Hot Cross Buns with Citrus Zest

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Prep time
45 mins
Cooking time
30 mins

Add some zest to your Easter celebrations with these deliciously spiced citrus Hot Cross buns, best served buttered with tea or coffee.


  • 600g plain flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 55g castor sugar
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 60g butter
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 375ml warm milk
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 egg
  • 120g sultanas

For the White Paste

  • 100ml cake flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of baking powder
  • 5ml sunflower oil
  • 50ml milk

For the Sugar Glaze

  • 65g granulated sugar
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • 30ml orange juice
  • Peel of 1 orange
  • Peel of 1 lemon


  1. For the dough:
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, sift the flour, salt, sugar and spices and rub in the butter.
  3. Add the dried yeast and mix in well.
  4. Warm the milk with the orange zest, beat in the egg.
  5. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed to form a sticky dough, adding more liquid if necessary.
  6. Knead until the dough comes away from the edges of the bowl and a soft, sticky dough has formed.
  7. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel until doubled in size.
  8. Grease a Le Creuset 3-ply Stainless Steel 35cm Rectangular Roaster.
  9. Knockback the dough and roll out on a floured surface to form a rectangle, sprinkle over the fruit and roll up like a Swiss roll.
  10. Weigh out the dough into 20 equal pieces of approximately 60g each.
  11. Roll into evenly shaped buns. Place the buns into the roaster, cover with a damp tea towel, and prove until doubled in size.
  12. Preheat an oven to 220°C (200°C fan).

To make the white paste:

  1. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder.
  2. Rub in the oil and add enough milk to form a piping consistency.
  3. Place into the piping bag and snip off the end to pipe the crosses onto the buns.

To bake the buns:

  1. Place the hot cross buns on the centre shelf, then turn the temperature down to 200°C (190°fan).
  2. After 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 180°C (170° fan) and continue baking until cooked through (15-20 minutes longer).
  3. The buns must be well browned and sound hollow when tapped underneath.

For the syrup:

  1. Dissolve the sugar and the water completely in a casserole, add the citrus peel and boil rapidly for 3 minutes to form a syrup.
  2. For the glaze:
  3. Glaze the buns generously with the syrup immediately after coming out of the oven.
  4. Allow to cool for ten minutes and turn out of the roaster.
  5. Serve hot with butter.

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