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Best-Ever Hot Cross Buns

Get ready for Easter with these “best-ever hot crossed buns”


1 c. whole milk, warm
2 (0.25-oz.) packages active dry yeast
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. melted butter
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 c. dried currants, plumped in hot water then drained
1 tsp. lemon zest
Egg wash, for brushing

2 c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. whole milk
1/2 tsp. lemon zest

In a medium bowl, combine milk, yeast, and a pinch of sugar. Let sit, without stirring, until foamy, about 20 minutes. Whisk butter, egg yolk and vanilla into the yeast mixture. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is a thick, shaggy dough. Stir in currants.

Turn the dough onto a heavily floured surface and knead until the dough is soft and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a large ball.
Grease the inside of a large bowl with butter and put the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.

When the dough is ready to form into rolls, butter a 9”-x-13” baking pan. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a large rectangle. Divide the dough into 12 portions with a sharp knife or pizza wheel.

Shape each piece into a roll, tucking the edges under, and place each roll seam side-down into the butter pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the rolls have doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
After the second rise, preheat oven to 375°. Brush tops of buns with egg wash. Bake until golden and puffy, 22 to 25 minutes.

Make glaze: Whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and lemon zest until smooth. Transfer to a medium resealable plastic bag and make a small cut in the corner of the bag. Pipe a thick cross shape over each bun. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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