How to make your own hot cross buns. Picture: Henk Kruger
How to make your own hot cross buns. Picture: Henk Kruger

How to make your own hot cross buns

By Megan Baadjies Time of article published Apr 15, 2019

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If you plan on buying hot cross buns in ahead of the Easter long weekend, you can expect to pay anything from R17 for a six pack traditional hot cross buns to R51,99 for a four pack of gluten-free hot cross buns.  

If you have special dietary needs you'll not only pay more, but the chances of you finding it store are slim to zero. 

Making your own batch means you can play around with your own flavours and make as many as you like.  

Hot cross buns

Dry ingredients

  • 5 cups of cake flour or strong bread flour

  • 1&1/2 packets of instant yeast

  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

  • 6 tablespoons of caster sugar

  • 2 &1/2 teaspoons of mixed spice

  • 2&1/2 teaspoons of fine cinnamon

  • 1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg

  • 2 teaspoons of fine ginger (I use fresh ginger grated)

  • 1&1/2 cups of seedless raisins

Wet ingredients

  • 300 ml of lukewarm milk

  • 70 grams of melted butter

  • 2 extra large eggs whisked


  1. Put all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir till combined.

  2. Add wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.

  3. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise for 90 minutes.

  4. Knock down the dough and shape round balls placing it 2cm apart on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

  5. Cover with tea towel and allow to rise again for 35 minutes.  

  6. Take half a cup of cake flour and just enough water to make a soft white thick paste about 5-6 tablespoons.

  7. Take this paste and spoon it into a piping bake with a thin nozzle or just a plastic bag and cut a small piece with scissors at the tip corner and pipe down on each row all the way to the last bun and then do the same with the other rows of buns forming the cross shapes.

  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 190 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until brown.

  9. While still hot out of the oven, brush with a simple sugar syrup. Take a quarter cup of boiling water and stir in about 4-5 tablespoons of sugar.

  10. Stir until dissolved. You can cook this syrup for a few minutes on the stove or omit this step and stir in the sugar syrup a teaspoon of apricot jam until dissolved and brush over hot buns.

  11. And that's it just made your own hot cross buns.


  • Don't be tempted to add more flour to your dough mix, this will result in a heavy and dense bun.

  • To take it to another level add the zest of one orange. I used freshly grated ginger. You may use remaining sugar syrup to brush for a second time after it has cooled.

  • You can store in an airtight container in the fridge to keep for the next day. Simply pop in the microwave for a few seconds and it will taste oven fresh again.

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