Easy Easter Hot Cross Buns

“One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross buns!” is the rhyme that was sung on Good Friday in England where these buns were sold, which are thought to date back to the 12th century. I remember singing this nursery rhyme as a child and having no idea what the rhyme was talking about. Now that I’ve made and enjoyed hot cross buns over the last few years, they have new meaning. These Easy Easter Hot Cross Buns are the perfect Easter gift for friends and family. I love baking up a few batches to celebrate the season and these are simple and delicious. I look forward to them every year.

For those unfamiliar with this delicious Easter bun, it is a yeasted sweet bun studded with dried fruit, piped with a flour paste in the shape of a cross (or iced with the cross after being baked). When I first made Hot Cross buns a few years ago, I was hesitant about using currants in the recipe. I’m not a huge fan of dried fruit in baked goods and I was afraid it wouldn’t be my favorite. But I found currants at the grocery store and decided to use them in my buns. Currants are much smaller than a raisin which made them easier for me to eat and they were absolutely delicious. If you are able to buy currants, definitely include them in this recipe. It has become my new go-to dried fruit to put in baked goods because of the smaller size and flavor. If you have never tried them before, pick up some currants from your local grocery store and give them a try. 

These buns make a wonderful Easter gift or are perfect to eat on Easter morning or anytime on Easter weekend. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. “Get them while they’re hot. Eat them by the ton. One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross buns!”

Easy Easter Hot Cross Buns

Easy Easter Hot Cross Buns are the perfect addition to your Easter brunch. Sweet with currants and spices, Hot Cross Buns make the perfect Easter treat.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Rise Time 2 hrs
Course Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine English
Servings 12 buns



  • 1 cup whole milk warm (250 grams)
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar packed (60 grams)
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 3-3 1/2 cups bread flour see note (about 475 grams)
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup currants

Flour Paste

  • 4 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 Tablespoons water


  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream milk can be substituted in a pinch (add more or less depending on consistency)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  • Warm the milk in the microwave. Stir the milk so the heat disperses. The milk should be warm to the touch (like baby’s bathwater). Add the milk to a stand mixer and add the yeast, brown sugar, egg, salt, cinnamon, all spice and cloves.
  • Begin adding flour a cup at a time until a dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides. Continue adding flour little by little until the dough is just a tiny bit sticky. Add the softened butter in small chunks and knead for 5 minutes until tacky and smooth.
  • Add the currants and continue kneading for another couple of minutes.
  • Oil a bowl and put the dough mixture into the oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for an hour in a warm place.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Once the dough has risen, turn out on your counter and cut into 12 equal pieces. Roll each ball of dough into a bun shape and place on the baking sheet, four rows of three. Alternatively for rolls that pull apart, you can bake these in a glass pan. Spray the pan with cooking spray and nestle the buns together with just a little space for them to rise in between.
  • Cover and let rise again in a warm place about 45 minutes to an hour until puffed up and just about doubled in size.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix the flour paste together gently until you form a batter that can be piped. Add a little more water or flour if needed to adjust for consistency. Place this mixture in a piping bag and pipe a cross on each risen bun. You can also skip this step and pipe the icing in the shape of a cross if you prefer.
  • Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes until rolls are baked through and golden on top. If you are baking the buns pull-apart style, they will need about 30 minutes of baking time.
  • While the rolls are baking, mix together the icing. As soon as the rolls come out of the oven, use a pastry brush to slather them in icing. Alternatively you can pipe a cross with the icing on each bun.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!


Bread Flour: I love using bread flour in my baked goods but all purpose flour should work just fine as well.
Keyword Easter breakfast, Easter buns, Hot Cross Buns, Yeast Buns

Rating: 1 out of 5.

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Easter Series: Pane di Pasqua Italian Easter Bread

Decorating Easter eggs has always been a tradition for me at Easter time. I loved doing it as a kid, and I have helped my own kids decorate eggs every year since they were little. Even when we lived in Japan and couldn’t find our normal egg dye, we still dyed Easter eggs. This bread is the perfect accompaniment to a family egg dying party. Not only does it look delicious on an Easter brunch table, but it is so much fun to make with kids. 

Pane di Pasqua, or Italian Easter bread, is a braided ring of delicious challa-type bread with a raw, decorated egg placed in the middle that is then baked. As the bread bakes in the oven, it bakes the egg along with it and you end up with a delicious hard-boiled egg, and bread to eat for Easter breakfast (or any breakfast). 

When I showed this recipe to my kids this year, the excitement was palpable. They loved helping braid the bread, dye the eggs (just some food coloring, vinegar and water) and then top the bread with sprinkles. To say this is a hit with kids is an understatement! I hope that you will give it a try and enjoy this delicious recipe with your loved ones around Easter time.

Yield: 6 small braided breads

Time: 20 minutes mix, 3-4 hours rise, 40 minutes shape, 25 minutes bake


  • 1 cup warm water
  • ½-¾  cup sugar (depending how sweet you want your bread)
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 cup flour (initially, more will be added later)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4-5 cups all purpose flour
  • Flavorings (optional: orange zest, lemon zest, 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract)
  • Colorful Sprinkles
  • 1 egg for egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tsp water)
    • 6 raw eggs for dying
    • Food coloring
    • White vinegar


  1. Place warm water, sugar and instant yeast in a mixing bowl. Using a paddle attachment or a wooden spoon, mix in 1 cup of flour and stir well. Add salt and stir again. Then add the vegetable oil and eggs. If you want to add more flavor to the bread, now is the time. Add in some orange zest, lemon zest, almond/vanilla extract or a similar flavoring of your choosing. Mix all of these ingredients together until fully incorporated.
  2. Using a mixer (or by hand), begin adding the 4-5 cups of flour. Switch your mixer to a dough hook as you add in the flour, or begin kneading the dough by hand. Continue incorporating flour until the dough loses its stickiness or is just slightly sticky. This kneading process can take up to 10 minutes.
  3. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours (though this will vary depending on your kitchen temperature). 
  4. While the dough is rising is the perfect time to dye your Easter Eggs. Mix together 3 drops of food coloring with ½ a teaspoon of white vinegar and about ¾ cup of water (this can be adjusted depending on how vibrant you want the colors). Dip or soak six raw eggs in the colors and let dry.
  5. After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope-like strand, about 10-12 inches. 
  6. Pinch two strands together at the top and twist them around each other forming an easy twisted braid. Bring the end of the dough together with the top of the dough to form a braided circle and set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the other pieces of dough. You will end up with six braided “nests” of dough.
  7. Place each Easter egg in the center of each nest of dough. 
  8.  Make an egg wash by whisking the egg and 1 tsp of water together in a small bowl. Lightly brush the egg wash over the top of each dough nest. Sprinkle some colorful sprinkles on top of the egg wash and cover with a kitchen towel.
  9. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and allow your dough to rise again, about 30-45 minutes.
  10. After the dough has risen and puffed up again, place your sheet pan in the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes. The egg will cook while in the oven along with the bread.
  11. Allow to cool a little before serving for Easter breakfast. Enjoy!

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