Hot Cross Buns (十字餐包)



 Picture courtesy from: Hot Cross Buns Nursery Rhyme Printable

I have been singing this song to my girl when she just arrived in this world… and this is one of the limited traditional nursery rhymes that I can only sing..However, having sang for 1-2 years, I have never tasted a hot cross bun before and I have never prepared one either.

These buns were usually prepared for Good Friday and for 2005, it is approaching falling on April 3, 2015.. I did not prepare this last year but this year, I have decided to share with reader this recipe found in my favourite cook book.. This cook book never failed me so far and I have full confidence on the recipes provided..


As this is a traditional bake with long historical significance, I have decided to follow the recipe as much as I can including the special glaze and sugar cross recipe.. The only major difference that I did not follow is the use of currants or raisins, As I do not have the time to buy these, I have used my leftover fruit mix for the buns instead..


The buns did not disappoint me. They were soft and aromatic and it definitely goes well with a thick slab of butter and a cup of steaming hot coffee..


As per Wikipedia:

“A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top, traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, South Africa, India, and Canada, and now available all year round in some places. Hot cross buns may go on sale in Australia as early as New Years Day, or after Christmas.


English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or grow mouldy during the subsequent year. Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes. A piece of it given to someone ill is said to help them recover.Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be” is said at the time, so some say they should only be cooked one at a time. Because there is a cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten.If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year”. (Source:



Recipe adopted from: The Essential Baking Cookbook Page 262., Murdoch Books 2000

Servings: 12 hot cross buns of about 50 grams each



  • 250 grams of bread flour
  • 150 grams of lukewarm water
  • 100 grams of raisins or currants or mixed fruits
  • 20 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 7 grams of instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon of white castor sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed spice (or cinnamon plus nutmeg powder)

Paste for crosses

  • 15 grams of plain flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon of white castor sugar
  • 20 grams of plain water


  • 1.5 tablespoons of castor sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of plain water
  • 1 teaspoon of gelatine powder




  • In a mixing  bowl, mixed all the ingredients (except butter and currants) together. Use a spoon to slightly stir it until it form a sticky dough. Use the dough hook in the machine to beat the dough at medium to low speed (speed 2 in Kenwood Chef or Kitchen Aid) for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, put the butter and currants, change from medium to high speed (speed 4 kin Kenwood Chef or Kitchen Aid) for about 7 minutes until the dough is smooth and leaves the side of the mixing bowl. Transfer the dough out to a lightly flour surface. Shape round and let it proof for about double in size. Cover with a clingy wrap or wet towel during proofing.


  • After first proofing, punch the dough, lightly knead for 1-2 minutes and divide into 12 pieces of about 50-60 grams each. Take one dough, shape round and transfer it to a lightly greased baking tray. Let it proof until double in size and cover with a clingy wrap or wet towel

  • Pre-heat the oven to 190 degree Celsius.

  • In a bowl, put all the ingredients for pastry crosses. Stir until well mixed. Transfer to a piping bag and set aside.


  • When the proofing is done, pipe across the pastry on top of the proofed buns.  Baked in the pre-heated oven of 190 degree Celsius for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

  • While the bread is baking, mix the ingredients of glaze together, stir until the mixture on top of a pool of hot water until the gelatine and sugar have dissolved. Set aside for cooling. Brush the glaze on top of the buns when the buns are baked.



Not a tough recipe and in fact most traditional recipe are straightforward… Don’t be discouraged by the use of stand mixer, if you have a bread maker, you can use it to knead the dough. If you don’t, you can easily hand knead the dough. It is a small dough, just knead until it is smooth will do. As it is a small bun, any imperfections will not be obvious and the recipe is rather ideal for bread beginners.. Do give it a try and see if it suits you.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.







2 thoughts on “Hot Cross Buns (十字餐包)

  1. Hi Sifu Kenneth,

    Why can’t I have the cross on top. The mixture was liquidity & once I pipe on top of bun, it spread out & did not have the same cross effect like yours. Should I add more flour to the mixture? Picture in FB. For your guidance please.

    Overall the bread is soft. Great recipe.



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