Enjoy this typical South African meal traditionally eaten at Easter time! Pickle Fish and Hot cross buns which are luxuriously filled with raisins, sultanas and mixed peel, it’s slightly sweet, fluffy and soft and scented with warm spices like cinnamon and mixed spice!

hot cross bun recipe

Hot Cross Buns are the ultimate Easter bake, and according to Irish folklore – if you share a hot cross bun with someone, it will cement your friendship for an entire year!

Tips for Working with Yeast

Make sure your yeast is fresh. If it is not, it will not activate.
The water for the yeast must be around (40 โ€“ 46ยฐC)… warm enough to feel comfortable to the touch to not under activate or kill the yeast. If uncertain try using a thermometer.

How Long do Hot Cross Buns Keep?

Homemade hot cross buns will last in an airtight container for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. If freezing, wrap hot cross buns individually in plastic wrap so that you can thaw the portions that you require.

hot cross bun recipe

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Hot Cross Buns
Serves: 8
  • 4 Cups White Bread Flour (Plus Approx ½ Cup Extra for Kneading)
  • 1 10gr Pkt Instant Yeast
  • ¼ Cup Castor Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsps Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 Tsps Ground Mixed Spice
  • 3 Tbles Mixed Peel
  • 11/2 Cups Dried Fruit Mix (I used Raisins and Sultanas)
  • 1 Egg Beaten
  • 11/4 Cups Warm Milk
  • 4 Tbles Butter
Paste for Crosses
  • ½ Cup Cake Flour
  • 6-8 Tbles Water
  • 1 Tbles Apricot Jam
  • 2 Tbles Water
  1. In a large mixing bowl sift flour, sugar, yeast, spices and salt together.
  2. Add the mixed peel and dried fruit mix.
  3. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg.
  4. Stir the butter into the warm milk and add to the flour mixture a little bit at a time until the mixture comes together.
  5. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead well until soft and smooth, approx 10mins.
  6. Cover and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  7. Deflate the risen dough and roll into a log and cut the dough into 14-16 medium-sized pieces. Roll into a ball and place about 1 cm apart on a greased baking tray.
  8. Cover and leave in a warm place for about 30 mins or until the buns have risen.
  9. Preheat the oven to 180ยฐC and start making the paste for the crosses.
For the Crosses
  1. Mix the flour with a bit of water at a time to make a thickish paste. (You may not need all the water). Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.
  2. Bake for approx 20mins.
  3. Brush with the glaze.
For the Glaze
  1. Whilst the buns are baking make the glaze. Place the jam and the water in a bowl, microwave for 30 seconds. Mix to combine. As soon as the buns come out of the oven brush them thoroughly with the jammy syrup.
  2. Leave for 5 minutes then remove from the tin and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
Serve with butter and enjoy!
Recipe updated March 2021