Donna Hay hot cross buns for Easter

16 Mar


hot cross buns - The Hungry Mum

I make a batch of Donna Hay’s hot cross buns every Easter and when eaten fresh from the oven they are heaven on Earth. Like many baked goods they are best the day they are made. You can pop them under the griller after a day or two [if they last that long!].

Donna Hay suggests an option of adding candied peel which I declined – as I am not a fan.

Because this recipe requires a fair bit of resting time for the dough I suggest doing part of it the night before, so when you wake in the morning you can quickly finish off the recipe and have these hot beauties on the table in no time.

Hot Cross Buns recipe by The Hungry Mum


 2 tablespoons dried yeast [this should equate to two sachets]

¼ cup caster sugar

 1½ cups warm milk [not too hot or it will kill the yeast]

 4¼ cups plain flour

2 teaspoons mixed spice

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

50g butter, melted

1 egg

¼ cup caster sugar, extra

1½ cups  sultanas


½ cup plain flour

cup water

glaze: equal quantities of orange juice and water.

Let’s get to it:

Please yeast, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and all the milk in a large bowl and set aside for 5 minutes until the mixture starts to foam.

Add flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, butter, egg, sultanas and remaining sugar to the yeast mix and stir using a butter knife until a sticky dough forms.

Knead on a floured surface for 8 minutes [I cheated and mixed mine using the dough hook on my KitchenAid].

Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean tea towel and stand in a warm place for an hour until doubled in size.

You can do all of the above the night before if you like.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls.

Grease a 23cm square cake tin and line with non-stick paper. Place dough balls into tin, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for half an hour or until they rise.

Preheat oven to 200C, then combine extra flour and water in a bowl and stir until no lumps remain. Place in a ziplock bag with a corner snipped of and pipe on crosses [mine are super messy!]

Bake for 30-ish minutes, until springy to the touch.

Warm the orange juice and water glaze in a jug and brush on with pastry brush and serve the buns warm with butter.

hot cross buns from scratch - The Hugry Mum. A lovely Easter recipe.



37 Responses to “Donna Hay hot cross buns for Easter”

  1. mydearbakes March 16, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    Very impressive! This is such a wonder bake! =D

  2. Little Gumnut March 17, 2013 at 4:22 am #

    fwarrrrr so going to make this… I love hot cross buns!!!!

  3. eat sweet. by carla sue March 17, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    This afternoon I decided that I wanted to make hot cross buns this week, so thank you oh so much for sharing this recipe! Yours look soooooo good 🙂 By the way, I can sympathise with having those special ones put aside having been eaten!

    • thehungrymum March 17, 2013 at 10:25 am #

      wow, how’s the timing?! I bet yours are so much prettier than mine!

      • eat sweet. by carla sue March 17, 2013 at 10:43 am #

        I’m not so sure! Sometimes the first time I make things, they don’t always turn out as I want them to :S Haha. Yours look great! (the Hungry Dad must have though so too…hehe).

  4. kelihasablog March 17, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    Looks fantastic! I really think I’ll try this one…

    • thehungrymum March 18, 2013 at 3:13 am #

      You can’t beat home-made hot cross buns. Thanks for the kind words x

  5. Sally March 18, 2013 at 3:39 am #

    I know all about people eating your baking before you’ve had time to shoot it! Not surprised with these lovely buns.

    • thehungrymum March 18, 2013 at 5:37 am #

      Isn’t it a pain?! We gobbled up the least attractive ones as soon as they were out of the oven so when a certain someone ate the last 2 I was tres cranky…

      • singdancebake March 20, 2013 at 7:29 am #

        Was just reading through all your great comments and had a massive chuckle at your “trea cranky”! I’ve never met anyone else who says that but I say it all the time!!

      • singdancebake March 20, 2013 at 7:31 am #

        “tres cranky” is what I meant to type! Have hurt my wrist so typing is tough! Hope I can still bake though, especially this one! Have never made hot cross buns but can’t wait to get baking this weekend!

      • thehungrymum March 20, 2013 at 8:36 am #

        haha – I knew what you meant. I’m often cranky [at traffic, at my kids at bedtime] but tres cranky is reserved for the big ones [eg hubby eating blogged food before he’s been given the all clear]. Can’t imagine how tres cranky I’d be with a broken wrist – hope you’re not in too much pain.

  6. girlinafoodfrenzy March 18, 2013 at 4:15 am #

    Delicious! I love fresh bread and I’m definitely one to pfaff the night before if I can (to have) fresh baked goods the next morning. I can totally see why hungry dad decided to help you as your taste tester 😉 the smell of fresh baked hot cross buns is too tempting an offer!

    • thehungrymum March 18, 2013 at 5:33 am #

      There’s nothing like freshly baked bread-type items! I love to get ahead when I can [I’ve literally just googled freezable baked goods for Easter!]. I’m amazed the HUngry Dad ate my buns, considering he is on the paleo diet at the moment…

  7. Choc Chip Uru March 18, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    What a delicious festive treat 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

    • thehungrymum March 19, 2013 at 7:06 am #

      You’d probably refer your buns with a scattering of choc chips 🙂

  8. Nine Cent Girl March 18, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Yes please!!! xxoo

  9. Super Horst March 18, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    ………well, the proof of the pudding is in the eating……

  10. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella March 21, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    Candied peel is so controversial isn’t it! I don’t mind it but it definitely gives the buns a different taste altogether.

    • thehungrymum March 22, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

      It is! I never used to mind it either but over the years I’ve come to dislike it and never add it t baked goods.

  11. Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel March 23, 2013 at 3:28 am #

    I like candied peel, what a loner. These do look good and excellent advice to prep the night before. I do that with Christmas brekkie muffins.

    BUT… will I gorge myself on baking or chocolate this Easter?? Not sure… urge is to bake… hmmm… chocolate hot corss buns??

    • thehungrymum March 23, 2013 at 5:59 am #

      Hmmm, big decision. I personally think buns are the way to go – choc is a year-round treat whereas buns are here for but a short time. Perhaps choc cross buns are the best of both worlds 🙂

  12. ohlidia March 25, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    Baked goods right out of the oven are the best! And these do look so yummy! My little one would love making these. Thanks for your visit!

  13. phylliskirigin May 12, 2014 at 5:05 am #

    Delicious and nostalgic.

  14. thefolia April 27, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

    I always wanted to make these such a process with yeast, but I should try it with the hook as well.

    • thehungrymum April 28, 2015 at 7:50 am #

      such a drawn out process, but really it is worth it. This was the first year I didn’t make them as we were away.

  15. The Hungry Mum March 15, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

    Reblogged this on the hungry mum.

  16. missemzyy March 16, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

    They look perfect! Well done! Will have to try your recipe this Easter x

    • The Hungry Mum March 19, 2016 at 3:54 am #

      Awww, you’re too kind! Thank you, they are fun to make.

  17. GourmetGetaways (@GourmetGetaway) March 16, 2016 at 11:20 pm #

    i feel like a neglectful mum! I have never made hot cross buns! Your buns look so good too 🙂 I might have to take the plunge and follow your lead.
    Thanks so much for sharing
    Gourmet Getaways

    • The Hungry Mum March 19, 2016 at 3:52 am #

      I think I am waaaay more neglectful than you – I put misses 8 and 10 on dinner duties most nights! That way I have more time to bake #addict

  18. lost in utensils March 20, 2016 at 4:24 am #

    Every time I’ve tried to make hot cross buns, they haven’t worked out! I’ll try these ones…

  19. Anna @ shenANNAgans March 29, 2016 at 1:27 am #

    You are a baking genius, a few years ago I worked with a French baker, he sent me off to make hot cross buns, they were not to his standard, so he threw them in the bin, no explanation. Just…. do it again. So I did. Those buns ended up in the bin too. I literally spent my day watching my work get tossed away. Havent been back to make them since. BUT, this recipe looks manageable, will save for next year. 🙂

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