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Hot Cross Buns

  • Total Time: 5 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 24 1x


  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for bowl
  • 1 cup milk (I actually used skim)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 ½ teaspoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 orange (I used a Cara Cara)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 large eggs, slightly beaten (Pasteurized if you like)
  • 5 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ¾ cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup American Spoon Red Haven Peach Preserves
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Pour 1 cup milk into small saucepan with candy thermometer clipped to side, and bring to about 110 degrees F over medium heat. Once heated, pour milk into bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment. With machine running on low speed, add sugar, yeast, salt, butter, cinnamon, orange and lemon zest, and eggs. Mix until combined. Add flour, continuing to mix on low speed until soft, slightly sticky dough forms around dough hook. This should happen quite quickly. Continue mixing on low speed about 4 more minutes until the dough is smooth. Scrape down hook and bowl as necessary. Add raisins and cherries, mixing to incorporate.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead briefly only to make sure raisins and cherries are fully incorporated throughout the dough. Shape dough into ball. Place dough in a large well buttered bowl. Turn the dough in the bowl so it is covered with butter. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for about 1 hour 30 minutes until it has roughly doubled in size.
  3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Turn dough out onto unfloured work surface. Knead very briefly before shaping into log. Cut log in half, each half in half and each quarter into six pieces. Shape each piece, roughly the same size, it doesn’t have to be exact, into a tightly formed ball. Place each ball on baking sheet, about 2 inches apart, 4 rows of 3 on each tray. Cover baking sheets tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for about 2 hours, until buns are doubled in size and touching.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Unwrap buns before transferring them to the oven to bake until golden brown, about 18-25 minutes, rotating after 10 minutes if necessary. Depending on your oven, watch them to make sure the bottoms are not browning far more quickly than the tops. Let cool on trays.
  5. While the buns are cooling, heat the peach preserves in a small saucepan over medium heat, breaking up large pieces of peach with a spoon. Brush or spoon jam over buns. They can still be warm for this step.
  6. When buns are completely cool, make the icing. In a medium bowl, whisk or stir together confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and about 2 tablespoons of milk, you may need more. The icing should be thick but spreadable. Adding more confectioners’ sugar or milk may be necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
  7. Spoon icing into piping bag or plastic zipper bag with a tiny tip cut off. Pipe crosses on buns. Serve and enjoy. Buns will keep for one day at room temperature in an air tight container, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months.


Hot cross bun recipe adapted from John Barricelli from The Martha Stewart Show, April 2007

  • Prep Time: 5 hours
  • Cook Time: 25 mins