Buns in the oven


Yesterday we made our first batch of hot cross buns. It was time. And they were delicious.

Making any kind of yeasted, sweet, sticky buns is cooking nirvana for me. The way the dough feels, the kitchen smells and the end results taste - it really is my idea of a good time. So yesterday Alice, her cousin Grace and I hit the kitchen. The girls helped measure out the ingredients then knead, pipe and glaze, and the whole process put us all in a warm/fuzzy/Easter-y mood. In case you feel like a spot of aimless baking too...here's our recipe.

Cocoa and spice hot cross buns

This is a fairly sticky dough so it helps if you have a mixer with a dough hook. Otherwise of course you can knead the dough by hand but prepared to get a little bit messy!

4 cups plain flour
4 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup caster sugar

1/3 cup best quality cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Herbies ‘sweet spice dust’ mix (this stuff is amazing) or mixed spice
pinch of salt
1 cup currants
40g butter
300ml milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

For the flour mix - about 1/2 cup plain flour and 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, cocoa, spices, salt and currants in the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook or just a large bowl. Then place the butter and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until the butter has melted into the milk. Remove from heat and let cool a little (you want the mixture to be lukewarm). Add the milk and butter mixture to the dry ingredients then pour in the eggs.

Knead with the dough hook for 10 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and elastic (but still a little sticky). Or tip mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand. If using the electric mixer, still finish up with a few minutes kneading by hand. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours or until it has almost doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Divide the dough into 12 even-sized pieces (this is fun for the kids to do), and place them about 1cm apart on a tray lined with baking paper, leave to rest again for 30 minutes more.

Meanwhile, make the flour paste by just mixing together the flour and spice mix (or cinnamon) and just enough water to make a thick paste. Spoon this into a piping bag or plastic sandwich bag and snip off the bottom corner. Once the buns have rested, pipe crosses on each. Your buns are now ready for the oven!

They should take between 30/35 minutes to cook but check after 30 (the buns will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom). Towards the end of the cooking time, make the glaze by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring often, and cook for a few minutes until you have a nice syrup happening. Brush the buns with sugar syrup as soon as they come out of the oven and they are done! We had these yesterday with just a smear of butter and cups of tea and hot chocolate. Makes 12.


  1. Replies
    1. Happy Easter to you too Jane! Hope you guys have a lovely few days off. Sophiex

  2. I confess I got a tiny bit squeeeeey when I saw your post header... should have known!! Happy Beester*, Soph. x

    * Max has always called it Beester.

  3. These look absolutely perfect! ONE DAY I will get there!!! Happy Easter Sophie! x

  4. I've never tried chocolate hot cross buns - intriguing. Nothing like the smell of spice and yeasted buns cooking so chocolate must only make it even better.

    1. Hi Anne, they really are yummy and smell amazing! Hope you have a great Easter, Sophiex

  5. I shall make these tomorrow. Thank you for the recipe.
    I hope you have a lovely Easter. x

  6. Hello Sophie, I looked you up because my daughter Kim just sent up a plate of venison & potatoes from your book as well as hot cross buns from this post. They were DELICIOUS all, but especially the venison (from the family's own hunting trip) - it was melt in the mouth. Such a lovely website. J

    1. Thank you Joan!! So so happy to hear you enjoyed the book, buns and venison!! Happy Easter, Sophie

  7. Yum, the perfect 'it's almost Easter' activity. And good to know it's kid friendly too.

  8. Hey Bron - nope no triplets for us! Have a great Easter, Sx


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