Hot Cross Buns

This Easter weekend is totally different to what we had in mind. Our planned long weekend trip to Lake Balaton has been cancelled due to the current situation. 🤷‍♀️

Since we are stuck at home, I decided to look up some Easter recipes. For multiple years in a row, I have baked the traditional Maltese Kwareżimal (Lenten Cookies) and Maltese Figolli (Easter cookies), which are always welcomed. For the Easter holidays in the past, I have also prepared a delicious Healthy Carrot Cake with no-added sugar which is so light and moist. However, this time round I wanted to try out something different.

I opted for the traditional British sweet yeast buns filled with loads of sultanas, and having the wonderful aroma of cinnamon and cloves, which will leave the whole house smelling of the warm spice. These buns are then decorated with a cross on top made out of flour paste, a representation of this time of the year.

The recipe below yields 6 hot cross buns, however it can be easily be doubled… and I highly recommend that! They are sooo delicious that you will want to eat more than just one! 🤭

The hot cross buns are best served warm, toasted with a slather of butter and/or a dollop of your favourite jam. They are great for breakfast or afternoon snack with a cup of tea! ☕

Hot Cross Buns

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Traditional Easter yeasted sweet buns flavoured with cinnamon, cloves and sultanas


For the buns:

  • 150g milk
  • 25g butter
  • 250g plain flour
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 50g sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 75g sultanas

For the cross:

  • 30g flour
  • 1-2 tbsp water

For the glaze:

  • Apricot jam/Syrup/Honey


  1. In a small saucepan, warm up the milk on a medium heat. Once warm, remove from the heat and add the butter. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Make a well in the centre and pour the milk and butter mixture.
  3. Combine with a spatula until a rough dough is formed. Tip onto a lightly floured surfaced and knead for 7-10 minutes, until the dough is springy and elastic. 
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and place it in a warm spot to proof for 1 hour or until double in size. 
  5. Turn the dough onto the work surface and flatten into a circle. Sprinkle the sultanas onto the dough and knead until well distributed. Form a ball again and return to the bowl. Cover and let it proof for another hour. 
  6. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Gently knock the air out of the dough. Divide the dough into 6 even sized pieces.
  7. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, tucking the ends underneath. Place them onto the baking sheet, leaving 2cm in between. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and let them proof for another 30-45 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius and prepare the mixture for the crosses. Combine the flour and water together until a paste is formed. Then transfer the mixture to a small piping bag.
  9. Pipe the crosses over the buns before transferring the baking sheet to the preheated oven. 
  10. Bake for 18-23 minutes or until golden brown on top. 
  11. Once baked and still warm, brush the hot cross buns with warm apricot jam, honey or a simple syrup for a glossy finish. 
  12. Let them cool slightly before eating them. Serve with butter and/or jam.

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