Hot Cross Buns


Happy Easter! I hope that you are enjoying your long weekend wherever you may be. Today, Vancouver is an absolutely gorgeous city (what’s new!) The skies are azure blue, the mountain peaks are dipped in white frosting and the sunshine is glimmering on down on us all. As I’m writing this I’m basking in my parent’s sunlit flowery backyard garden– in a bathing suit! My iPhone says it’s 17 C. Is that even possible for Van in the month of March? Well, I’m planning on soaking up every drop of this glorious sunshine while it lasts! I hope you are too :)

Bowen Island Sunset

Earlier this weekend, we were able to zip up to the cabin for a relaxing night away and to say a quick hello to my mom’s chickens. Sometimes it’s the short vacations that get you feeling the most centred again.

At the cabin we read books, had a sunset dinner and on Friday morning I made a batch of hot cross buns. How traditionally Eastery of me!

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

yield: 1 dozen- 1.5 dozen buns. prep time: 2 hr 45 mins bake time: 25-30 mins total project time: 3 hr 30 mins bake temp: 350 F

Note: Make sure you give yourself enough time to make these little guys. I woke up at 8 and was able to finish them by 11:30, but was a bit pinched for time. I would recommend prepping the dry and wet ingredients the night before to save time (excluding the warm milk and yeast of course). They are lovely little buns to serve for breakfast, but are also great with coffee or tea as an afternoon treat! So don’t feel rushed :)

Dough Ingredients

3/4 cup 2 % milk, heated to just above body temp (105 F)
4 tbsp instant dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/3 cup local organic, dried currants
1/4 cup mixed diced peel

Glaze Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar 
3 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla

Cross Icing Ingredients

3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp milk, plus extra if needed



1. Warm water and add 4 tbsp yeast. Let sit for a bit. Measure the rest of the ingredients for dough (except the currants and peel, yeast and water) into a large bowl or the bowl of a mixer fitted with the hook attachment (eg. Kitchen Aid). Add yeast water. Mix the dough on low speed until it comes together, then increase speed and knead until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes (the dough is soft and should stick to the bottom of the bowl). If mixing by hand, stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together, then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. Put dough aside and first remove peel from orange and lemon with a vegetable peel, then finely dice peels until they measure together to be 1/4 cup. At final stages of kneading, sprinkle the currants and mixed peel into the dough and knead in. Scrape the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean dish cloth and let rise in a warm location for 75 to 90 minutes, until doubled in size.
2. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide in half. Then divide each half into 3, then break each portion into two (or three) small evenly sized balls. I had a total of 12 balls, but would recommend making more balls (dividing the final step into 3 not 2, giving you 18). The more buns the merrier, and these hot cross buns are cuter when smaller! Shape each piece into a ball by rolling between your hands while it remains on the work surface. Place the rolled buns in a greased large pan, leaving some space between each bun. Cover the pan with a dish cloth and let the buns rise for 45 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Uncover the buns and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a rich brown on top. While still hot from the oven, prepare the glaze.


Hot Glaze

1. For the glaze, bring the sugar, water and vanilla up to a simmer in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved. With a pastry brush, spread this syrup over the warm buns until all the glaze is used up. Let the buns cool completely in the tin.


1. For the icing, sift and stir the icing sugar and milk together until a thick consistency is formed (add a few more drops of milk, if needed). Pour this into a small plastic baggie with the corner cut out, or into a pastry bag. I just took a knife with a dollop of icing on the end and gently guided two lines across the buns to form the cross. It worked fine! Pipe or draw your crosses on top of each bun, letting the icing set for an hour before serving.
Recipe adapted from Anna Olson’s Hot Cross Buns

Reference: Olson, Anna (2013). Bake with Anna Olson . Food Shaw Media: Vancouver, B.C.

Hot Cross Buns

The buns puffed up to be golden, citrusy and delicately spiced–a perfect little treat to share with family on a sunny day. After piping on their criss-cross icing,  I brought the tray of hot little buns to our cabin’s garden, Fireweed Farm and shared a few with some hardworking gardeners (my mama and co.).  How silly is this photo–  our little bird brains got super curious! It was too funny trying to keep the birdies away from these tasty treats.

Easter Treats

I hope you have a wonderful long weekend! Now go enjoy the gorgeous outdoors :)


Blue Owl

You may also like: 

Braided Rosemary BreadCranberry Hazelnut Granola, The Best Ever Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

About Blue Owl Treats

Welcome! I am Heather, a musician, baker, and teacher living in beautiful Vancouver, BC! I use this blog to share my love for baking and the odd DIY or crafting project. Enjoy!
This entry was posted in Baking, Bread, Chickens, home and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hot Cross Buns

  1. Shannon says:

    yummmmm I really want one! can you teleport one to me please??

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