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Hot Cross Bun recipe

Fragrant, soft and fluffy Hot Cross Buns made from high-grade flour, yeast, sugar, spices, milk, butter, orange zest, vanilla, egg and sultanas. Homemade just tastes better with this recipe from popular social media cook Vanya Insull of VJ Cooks.

Makes 12 buns, prep time 30 minutes, cook time 40 minutes, additional time: 3 hours 30 minutes (rising)


  • 1 ½ cups sultanas


  • 5 cups high-grade flour
  • 1 Tbsp dried yeast
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1 cup milk
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 75g butter melted
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg


  • ¼ cup white Flour
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp sugar


  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp boiling water


  1. In a stand mixer, add all the dry ingredients and combine. 
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the milk, water and melted butter (the mix should be warm but not hot). Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix well. 
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Use a dough hook attachment to knead for 5 minutes (or by hand for 10 minutes) until the dough comes together.
  4. Add the sultanas and mix until they are evenly spread throughout. 
  5. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll into a ball shape. Oil your mixing bowl and the surface of the dough. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with cling film and set in a warm spot for about 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. 
  6. Punch the dough down and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll into logs, then cut into 12 even pieces. Roll each piece into a tidy bun so the surface is smooth and round. 
  7. Place the buns in a lined tray, sitting 1-2 cm apart. Brush with a little water and cover with glad wrap to stop them drying out. Set in a warm spot for 1.5 hours or until they are 1 ½ times the size. 
  8. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake. For the crosses, mix the flour, sugar and water until smooth. Use a piping bag or snap lock bag with the corner snipped off to draw on your crosses. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. 
  9. To glaze the buns, dissolve the sugar in boiling water and brush the sugar syrup on the buns while hot, set on a rack to cool. Enjoy!


  • Dried fruit – I like to use sultanas because they are a bit juicier than other dried fruits. You can also use currants, raisins, cranberries or apricots but they can suck moisture out of the dough making your buns a bit dryer. If you want to use these other fruits I recommend soaking them in boiling water for 10-20 minutes before draining well and adding to the dough. Also if you don’t have fresh orange zest you could use mixed peel or a few drops of orange essence. Another fun addition to try out could be your favorite nuts, just add them at the same time as the fruit, up to a cup of nuts would work fine. 
  • High grade flour – Use bread flour or high grade flour for this recipe, it makes for a stronger dough to stretch and catch all the air bubbles giving softer, fluffier buns in the end. 
  • Spices – Feel free to add extra spice or make these your own by changing up the spices you use. Nutmeg, all spice, cardamon are all other good options you could try.


 Serving Size: 1 bun
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 372 Total Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 31mg Sodium: 255mg Carbohydrates: 71g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 25g Protein: 8g

Nutritional values are approximate. Please use your own calculations if you require a special diet.

More detailed instructions from VJ Cooks are available here.

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