Best Ever Hot Cross Buns

Nothing says Easter like traditional Hot Cross Buns.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Snack
Servings: 32 buns
Author: Dimitra Alfred


  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring jug
  • Bowl – Large
  • Bowl – Medium
  • Baking tray – Large
  • Baking paper
  • Small zip lock bag or piping bag with small plain nozzle
  • Strainer
  • Wooden spoon
  • Plastic wrap
  • Saucepan – Small
  • Mixing spoon
  • Knife – Bread
  • Knife – Butter
  • Pastry brush
  • Scissors
  • Oven mitts
  • Cooling rack – Large


  • 250 ml water
  • 0.5 cup lemon verbena leaves (firmly packed)
  • 125 ml buttermilk
  • 14 g dry yeast (2 sachets)
  • 0.5 cup caster sugar
  • 4 cups plain flour white
  • 1 cup plain flour wholemeal
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.25 cups sultanas
  • 80 ml canola oil

Flour paste

  • 50 g plain flour white
  • 60 ml water


  • 55 g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp water


  • Measure out all the ingredients before you start.
  • Preheat oven to 200C.

Make Lemon Verbena Tea

  • Place the water and lemon verbena leaves into a small saucepan.
  • Cover with lid and bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 2 minutes.
  • Set aside allowing lemon verbena to steep in the water.

Prepare the Yeast

  • Place the buttermilk into a small saucepan and heat gently until lukewarm NOT HOT! To test, dip in your finger, it should feel just warm.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the yeast and sugar.
  • Pour the lemon verbena liquid through a strainer into the yeast mixture, pressing out as much of the liquid as possible; discard the lemon verbena leaves.
  • Set liquid ingredients aside for a few minutes while preparing the dry ingredients.

Mixing the Dough

  • In the large bowl combine the flour, mixed spice, salt and sultanas.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
  • Add the yeast mixture, and oil. Use one hand draw the flour mixture into the centre and mix to a soft sticky dough.
  • Sprinkle a little flour over the bench.
  • Tip out the dough and use your hands to squash it all together into one lump. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, only sprinkling it with flour if it feels too sticky.
  • Lightly oil a bowl and place the ball of dough into the bowl, turn over the dough to cover with oil, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it for 1 hour in a warm spot to double in size.

Make the Flour Paste

  • Place the flour and water in a bowl and beat until smooth, adding more water if the paste is too thick.
  • Spoon into a piping bag or small plastic bag.

Make the Glaze

  • Heat the sugar and water in the small saucepan until the sugar dissolves.
  • Simmer uncovered, for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

Shaping & Baking

  • Line the large baking tray with baking paper.
  • Punch the dough down once to release the air, then knead for 30 seconds.
  • Roll the dough into a long sausage and use a dinner knife to divide dough into 32 even sized pieces.
  • Shape each piece into a ball and place close together, but not quite touching onto the prepared trays.
  • If time allows, set aside in a warm place for 20 minutes or until well risen.
  • Now you are ready to pipe the crosses. Snip a small hole in the corner of the bag and pipe the flour paste to form crosses over the buns.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until well browned and risen.
  • Brush the hot buns with the glaze.
  • Cool slightly before serving.