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  • Lucia Borzillo

Hot Cross Buns

Yes it is that time of year.

Hot cross buns are a type of sweet, spiced bread that is traditionally eaten on Good Friday in many countries around the world, especially in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

We bake them throughout Lent.

The dough is shaped into small buns, marked with a cross on top, and baked until golden brown.

The cross on top of the buns is usually made with a mixture of confectionary sugar, milk, vanilla and lemon extracts. In Christian tradition, the cross represents the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and the buns are meant to be a reminder of the religious significance of Good Friday.

Hot cross buns are often served warm with butter and jam or honey, and are a popular treat during the Easter season.

I found a bit of info on the web that I did not know. Some people also believe that hot cross buns have special powers, such as the ability to ward off evil spirits and protect against shipwrecks.

Special powers??? Not sure about that but they taste amazing!

My Mom's Hot Cross Buns Recipe -


2 envelopes active dry yeast

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup seedless raisins

4 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Lemon Icing (recipe at the end)


  1. Sprinkle yeast into warm water in a large bowl. ("warm" water should feel comfortably warm when dropped on the wrist.) Stir until yeast dissolves.

  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan; remove from heat. Stir in evaporated milk, sugar and salt until sugar dissolves; stir into yeast mixture.

  3. Beat eggs in a small bowl; stir into yeast mixture with raisins,

  4. Sift 2 cups of the flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg over yeast mixture; beat until smooth, then stir in just enough of remaining 2 1/2 cups flour to make a soft dough.

  5. Turn out onto a lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, adding only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking.

  6. Place in a greased bowl; brush top lightly with butter; cover with a clean towel. Let rise in a warm place, away from draft, 1 hour, or until double in bulk.

  7. Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured board; cut into 18 equal size pieces. Shape each lightly into a ball; place in a greased baking pan, 13 x 9 x 2.

  8. Cover with a clean towel; let rise in a warm place, away from draft, 45 minutes, or until double in bulk.

  9. Bake in moderate oven (375˚) 30 minutes, or until golden brown; remove pan; cool on a wire rack.

  10. Make Lemon Icing; drizzle from tip of knife or spoon over buns to make crosses.

  11. Lemon Icing - Blend 1 cup unsifted confectioners powdered sugar with 4 teaspoons of milk, 1/4 teaspoon on vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract in a small ball. Makes about 1/2 cup.

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