Hot Cross Cinnamon Buns

My love of combining recipes continues with these Hot Cross Cinnamon Buns. Complete with all the best ingredients from both creations, with a few extra additions thrown in for good measure. The have a cinnamon bun dough with the usual brown sugar, butter and cinnamon filling. But I have also added the mixed peel, dried fruit, mixed spice and white crosses usually found on a hot cross bun. I also added grated marzipan as an homage to the traditional Easter simnel cake and orange zest, well, just because I like it. The result is a richly spiced and fruited bun which is perfect with a cup of tea, or to grab and go for breakfast.

I should say – please do not be put off by the list of filling ingredients that I used. If you don’t have one or even most of them don’t let that be a barrier to you making them. I, like Mae West, believe that too much of a good thing is wonderful, and therefore threw the full force of my store cupboard at this recipe. But I realise not everyone will be as well stocked a total food hoarder like me and even just with the cinnamon, sugar and currants these will still taste delicious – view anything else you can add in as a bonus but definitely not essential.

I like to use currants in cinnamon buns, purely for the reason that their small size makes the buns easier to slice, but of course you could use any other dried fruit. You could also use a wholegrain flour like spelt if you would like to make more of a virtuous Easter bake.

The buns look lovely when still all sat in their rows after baking, with their crosses anchoring them together. I think they’d make a lovely addition to Easter weekend, (something to cut through all that chocolate!) or would make a pretty edible present if you’re a guest to someone else’s over the Easter weekend. I will be away over Easter this year but having eaten at least half of this batch I don’t feel to hard done by that I have to miss my Easter at home.

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Hot Cross Cinnamon Buns

Makes: 12 buns

Prep time: 25 minutes plus rising time

Baking time: 25 minutes


  • 300ml non-dairy milk
  • 2 tbsp melted vegan butter or oil
  • 1 tsp flaky salt
  • 7g fast action yeast
  • 450g + 2 tbsp strong white flour

For the filling:

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 100g currants
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 125g marzipan, grated.
  • 60g dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • zest of 1 orange


  1. Place the flour, salt and yeast into a large mixing bowl. Pour in the milk and the melted butter and stir quickly to bring together into a dough.
  2. Tip out the dough onto a floured surface and quickly knead for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth ball of dough. Feel free to knead for longer if you find it therapeutic- I’m just impatient! Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and leave to rise for 45 mins to an hour.
  3. Once the dough has doubled in size dust your work surface with flour and tip out the dough. Knead it together, knocking the air out of it. It will be soft and stretchy, add a little more flour if you need to. Roll out the dough into a rough rectangle around 35cm x 50cm – don’t worry too much if it doesn’t have perfect corners.
  4. Spread the butter over the surface of the dough, I find a rubber spatula much easier than a knife for this. Then sprinkle over all of the remaining fillings. You can do this one by one, but I like to mix them all together in a bowl first and then sprinkle the mixture over. This just ensures they’re all evenly distributed (otherwise my orange zest always ends up in one big clump).
  5. Starting on the long edge nearest you, start to tightly roll the dough up gently into a long sausage, tucking in any filling that’s loose. Cut the dough into slices using a sharp knife, or even better – dental floss (pull it underneath the long roll of dough and bring the ends over each other at the top to ‘cut’ off a slice). I make about 11 slices, including the ends (I bake these separately in ramekins). Place the buns into a greased tin, leaving a little space between each bun so they have room to rise. I used a square tin to bake them in rows of 3.
  6. Cover and leave to rise for 25-35 minutes. Preheat oven to 180 °C.
  7.  Once they’ve risen and are touching you can add the crosses. Mix together the flour with enough water to make a thick paste. Pipe in lines over the buns.
  8. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, by which time they should be lightly golden on top and feel slightly soft in texture underneath when prodded.
  9. The buns are best eaten fresh (or even better – when still warm from the oven, mmm!) but will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container.


  • If you’d like to give the buns a shiny, sticky finish you can make a quick glaze by mixing 2 tbsp of caster sugar with 1-2 tbsp hot water, just brush it over the buns when they are still hot from the oven.
  • The buns taste lovely toasted (especially if they’re a few days old) kind of like a teacake – just slice them in half, place under the grill until brown and then liberally butter.

30 thoughts on “Hot Cross Cinnamon Buns

  1. I have been perfecting my cinnamon roll recipe and am always looking for new ways to get tasty treats! Thank you for all the thought and time you put into your recipes and posts. I love everything about your blog, from the photos and layout, to your tagline! Looking forward to trying your recipes!

    Liked by 1 person

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