Go Back
Getting ready for Easter baking? Give this easy hot cross buns recipe a go! Filled with raisins, warm cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg, naturally sweetened with maple syrup, and topped with a honey orange glaze. Perfect for Easter brunch! Get the recipe and other refined sugar free desserts at naturallysweetkitchen.com #easter #easterbaking #baking #photography #hotcrossbuns #bread #homemade #sugarfree #refinedsugarfree #naturallysweetkitchen

Easy Hot Cross Buns

Studded with raisins and naturally sweetened with maple syrup, these easy hot cross buns will be the toast of your Easter brunch.

Category Bread
Keyword Easy Hot Cross Buns
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Proofing 4 hours
Total Time 50 minutes
Serves 8
Author Amanda | Naturally Sweet Kitchen


Hot Cross Buns

  • 75 ml milk
  • 60 ml pure maple syrup
  • 14 g unsalted butter
  • 220 g unbleached bread flour
  • ½ tbsp fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground all-spice
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 50 g raisins or currants


  • 40 g unbleached plain flour
  • 2 tbsp water


  • 2 tbsp unpasteurised honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tsp orange juice or water


  1. Pour the milk and maple syrup into a saucepan and bring to a scald over medium low heat.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the butter; stir it into the hot liquid until melted. Set to the side until the mixture cools to 35-46ºC (95-115ºF).
  3. Sift the flour, yeast, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and all-spice into a large bowl. Whisk well to combine.
  4. Once the wet ingredients have cooled, make a well at the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid into it. Mix together with a fork. Crack the egg into the bowl and continue mixing with a fork until the dough forms a rough ball.
  5. Lightly flour a clean work surface and tip out the dough. Add the raisins and knead them into the dough for 5-6 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball.
  6. Grease the bowl lightly with olive oil and return the kneaded dough to the bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and set in a warm place to rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  7. Prepare a baking tray with a silicone mat or by lightly greasing it with olive oil.
  8. Once the dough has risen, punch out the excess air and tip onto a lightly floured work surface. Shape the dough into a long sausage and divide it evenly into 8. There should be about 60 grams of dough to a portion.

  9. Roll each portion of dough into a smooth ball and place the balls 1 ½ in (4 cm) apart on the tray.

  10. Cover the tray with the damp tea towel and allow to rise for another 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  11. Prepare the crosses batter 5 minutes before the buns are done their second proof. Combine the plain flour and water in a small bowl and whisk until it forms a smooth paste. You may need to add a little more water for it to reach a pipeable consistency. Fit a piping bag with a thin round tip (I used a Wilton #4) and add the cross batter to the bag.
  12. Preheat the oven to 205ºC (400ºF). In six straight lines, pipe the cross batter across the buns. Bake the buns for 15-17 minutes; they should be quite golden on top. You may need to cover them with a layer of foil around the 8-minute mark if they are browning too much. Remove the buns from the oven.
  13. Make the glaze by stirring together the honey and orange juice in a small bowl. Brush the warm buns with the glaze and allow to cool before serving.


These buns will keep sealed in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.