Type and press ENTER
Hit ESC to close
Hot cross buns photo by jr

Darina Allen's perfect hot cross bun recipe

Perfect for springtime!

Serving: Makes 16
Time: 2 hours +
Difficulty: Easy


  • 25g fresh yeast
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 450g strong flour
  • 75g butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2-3 teaspoons mixed spice, depending how fresh it is
  • 1 teaspoon of salt 
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 225-300ml tepid milk
  • 75g currants
  • 50g sultanas
  • 25g candied peel, chopped

For the egg wash:

  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 organic egg yolk

For the liquid cross:

  • 50g white flour
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 4-5 tablespoons cold water

For the bun wash, optional:

  • 600ml water
  • 450g sugar


  1. To make the hot cross buns, dissolve the yeast with one tablespoon of the sugar in a little tepid milk.
  2. Place the flour in a bowl, then rub in the butter to make fine breadcrumbs. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice, a pinch of salt and the remainder of the sugar, and mix well, then make a well in the centre.
  3. Whisk the eggs and remainder of the milk together. Add the yeast mixture and most of the liquid to the well in the flour, then mix to a soft dough, adding a little more milk if necessary.
  4. Cover the dough and leave to rest for two to three minutes then knead by hand or with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook until smooth. Next, add the currants, sultanas and mixed peel. Continue to knead until the dough is shiny, then cover the bowl and leave the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
  5. Once risen, knock the dough back by kneading for three to four minutes, then rest for a few minutes. Divide the mixture into 14 balls, each weighing about 50g, then knead each slightly and shape into buns. Place on a lightly floured tray. Whisk together the egg wash ingredient and brush onto the buns. 
  6. At this stage, you need to place the cross on top of the buns. We tend to decorate with what we call a liquid cross. To make this, mix the flour, melted butter and water together to form a thick liquid. Pour into a piping bag and pipe a liquid cross on top of each bun. Leave the buns to rise until doubled in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/Gas Mark 6. Egg wash the buns again carefully. Bake in the oven for five minutes, then reduce the heat to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6 and cook for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack, then split in two and serve with butter.
  8. Alternatively, brush each one with bun wash while still warm. Boil the sugar and water together for two minutes, then brush over the buns as soon as they come out of the oven to give them a sweet, sticky glaze. This makes a large quantity of bun wash but it keeps very well.

Recipe courtesy of Darina Allen.

Click here for more recipes from Darina.