Hot cross buns

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By: Paul Hollywood From: Good Food Live

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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 2.94 / 5 (1194 votes)

Prep time:
20 min, plus 3 hours proving
Cook time:
25 min
15-20 buns

Paul Hollywood's hot cross buns are full of fruit and lightly spiced, making Easter tea a little more special.

Inspired? Try more of our Easter baking recipes


1. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl. Slowly add enough of the milk and water mix to achieve pliable dough. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well for 5 minutes, then put the dough back into the bowl and leave to rise for 1 hour.

2. Incorporate the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest and cinnamon into the dough and leave to rise for 1 hour.

3. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Divide the dough into 75g pieces and roll each into a ball. Put them on a baking tray and leave to rest for 1 hour.

4. Set the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 8. Pipe the crosses onto the buns, then bake the buns for 25 minutes until golden brown. Combine the sugar and water together to make a syrup and brush this liberally all over the buns. Serve immediately.


  • 500 g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 7 g sachet dried yeast
  • 300 ml tepid mixed milk and water
  • 150 g sultanas
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 80 g mixed peel
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 75 g plain flour

For the glaze:

Tips and suggestions

Simnel cake
To make the crosses for the buns, mix around 75g plain flour with enough water to make a smooth, thick paste. You can either make a piping bag out of parchment paper or use a piping bag with a plain nozzle to pipe the paste onto the buns to make them crossed.

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Latest Comment


Made these and they were brilliant on the day,however found they didn't keep that well for the next day. Tended to dry out and become rather heavy. Will keep making them though but halving the quantity

Cathy The Taff Cathy The Taff  Posted 16 Mar 2014 12:27 PM

heres the correct recipe as on gbbo [link]

dex2403 dex2403  Posted 16 Apr 2013 11:59 AM

Where is the egg, apple and butter?? I watched Paul Hollywood's programme and wrote down all the ingredients which included one egg, 50g unsalted butter and an apple. Any rich bun dough as this is has butter and egg in it so how come your proof readers didn't notice, I'm very disappointed because your recipe will put people off. I thought all recipes were tested.

BridgetH45317 BridgetH45317  Posted 07 Apr 2013 12:55 PM

We're very sorry to hear that some have had bad experiences with this recipe, while its has worked better for others - we will test it ourselves shortly and adapt the recipe or provide extra tips.


Anna -Good Food Anna -Good Food Posted 02 Apr 2013 3:20 PM

PLEASE remove this version of the recipe from the web site. My teenage daughter tried to make these and even in my ignorance I can see that there is a fundamental flaw in the recipe in that you should have something hot/warm to get the yeast going!! At no stage in the method does it say this. Not everyone would automatically know this - ok if you are a master baker. All those expensive ingredients wasted on rock hard bullets which don't resemble hot cross buns in any shape or form. Not impressed and now have very disappointed daughter who had watched the TV programme and wanted to impress us with her first effort.

LouiseH50862 LouiseH50862 Posted 01 Apr 2013 6:49 PM

I haven't made these yet but the egg and apple is missing from this recipe. On the program he uses one egg and one apple roughly chopped, this might be why some of the comments say it hasn't worked well. Also put the salt and yeast on opposite sides when you add it and milk should be warm (i don't think he mentions water in the tv version)

KelsN16129 KelsN16129 Posted 01 Apr 2013 5:51 PM

Very poor result - the fruit and spices do not blend well after the first prove, the rise was not satisfactory and the baked buns were rock hard even though they were not cooked for the full time and were eaten hot with lashings of butter. The amount of chewing necessary resulted in a negative calorific value hence the one star not no stars. Most went in the bin!

GillS57143 GillS57143 Posted 30 Mar 2013 7:01 PM

Watched Paul's programme with Mary Berry this week. Was confused about proving times. His other recipes suggest 3 provings. It looked as tough the fruit, etc. was included in the 1st prove. Is that OK

PatriciaT1337 PatriciaT1337 Posted 28 Mar 2013 7:35 AM

should the milk and water be warm ?

LlornG72910 LlornG72910 Posted 06 Apr 2012 9:37 AM

these recipes are divine

sweetreds sweetreds Posted 05 Apr 2012 2:50 AM

This is for IIYAR32559
recipe states 300ml of milk and water mixed.
there is NO fat used in bread dough.
read recipe again!

ClaireC90336 ClaireC90336 Posted 02 Apr 2012 9:56 AM

forgot to rate it.. done!

NormaJ99063 NormaJ99063 Posted 01 Apr 2012 11:49 AM

No wonder most of the commenters can't get a recipe right if you can't follow the recipe then of course it will be wrong. everything you need is stated clearly, including how to make the cross!!
Nothing wrong with this recipe, I will be making them again during this week for Easter weekend. Served warm with plenty of butter/or toasted with butter.. nom nom x

NormaJ99063 NormaJ99063 Posted 01 Apr 2012 11:48 AM

Poor recipe, recommend you don't use this. No fat in the dough, no mention of how much milk or water to use - baking is precise. Oven temp too hot and time too long. Waste of ingredients.

IlyaR32559 IlyaR32559 Posted 10 Mar 2012 10:46 AM

If using fast active yeast, do you still need to prove/rise, so many times? You state 7g sachet dried yeast, isnt this the "fast active yeast"?

JillL35618 JillL35618 Posted 19 Feb 2012 5:43 PM

Even 20 minutes was too long in my oven at the temperature given in the recipe. The flavor was great, but next time I'm going to have to reduce the temp or shorten the time.

JackieA52501 JackieA52501 Posted 23 Apr 2011 6:32 PM

I'm surprised there is no fat in this recipe. My dough did not rise and I have a new jar of yeast. :(

JackieA52501 JackieA52501 Posted 23 Apr 2011 3:54 PM

Hi Vuv 123 maybe your salt went on top of your yeast or vice versa, salt kills yeast, try putting them opposite side of bowl next time. Good luck.

Cathy The Taff Cathy The Taff Posted 20 Apr 2011 9:13 PM

Oh dear, what did I do wrong? I'm afraid my Hot X Buns came out solid, not even sure if I can make them into a pudding base!!! I kneaded the dough well enough, but did wonder after 1 hour of proving that the dough didnt look as if it had risen much!! then I followed the recipe to the t, but not a success, I,m afraid!! husband very disappointed, as he was looking forward to some home-made HotX buns!!

Viv 123 Viv 123 Posted 19 Apr 2011 4:10 PM

I love Paul Hollywood's recipes This is similar to a recipe I amde last week . Glad to see he has put more salt in my recipe was lacking in that extra flavour.

gilliand dale gilliand dale Posted 17 Apr 2011 12:30 AM

Suggest recipe incorporates instructions for use of FRESH yeast as an alternative.

ted.j ted.j Posted 15 Apr 2011 4:00 PM

Easy to make - tastes delicious!

ChantalS2289 ChantalS2289 Posted 13 Apr 2011 6:20 AM

for the most important cross on the bun to make it hot cross buns try using 2 tbsp of plain flour mixed with 2 tbsp's of water then pipe on to the buns just before popping them in the oven Smile

Hilary-RoseH70061 Hilary-RoseH70061 Posted 31 Mar 2010 2:57 PM

My friends in Italy loved these buns and I am constantly asked if I can make them regularly. Takes time but well worth the effort.

lisaoridal lisaoridal Posted 04 Jul 2009 11:05 AM

you have not mentioned the cross on the buns what do you use

Anonymous Anonymous Posted 26 Jun 2009 11:26 AM

I would sujest a small amount of yellow food colouring

Anonymous Anonymous Posted 26 Jun 2009 11:23 AM

just mix a little flour and water into a pastry consistency, leave, then roll it out thinly, cut into strips and place across the buns once they have risen, then bake.

crazyh0rse crazyh0rse Posted 10 Apr 2009 9:30 AM

What about the cross?!!

Whosecoat Whosecoat Posted 28 Mar 2009 7:41 PM