Hot Cross Buns

By April 5, 2012 April 2nd, 2019 Recipes

One of my favourite things about Easter is hot cross buns.  I started baking my own because Mick and Tom don’t like sultanas.  I know, it’s weird hey.  So I would bake some with, for me Joe and Paddy, and some without, for them.

Below is a pictorial step-by-step guide and full recipe from Mick’s grandma.  I can tell you, these are the lightest loveliest hot cross buns ever – especially when eaten hot from the oven!

This recipes can also be found in my second cookbook, The heart of the home.

Grandma’s hot cross buns

Makes 12
Prep time: 20 minutes + rising time  Cooking time:  30 minutes

1 ¼ cups milk
¼ cup caster sugar
2 x 8g sachets dried yeast
4 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon salt
60g butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sultanas
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup self-raising flour
2 tablespoons apricot jam


In a microwave safe jug, heat the milk for just over a minute or until warm.  Add the caster sugar and stir until dissolved.  Mix in the dried yeast.  It is important at this stage that the milk is warm enough to activate the yeast but not too hot.   Leave this mixture for 5 – 10 minutes or until it froths up a little.

The yeast will have a slightly frothy appearance.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, mixed spice and salt.  Rub through the butter with your fingertips until it is evenly distributed.

This step can be done in a food processor

Stir in the eggs and the yeast mixture with a wooden spoon until it comes together in a dough.

How beautiful are my lovely chooks’ eggs!

The ingredients come together in a dough.

Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for 5 minutes until stretchy and smooth.  Alternatively, place in the bowl of an electric mixer with the dough hook attachment and knead for 5 minutes.

The dough becomes smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a large, greased bowl covered with Glad wrap.

The Glad wrap needs to be loose.

Place in a warm place for 45 minutes until is rises to almost twice its size.  (If there are no warm or sunny spots in the kitchen, put the bowl under the range hood light.)

The dough almost doubles in size

Knead the dough for a couple of minutes a second time, then divide into 12 balls.  Place the balls on a greased baking tray, pressed up against each other.

Roll into 12 roughly equal balls (in my case, very roughly!)

For tall hot cross buns, I put mine into a greased 26cm springform cake tin.  Cover and leave in a warm place for another 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Combine the self-raising flour with two tablespoons of water and mix well.  Place in a small piping bag with a narrow nozzle, or a plastic bag with a tiny piece of the corner snipped off.  Pipe a cross onto each of the buns.

Pie little white crosses on top of the risen buns

Bake for 25 minutes or until the buns are risen and sound hollow when tapped.  Heat the jam with a little water in the microwave and brush over the hot buns to glaze.

Glaze with a little bit of warm jam for a beautiful shiny gloss.


Join the discussion 13 Comments

  • Helen says:

    Oh Yum! I am not fond of sultanas either but I do believe that hot cross buns MUST have them. I bought some chocolate hot cross buns recently and they didn’t have any sultanas at all, I was a bit disappointed actually.
    xXx Helen

  • Mitch Edwards says:

    They sound amazing, you’ll get get me cooking at this rate, maybe….

  • Patti says:

    Haven’t had a hot cross bun since I left Oz in 1998. They have them here in the States, not everywhere like in Oz but the ones I found at my local grocery store were nothing like the yummy ones you find in Australia.

    Tomorrow (Friday) I am going to make these…..Happy Easter.

    ps…I miss having an Easter break too, they don’t celebrate Easter here.

  • Simone says:

    Hi Julia,
    I’ve just finished making them to the proving stage, the dough looks so lovely. I just couldn’t see where to add the sultanas, so guessed! Maybe you forgot to write when?

  • Alison says:

    These look delicious! I’m going to give them a go tomorrow morning for our family Easter Sunday lunch. Thanks for your wonderful stories & recipes Julie, Happy Easter!

  • Sara says:

    Love the idea of using a jam-based glaze! I’ve already made some and will probably bake even more tomorrow!

  • Jen says:

    Thank for saving my Easter! I’m a South African living in Germany and was a little heart broken when I discovered no one knows what hot cross buns are here… and I’m not the greatest of bakers but followed your recipe this afternoon and they turned out delish. My boyfriend picked up the wrong raisins and instead got ones infused in RUM! but even so they were great… and a big hit with the German fam!
    So thanks again and have a blessed Easter!
    Jen xxx

  • Casey says:

    Mine have just come out of the oven. Sooo good! Awesome easy recipe 🙂

  • Justine says:

    These are in the oven now!
    Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to try them!
    Happy Easter!

  • Helen says:

    I just made your hot cross buns and they are totally amazing! I didn’t make the cross or bother with the glaze, but they are so much nicer than store bought buns and I did it all myself! Woo hoo!!

    There was one slight step missing in the recipe – you forgot the sultanas! But I could tell by your photos at which point to add them.

    I wanted to upload my photo to your Facebook page but the technology wasn’t working for me. I did manage to upload it to my own timeline. You can always swing by and view my page if you are so inclined!

    xXx Helen