Fold the dough. Flatten it and repeat one more time. Most likely you won’t be using up all the sugar though.

Pull ping-pong ball-sized pieces off the dough and shape them into rolls. Place them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Preferably the seams of the buns are on the bottom of the rolls. Cover with a dish towel and let the buns rise for about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C.

In a small bowl combine the egg yolk with some milk and brush it onto the buns. Bake them for 15-20 minutes until golden.

Once the buns cooled off, decorate them with the glaze. To make the glaze, combine the egg white with powdered sugar. The more powdered sugar you use, the thicker the glaze will be. Spoon the glaze into a small plastic bag like a zip lock bag. Cut of one of the ends and pipe the glaze onto the buns.

Guten Appetit!!!

Britische Hot Cross Buns



  • 475 ml / 2 Tassen Milch (Ich habe Milch mit 2% Fettgehalt verwendet)
  • 120 ml / 1/2 Tasse Öl
  • 100 g / 1/2 Tasse Zucker
  • 2 1/4 TL Trockenhefe
  • 1 1/2 Tassen Dinkel-Vollkornmehl (oder normales Mehl verwenden)
  • 300 g / 2 1/2 Tassen Mehl
  • 60 g / 1/2 Tasse Mehl
  • 1/2 TL Backpulver
  • 1/2 TL Natron
  • 1 TL Salz


  • 50 g / 1/4 Tasse Zucker
  • 2 TL Zimt
  • 1 TL Kardamom
  • 1/2 Tasse Rosinen

Zum Bepinseln

  • 1 Eigelb
  • Milch


  • 1 Eiweiβ
  • Puderzucker, gesiebt


Die Milch, das Öl und den Zucker in einem Topf erwärmen. Kurz bevor der Milchmix zum Kochen kommt, vom Herd nehmen. Die Milch in eine groβe Schüssel gieβen und für ungefähr 30 Minuten lang abkühlen lassen.

Die Hefe über die Milch streuen.  Die 1 1/2 Tassen Dinkelmehl sowie die 2 1/2 Tassen normales Mehl auf den Teig sieben. Verrühren. Der Teig wird klebrig sein. Die Schüssel an einen warmen Ort stellen und mit einem Geschirrtuch abdecken. Den Teig ca. 1 Stunde gehen lassen.

Die 1/2 Tasse Mehl sowie das Backpulver, Natron und Salz hinzufügen. Alles vermengen.

In einer kleinen Schüssel, den Zucker mit dem Zimt und Kardamom vermengen.

Die Arbeitsfläche leicht bemehlen. Den Teig darauf mit den Händen flach ausbreiten. Ungefähr 1/3 des Zuckers (oder weniger) und 1/3 der Rosinen auf dem Teig verteilen. Den Teig einmal zusammenfalten. Den Teig dann wieder mit den Händen ausbreiten und erneut mit dem Gewürzzucker und einem Drittel der Rosinen bestreuen. Wieder zusammenfalten und das Ganze eine drittes Mal wiederholen.  Wahrscheinlich wird nicht der gesamte Zucker aufgebraucht.

Tischtennisball-groβe Stücke vom Teig abteilen und mit den Händen zu Kugeln formen.  Mit den Teignähten nach unten auf ein oder zwei mit Backpapier belegten Backbleche legen. Mit einem Geschirrtuch abdecken und die Buns für eine gute Stunde gehen lassen.

Den Backofen auf 400°F / 200°C vorheizen.

In einer kleinen Schüssel, das Eigelb mit ein weing Milch vermischen und die Buns damit bepinseln. Für 15-20 Minuten backen bis sie goldbraun geworden sind.

Wenn sie abgekühlt sind, mit der Glasur dekorieren. Für die Glasur, das Eiweiβ mit dem Puderzucker vermischen. Je mehr Puderzucker man nimmt, desto dicker wird die Glasur. Die Glasur dann in eine kleine Plastiktüte füllen und die Spitze der Tüte abschneiden. Die Buns mit der Puderzuckerglasur dekorieren.

Guten Appetit!!!


Source: slightly adapted from Pioneer Woman’s Recipe


9 Responses to “British Hot Cross Buns”

  1. ATasteOfMadness
    April 8th, 2012 @ 07:57

    Hot cross buns make me melt a little inside. I actually had some for breakfast this morning. These look mouthwatering!

  2. Jen
    April 8th, 2012 @ 14:48

    Da hatte ich diesesmal keine Zeit zu.

  3. Gigi
    April 8th, 2012 @ 17:12

    Most hot cross bun I’ve come across actually contain fruit in them, currants and raisins usually. I in Australia and we grew up with the spiced fruit buns, toasting them on the fire when we went camping on Easter holidays. They also often have candied orange rind in them I can’t vouch for the English versions but next time try them with fruit.

  4. BalticMaid
    April 9th, 2012 @ 09:12

    Thanks everyone for your comments!

    @ Gigi: These buns actually contain raisins and I loved them. Thanks for the tip with the currants and the candied orange rind. I’d love to try these versions as well.

  5. what katie's baking
    April 9th, 2012 @ 09:19

    i wanted to make hot cross buns for Easter but couldn’t find the perfect recipe.
    this is it!

  6. Erin @ Texanerin Baking
    April 9th, 2012 @ 14:31

    What nice pictures. :)

    I’ve never had hot cross buns before. I love that these have whole spelt in them! These kind of sound too yummy. I would tear them all apart in a few hours and then feel sick kind of too yummy.

  7. BalticMaid
    April 9th, 2012 @ 20:32

    @ what katie’s baking: Thank you for your sweet comment… :-D

    @ Erin: Thank you so much for your comment… :-D
    I never had them either but I heard a lot about them so I had to give them a try. And they certainly didn’t last long… hahaha…

  8. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    April 10th, 2012 @ 08:04

    Beautiful hot cross buns! This year is my first time seeing so many hot cross buns because of blog hopping. I didn’t know about the cultures and Easter tradition till I read blogs like yours! Thank you for educating me and I just love these buns. Looks so yummy and homemade is always nice!

  9. BalticMaid
    April 10th, 2012 @ 15:33

    @ Nami: Thank you so much. Your comment made my day… :-D

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