Easy Hot Cross Buns with Custard Fillings

Spread the love

Hot cross buns are made for Good Friday and Easter celebrations. They are cinnamon flavored buns, sprinkled with raisins or dried berries, and topped with a cross mark icing.

hot cross buns

Besides the Easter egg hunt, this is one thing that almost everybody prepares for Easter celebrations. It’s a traditional Easter food, prepared to eat on Good Friday.

Back in the old days, the English baked hot cross buns on Good Friday to symbolize many good things to come. Bakers believed the buns would hang one in the kitchen and hoped  for all yeast products would rise successfully throughout the year. Friends would give hot cross buns to one another in the hope of remaining friends in their life. (1)

In Asian countries for those who celebrate Easter, bakers are posting hot cross buns on their social media pages and websites. It’s a nice thing to have a baked goods on Easter.

There’s nothing quite like the aroma from hot cross buns freshly baked from the oven. A mix of sweet, spiced tender buns with dried fruits .

What do Hot Cross Buns Taste Like?

Hot cross buns has a mix of cinnamon and nutmeg with dried fruits inside the buns and icing cross marks on top. If you decide to make it with no fillings, you can eat it with many varieties like cheese, salmon, eggs, or just butter.

What’s the Cross on Hot Cross Buns Made of ?

You can mix just water and flour. The consistency has to be right. It cannot be too thick or too thin. If it is too thin, it will run everywhere on the buns while being baked. If it is too thick, it will harden and ruin the texture of the bread.

I have used a different recipe for the cross mark icing. Using a little bit of egg, butter, sugar, and flour makes the cross mark is also flavorful. It will be soft and smooth like custard.

How Should You Serve Hot Cross Buns?

Hot cross buns are usually served warm, slathered with butter. It is usually served at before noon with a cup of tea.

hot cross buns with a cup of tea

Some people toasted hot cross buns and put cheese, avocado, salmon, or bacon.

My recipe of hot cross buns are filled with custard fillings. This is optional. If you want a plain dough, you don’t have to make the custard filling. Then it is back to the simple hot cross bun recipe.

Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Buns

ingredients
  • 300 gr high protein flour
  • 10 gr milk powder
  • ½ sdt cinnamon powder
  • ½ sdt spekkoek powder
  • 25 gr gula pasir
  • 25 gr organic palm sugar
  • 5 gr instant yeast
  • 220 gr liquid (2 egg yolks + 40 gr whipping cream + fresh milk = 220 gr     
  • 40 gr unsalted butter
  • 3 gr salt
dried cranberry and almond slices
  • 25 gr dried cranberry
  • 20 gr almond slices

Custard for Filling:

ingredients for custard fillings
  • 3 egg yolk
  • 50 gr sugar
  • 20 gr flour
  • 250 ml fresh milk
  • 15 gr unsalted butter
  • 10 gr cornstarch

Custard for Topping: 

cross mark icing
  • 25 gr unsalted butter
  • 25 gr confectionery sugar
  • ½  egg (the other half is for egg wash)
  • 50 gr flour

Eggwash:

  • ½ half egg
  • 1 tbsp fresh milk

Notes on the Ingredients

Sugar – In this recipe, I use a combination of regular white sugar and organic palm sugar. Organic palm sugar works well with cinnamon and spekoek or nutmeg. It will bring out the flavor and aroma even more.

Cinnamon – You can use either regular ground Cinnamon or Ceylon Ground Cinnamon. I prefer the latter for its health sides.

Spekkoek – If you don’t have ground spekkoek, you can add ground nutmeg. Even if you don’t have ground nutmeg, just substitute it with ground cinnamon. The buns will be just as delicious.

Instant yeast – Instant yeast is fine to use in this recipe.

Raisins – I substitute raisins to dried cranberries because I love cranberries.

Liquid – Add 2 egg yolks and 40 gr of whipping cream and milk. The total is 220 gr.

Instructions

Buns

  • Sieve flour, milk powder, cinnamon powder, and spekoek spice into a mixing bowl.
  • Put in sugar, palm sugar, and yeast.
  • Pour in liquid mixture (2 egg yolks, 40 gr whipping cream, and milk, the total should be 220 gr).
  • Start the mixer, turn on the timer for 20 minutes.
  • When the dry ingredients are mixed, put in the butter and salt.
  • Continue mixing until the timer beeps.
  • The dough should be not sticky at the end of mixing.
  • Knead with hands on the table for a while.
  • Put in cranberry and almond slices into the dough. Knead evenly.
  • Let the dough ferment for 1 hour. Cover with a cloth or cling wrap to prevent dryness.

While waiting for the buns to ferment, let’s make the custard fillings:

  • Heat milk and butter together with low temperature until the butter melts. Set aside and let it cool.
  • Whisk the egg yolks together with sugar until sugar dissolves.
  • Sieve flour and cornstarch into the egg yolk mixture.
  • Pour in milk in parts and whisk well. Strain if needed.
  • Pour the mixture back into the pan. Heat with low temperature. Do not leave it unattended.
custard
  •  The mixture will thickens. Turn off the stove when it becomes curd.
custard
  • Cover with cling wrap or plastic and chill it in the fridge.
custard

And prepare the topping:

  • Melt the butter.
  • Whisk an egg. Take half of it.
  • Mix together with melted butter, flour, and sugar. Mix well.
  • Put into a piping bag. Set aside.
custard for icing

Now that the dough has already doubled in size, let’s shape it for the next fermentation.

  • Punch the air out of the dough.
  • Knead for a while.
  • Divide into 16 by weighing it evenly. Round it. Leave it for 10 minutes.
divide the dough
  • Roll it flat, fill with the custard fillings. Seal tightly. Set in a 20×20 cm pan.
custard fillings in a bun
  • Let the dough ferment for one more time until it doubles its size.
  • Mix the other half of the egg with 1 tablespoon milk. Brush the top of the dough.
hot cross buns
  • Pipe the topping with a cross sign.
hot cross buns
  • Bake in a preheated oven 180°C for 30 minutes.
  • Once it is out of the oven, brush with evaporated milk while still hot. This will make the bread shiny.
hot cross buns
  • Let it cool completely. Enjoy!
hot cross buns

Tips and Trick

  • If you don’t have spekkoek powder, you can use cinnamon powder only, double the portion or use ground nutmeg.
  • Any dried fruits or candied fruits can be added like raisins, dried blueberry.
  • To make the bread more beautiful, brush with evaporated milk after it comes out of the oven. This will make the bread shiny.

Storage and Shelf Life

Hot cross buns are best consumed within the day of the making. But if you have to make it in advance, keep the buns cling-wrapped and in an airtight container to prevent drying.

The buns are fresh up to 3 days in room temperature and 5-6 days in the chiller. You may want to warm it up for 10 minutes if you like it warm.

FAQs

Q: How can I ensure my hot cross buns are fluffy and soft?

A: Proper kneading and allowing enough rise time are crucial for fluffy buns.

Q: What are some unique filling ideas for hot cross buns?

A: Experiment with savory fillings or unusual sweet combinations like pear and ginger.

Q: Can hot cross buns be made in advance?

A: Yes, they freeze well. Just thaw and reheat.

Q: Are there any tips for achieving the perfect cross on top of the buns?

A: A thicker paste for the cross holds its shape better during baking.

Q: How do I store and reheat hot cross buns without drying them out?

A: Keep them in an airtight container and reheat gently.

If you like hot cross buns, you might want to try another cinnamon and nutmeg flavored cake, Dutch Ontbijtkoek cake.

Other bread recipes you might be interested in:

Please tag me on my Instagram if you decide to make this hot cross buns! Happy Easter!

hot cross buns

HOT CROSS BUNS

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Hot Cross Buns are prepared for Good Friday and Easter celebrations. They are spiced buns with fruits and marked with a cross on top.

Ingredients

BUNS

  • 300 gr high protein flour / 高筋麵粉
  • 10 gr milk powder / 奶粉
  • ½ sdt cinnamon powder / 肉桂粉
  • ½ sdt spekkoek powder / 印尼千層糕粉
  • 25 gr gula pasir / sugar / 糖
  • 25 gr organic palm sugar / 棕櫚糖
  • 5 gr instant yeast / 酵母
  • 220 gr liquid (2 egg yolks + 40 gr whipping cream + fresh milk = 220 gr) /(2 蛋黃+ 淡奶油+牛奶=220 gr)
  • 40 gr unsalted butter / 奶油
  • 3 gr salt / 鹽
  • 25 gr dried cranberry / 蔓越莓
  • 20 gr almond slices / 杏仁片

CUSTARD FILLINGS

  • 3 egg yolk / 蛋黃
  • 50 gr sugar / 糖
  • 20 gr flour / 麵粉
  • 250 ml fresh milk / 牛奶
  • 15 gr unsalted butter / 奶油
  • 10 gr cornstarch / 玉米粉

CUSTARD FOR CROSS MARK

  • 25 gr unsalted butter / 奶油
  • 25 gr confectionery sugar / 糖粉
  • ½ egg (the other half is for egg wash) / 蛋(一半)
  • 50 gr flour / 麵粉

EGGWASH

  • ½ half egg / 蛋(一半)
  • ½ half egg / 蛋(一半)
  • ½ half egg / 蛋(一半) 1 tbsp fresh milk / 牛奶
  • ½ half egg / 蛋(一半) 1 tbsp fresh milk / 牛奶

Instructions

    BUNS

·      Sieve flour, milk powder, cinnamon powder, and spekoek spice into a mixing bowl.

·      Put in sugar, palm sugar, and yeast

·      Pour in liquid mixture (2 egg yolks, 40 gr whipping cream, and milk, the total should be 220 gr).

·      Start the mixer, turn on the timer for 20 minutes.

·      When the dry ingredients are mixed, put in the butter and salt.

·      Continue mixing until the timer beeps.

·      The dough should be not sticky at the end of mixing.

·      Knead with hands on the table for a while.

·      Put in cranberry and almond slices into the dough. Knead evenly.

·      Let the dough ferment for 1 hour. Cover with a cloth or cling wrap to prevent dryness.

While waiting for the buns to ferment, let’s make the custard fillings:

·      Heat milk and butter together with low temperature until the butter melts. Set aside and let it cool.

·      Whisk the egg yolks together with sugar until sugar dissolves.

·      Sieve flour and cornstarch into the egg yolk mixture.

·      Pour in milk in parts and whisk well. Strain if needed.

·      Pour the mixture back into the pan. Heat with low temperature. Do not leave it unattended.

·       The mixture will thickens. Turn off the stove when it becomes curd.

·      Cover with cling wrap or plastic and chill it in the fridge.

And prepare the topping:

·      Melt the butter.

·      Whisk an egg. Take half of it.

·      Mix together with melted butter, flour, and sugar. Mix well.

·      Put into a piping bag. Set aside.

Now that the dough has already doubled in size, let’s shape it for the next fermentation.

·      Punch the air out of the dough.

·      Knead for a while.

·      Divide into 16 by weighing it evenly. Round it. Leave it for 10 minutes.

·      Roll it flat, fill with the custard fillings. Seal tightly. Set in a 20x20 cm pan.

·      Let the dough ferment for one more time until it doubles its size.

·      Mix the other half of the egg with 1 tablespoon milk. Brush the top of the dough.

·      Pipe the topping with a cross sign.

·      Bake in a preheated oven 180°C for 30 minutes.

·      Once it is out of the oven, brush with evaporated milk while still hot. This will make the bread shiny.

·      Let it cool completely. Enjoy!











Notes

If you don't have spekkoek powder, you can use cinnamon powder only, double the portion.

Any fruit can be added like raisins, dried blueberry.

To make the bread more beautiful, brush with evaporated milk after it comes out of the oven. This will make the bread shiny.

Leave a Comment

Skip to Recipe