Hot Cross Buns are a traditional Easter breakfast treat. This easy recipe does not include raisins or other dried fruit, but white chocolate chips and orange zest are added to the sweet, subtly spicy dough instead.
For this recipe you’ll need: all-purpose or bread flour, yeast, sugar, brown sugar, milk, eggs, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, orange, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, white chocolate chips
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Did You Know…
Hot Cross Buns are a traditional Easter Sweet Roll that are marked with a cross, made from frosting or a flour slurry. The bun, filled with dried fruit, was originally baked in honor of Eastre, Goddess of Spring.
During the Middle Ages all breads were marked with a cross — bakers felt that the holy marking would keep the devil from causing the bread to mold or burn.
In the 1600s, under the pressure from Puritans, this practice was discontinued except on certain holy days. In fact the only time baked goods couple be marked with a cross was Good Friday.
No Raisins in these Hot Cross Buns!
Here’s the deal. While I love raisins and other dried fruit out of the box I rarely like it in any sort of baked thing. The texture changes and it just bothers me. I don’t like them in any kind of sweet roll!
Hot cross buns are generally a minefield of rum soaked dried fruit and, while I am not adverse to rum for breakfast, the whole package together is just not something that most of my family would enjoy.
Keeping that in mind I decided to throw caution to the wind, remove whatever nutritional value might be lurking in the buns, and substitute the dried fruit with white chocolate chips.
Pure evil, right?
Melt in Your Mouth Buns that Are Unforgettable
These are ultra light, sweet and spicy buns with a fragile sugar crust on the top that teases you with a crisp shell that melts away in seconds. Cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon make the whole house smell amazing while they are baking.
As you eat them you get random blasts of white chocolate. They are not as sweet as a cinnamon roll but way more interesting than a piece of toast. Slightly warmed with a slather of orange marmalade?
In fact, the last time I made them I decided that the icing made them too sweet so I just leave them with a dusting of Confectioner’s sugar.
Now, there’s no reason that you need to wait for Easter to make them. Hot Cross buns are just as yummy on a dreary, rainy Wednesday as they are on Good Friday.
Maybe even better.
Hot Cross Buns FAQs
If you are pushed for time you can cover the unbaked, shaped rolls loosely with greased plastic wrap and let them rise in the refrigerator overnight.
While they are best eaten warm, you probably don’t want to put these in the toaster because of the white chocolate. You could slice them and put them under the broiler for a few seconds.
About 2 days in the pantry and up to 3 months in the freezer.
You can freeze them either before or after baking. If you’re freezing them before baking flash freeze them right after shaping. Then when ready to use thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and bake.
More Great Brunch Recipes
Who doesn’t like fresh, straight from the oven sweet rolls for breakfast or brunch? Here are some of my favorite recipes – I hope you like them as much as I do.
- Easter Bunny Rolls are super cute for Easter Brunch. Delicate orange sweet rolls shaped like bunnies.
- Italian Easter Bread is a traditional holiday sweet bread that’s baked in a wreath shape with colored Easter eggs to decorate it.
- Cinnamon Crowns are a combination of a cinnamon roll and a cream cheese danish. They are basically impossible not to gorge yourself on.
- Bacon Cinnamon Rolls were created for my husband on Father’s Day a couple of years ago. Bacon, sugar, and cinnamon wrapped up in carbs – what’s not to like?
Whole Wheat Hot Cross Buns with Cherries and Lemon from Cooking Canuck sound pretty interesting!
You May Need…
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You definitely want to use parchment or silpat on your baking pan underneath these sweet breakfast buns! The chocolate tends to melt a little bit and cause them to stick to the pan no matter how well greased it is.
Easy, White Chocolate Hot Cross Buns Recipe
If you are a bread baker you’ve probably got everything for this recipe right in your pantry! Definitely don’t wait to make them! And… now that you have brunch taken care of head over and check out these great Easter Dessert ideas!
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Hot Cross Buns with Orange and White ChocolatePrint Add to Collection Go to Collections
- 1/4 cup water, 100F-110F
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, or bread flour – you may need a bit more
- 1 cup milk, , 110F
- 3 large eggs, , room temperature, separate one egg white out
- 6 tablespoons butter, , melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- Reserved egg white
- 1 tablespoon cream
- Sugar crystals for sprinkling
Flour MIxture Crosses
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup water
- Add the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar to 1/4 cup warm (110F) water and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Lightly grease a baking sheet
- Add the yeast mixture to the bowl of a mixer and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour. Mix well.
- Mix the milk, butter, eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, nutmeg, cloves, orange zest, and brown sugar and add to the yeast mixture in the mixer bowl with the mixer on low.
- Add 1 cup of the flour and continue to blend.
- Continue adding flour, a little at a time, until you have a soft, sticky dough.
- Add the white chocolate chips.
- Knead about 3 minutes.
- Form into a ball, place in a greased pan. Turn to grease the top and cover with a tea towel.
- Let the dough rise for 1 hour (or until double), covered.
- Punch down. Divide the dough into 16 balls.
- Arrange them in the prepared pan.
- Cover the pan, and let the buns rise for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Bake the buns for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven carefully.
- Whisk together the reserved egg white and cream, and gently brush it over the buns.
- Pipe a cross with the flour mixture on the buns.
- Sprinkle with sugar if desired.
- Return to the oven and bake the rolls for 15 to 20 more minutes, until they’re golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let them cool. Dust with Confectioner’s sugar.
- Blend the water and flour to a smooth, thick paste. Add it to a decorating bag and use a small, round tip to create crosses on the buns.
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