Easter Hot Cross Buns

We know that you're probably tempted to just pop down to Woolies for a pack of Hot Cross Buns, but there is nothing more satisfying and delicious than a home baked one instead (especially when baked in a Holly Wood Kitchen). 

Enjoy our favourite recipe for these traditional Easter treats, and let us know if you make them yourself. Post on Instagram with the hashtag #athomewithhollywood

This recipe uses a KitchenAid stand mixer but this can also be done with a hand-mixer or by hand with a wooden spoon. 



  • 3 teaspoons instant or rapid rise yeast (9 grams), check that it is still active! 
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk, warm, full fat or low fat 
  • 4 1/4 cups (640g) bread flour (or plain / all purpose) 
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tsp All Spice OR Mixed Spice 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (210g) raisins 
  • 1 – 2 oranges, zest only (optional)
  • 50g / 3.5 tbsp  unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg, at room temperature

Extra flour for the dough: 

  • 1/4 cup (35g) extra bred flour 

For the crosses:

  • 1/2 cup (75g) flour (any white flour)
  • 5 tbsp water


  • 1 tbsp apricot jam
  • 2 tsp water 


  • Mix the dry ingredients – Place flour, yeast, sugar, all spice, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Briefly mix with the mixer fitted with a dough hook. 
  • Add the wet ingredients – Add butter, milk, egg, raisins and optional orange zest.
  • Mix mix mix: Mix for 5 minutes until a smooth elastic dough forms. Start on speed 2 then once the ingredients are combined, increase to speed 4. After 1 minute, add extra flour if required, just enough so dough comes away from side of bowl when mixing and doesn't stick terribly to your fingers. You want to use the least amount of flour possible to bring the dough together while keeping it moist and soft. 
  • Hand kneading: Alternatively, dust a work surface with flour and knead by hand for 10 minutes.
  • Dough is kneaded enough when it's smooth, elastic and does not break when stretched. 

The first rise:
  • Leave dough in the bowl, cover with cling wrap and place in a warm, wind free place to rise until doubled in size. This will take anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on how warm it is. 
  • Line a 31.5 x 23.5 cm / 9 x 13″ tray with baking paper with overhang.
  • Remove cling wrap and punch dough to deflate.
  • Dust work surface with flour, place dough on work surface, shape into a log – this will deflate the air. Cut into 12 equal pieces.
  • Take one piece and press down with palm, then use your fingers to gather into a ball, then roll the dough briefly to form a ball. This stretches the dough on one side and that’s how I get a nice smooth surface.
  • Place the ball with the smooth side up on the tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Line them up 3 x 4.
The second rise: 
  • Spray a piece of cling wrap lightly with oil (any), then loosely place over the tray.
  • Return tray to warm place and leaver 30 – 45 minutes, until the dough has risen by about 75% (less than double in size).
  • Partway through Rise #2, preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (all oven types).
  • Mix flour and water until a thick runny paste forms, roughly the consistency of paint. 
  • Spoon into a round 3 mm piping bag or small ziplock bag then snip corner.
  • Remove the cling wrap and pipe crosses onto the buns. Ensure each bun is piped right own below the curve. 
  • Bake in preheated oven (180°C/350°F) for 22 minutes, or until the surface is a deep golden brown. The surface colour is the best test for this recipe.
  • Meanwhile, place jam and water in a bowl, microwave for 30 seconds. Mix to combine.
  • Remove buns from oven and place on a cooling rack. 
  • Brush with jam mixture while warm. Allow to cool to warm before serving.

Top tips:

  1. If you absolutely hate raisins (we know a few of you!) you can opt to use chocolate chips instead. 
  2. This recipe can be made a day in advance, an easy way to ensure fresh buns on Easter morning. For best results, place in the fridge overnight before the second rise. When ready to finish off, remove them from the fridge and allow them to come back to room temperature. Then allow the second rise and follow the rest of the recipe instructions. 
  3. If your milk is too hot it will kill the yeast. Ensure that it is lukewarm and a comfortable temperature to put your finger into.