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Easter Hot Cross BunsHappy Easter!

Happy Healthy Holidays!

Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves spice these Easter hot cross buns while currants and mixed candied peel sweetens and lends pretty spring color. Easter Hot Cross Buns are traditionally served on Good Friday (the Friday before Easter) and during the Lenten season, but they are good anytime.

Easter Hot Cross Buns

Recipe Ingredients

1/4 cup water, lukewarm
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 package active dry yeast(1 T)
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup skim milk, warm
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg & 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup currants
1/4 cup mixed candied peel, chopped

Recipe Directions

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water

1/2 cup Icing sugar
2 teaspoons Water

In measuring cup, combine warm water with 1 tablespoon of the sugar; sprinkle yeast over top. Let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy. Meanwhile, in large bowl, blend together remaining sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves; make a well in center.

In small bowl, whisk together milk, butter, egg and egg yolk; pour into well. Pour in yeast mixture. Using wooden spoon, stir until soft dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead for 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch down; turn out onto floured surface; knead in currants and peel. Shape into 12-inch log; cut into 9 even pieces.

Bake buns in 400 degree oven for about 16 minutes or until golden brown.

Glaze: In saucepan, stir sugar with water over medium heat until dissolved. Brush over buns. Let cool.

Icing: Stir together icing sugar and water. Using piping bag fitted with round tip, pipe cross on top of each cooled bun.

Bread Machine Hot Cross Loaf: Reduce flour to 3-1/4 cups. To baking pan, add (in order) water, milk, butter, sugar, eggs, salt, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and yeast. Choose "sweet dough" setting; after first kneading (see machine instructions for time), add currants and peel. Tip: to make 18 buns by hand, increase the yeast to 4 teaspoons and double the other ingredients.

Nutrition Information

Yields: 9 servings Easter Hot Cross Buns

Variation: Spiced Hot Cross Buns

Two Spiced Hot Cross Buns

1 pound strong plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ounces hard margarine
One sachet easy blend dried yeast
3 ounces sultanas
1 ounce chopped mixed peel
2 ounce caster sugar
8 fluid ounces milk
One egg, beaten
For crosses and glace: 1 tablespoon flour and 2 tablespoons sugar

Sift flour, salt and spices into a large bowl and rub in margarine. Mix in the yeast, sultanas, peel and sugar. Heat milk to hand temp. and whisk into egg before adding to flour mixture and mix well. Turn dough on to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or mix in electric mixer with dough hook for five minutes. Divide dough into 12 even pieces of about 3 ounces and form into balls.

Arrange in a roasting tin leaving space for spreading although they will join up during baking. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for about one and a half hours until doubled in bulk. To make crosses mix the flour with about one and a half tablespoon water to make a thick batter. Fill piping bag ( with a round nozzle) and pipe a neat cross on each bun. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Pull away buns, split and serve plain or toasted with butter.

Variation: Lemon Cross Buns

Lemony variation of the traditional Easter bun with a tangy mamrmalade glaze.

Lemon Hot Cross Buns

12 ounces strong plain flour
3 ounces superfine sugar
3 ounces butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon lemon marmalade
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Quarter pint milk, warmed
2 teaspoons dried yeast
Grated rind of one lemon

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Sieve the flour, spices, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter and stir in the yeast and lemon rind. Beat in the eggs and milk until and knead to form a soft dough. Place in a greased bowl, cover and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size.

Knead again until smooth then divide into eight pieces. Shape into rolls, cut a cross on the tops and place on a baking sheet. Cover and leave until the rolls have doubled in size. Brush with egg wash then place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes by when they should be a golden brown in color. Warm the marmalade and brush over the tops of the rolls. Serve while still warm.

Variation: Easter Hot Cross Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1-1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup currants or raisins
1/3 cup candied orange peel (optional)
1 egg yolk mixed with 2-tablespoons water

Cream Cheese Frosting:
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon milk

Combine 2 cups of flour, yeast, sugar, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, heat milk and butter to very warm (120 to 130-degrees). Add to flour. Beat on medium speed of mixer for one minute. Add eggs. Beat another minute. Stir in currants, orange peel and enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding additional flour as needed. Place in a buttered bowl, turning to butter top. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about one hour.

Punch down dough; turn onto lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half; divide each half into 9 pieces. Form each piece into a smooth round ball. Place balls of dough in two buttered 8-inch square baking pans. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes to one hour. Brush lightly with egg yolk mixture. Bake rolls in preheated 375-degree oven, 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pans. Cool on wire rack.. Drizzle frosting across the top of each bun in the shape of a cross.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat cream cheese and sugar in a bowl until smooth. Add up to 1 teaspoon of milk or just until the frosting is a good consistency for drizzling.

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Easter and Hot Cross Buns

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