In England, hot cross buns -- soft and slightly sweet little cakes with a cross cut into the tops -- are traditionally served on Good Friday.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

Makes 24 buns


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Generously butter a large bowl. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, heat 1 cup milk until it is warm to the touch.

  • Pour warm milk into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. With mixer on low, add yeast, granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, melted butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and beaten eggs.

  • With mixer on low, add flour, 1 cup at a time, until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms around the dough hook, about 3 minutes. Continue kneading, scraping down hook and sides of bowl as necessary until smooth, about 4 minutes longer. Add currants, and knead until combined, about 30 seconds.

  • Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface. Knead by hand to evenly distribute currants, about 1 minute.

  • Shape dough into a ball, and place in the buttered bowl; turn ball to coat with butter, and cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour 20 minutes. For a richer flavor, let dough rise in a refrigerator overnight.

  • Generously butter an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface, and knead briefly to redistribute the yeast. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 ounces each. Shape pieces into tight balls, and place on baking sheet, spaced 1/2 inch apart. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until touching and doubled in bulk, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees, with rack positioned in center. To make egg wash, whisk together egg white, 1 tablespoon water, and pinch of salt in a small bowl; brush tops of buns with egg wash. Using very sharp scissors or a buttered slicing knife, slice a cross into the top of each bun. Transfer pan to oven, and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.

  • Make glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon milk, confectioners sugar, and lemon juice. Pipe or spoon glaze in cross shape over buns, and serve.

Reviews (15)

128 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 44
  • 4 star values: 42
  • 3 star values: 29
  • 2 star values: 10
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 5.0 stars
Perfect big warm, sweet, and fluffy buns! only used 1 cup of raisins because I ran short but that didn't change them much because they're sweet on their own. my batch only made about 22 buns but they still fit well in the pan. also, I used almond milk because I didn't have any regular milk and it worked just fine. overall a really good foolproof recipe will make again soon.
Rating: 3 stars
These are decent, not the greatest hot cross buns I've ever had. They didn't hold their shape/cross so well, mine creased when rolling into balls so I ended up with weird shapes. I added candied peel to the mix and ended up using more like 1 1/2 cups dried fruit, I would maybe even push it 2 cups because there's a lot of dough. I would also double the spice, it seemed to have cooked out slightly with the given measurements. It's more bready, like a dinner roll, so more dense and heavy, but I'm sure that's to some people's liking. I would've preferred a fluffier, more billowy spiced bun. Overall not bad, just not what I was looking for.
Rating: 5 stars
I make this every year and they always turn out great ! I also will freeze them if I have too many left over and they reheat beautifully!
Rating: 1 stars
these are not traditional english buns, they are drab looking, no glaze and cross in not cut into buns..........try christina cucinas for origional method
Rating: 5 stars
This is the best recipe that I've tried for hot cross buns. It's dependable, perfect every time I make them. Thank you.
Rating: Unrated
What a lovely recipe! It is a family favorite.
Rating: Unrated
I have never eaten these or tried to make them before, but this year since I am not working I decided to try my hand at making these for Good Friday. I can't wait to see what they are like. I watched an old show of Martha's where her Mom, Big Martha, was making them and they looked yummy and easy to make.
Rating: Unrated
SOOO tasty! Mine turned out soft and wonderful! All 24 are nearly gone with only 4 people eating them.
Rating: Unrated
These are the best hot cross bun recipe that you will find. To make them Estonian or East Prussian style, omit the sugar glaze, dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.
Rating: Unrated
What a waste of time and money. I made these to the letter, but they burned at 375F after only 12 minutes (only noticed when I rotated the pans). My oven is calibrated and I use an oven thermometer, so I know it's not that. I would suggest 350F and check frequently.
Rating: Unrated
I thought these would be dense moist and gooy like the ones I get at the grocery store. I was disappointed. They were more the texture of bread.
Rating: Unrated
I love your mom so much and watch the segments in which she is featured more than once. Watching her mix dough on a stool reminds me of watching my own dear mom do the same thing every Saturday morning. I hope you will continue to feature her.
Rating: Unrated
It was so nice to see your mom again Martha. Thank you so much for bringing back fond memories of her. She reminds me so much of my mother. Mom was a wonderful cook also. Thank you
Rating: Unrated
I just took these out of the oven 30 mins ago and they are delicious!!!! They were very easy to make - they are deifinately going to be a new Easter tradition in our family - the kids all loved them.
Rating: Unrated
They just came out of the oven an hour ago, and they are yummy! I omitted the currants and used 1/2Cup candied orange peel, 1Cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate instead. Oh so good!!!
Rating: Unrated
This recipe looks very good. I am going to make it with my daughter. Laura