Though I’ve been singing the children’s song, “Hot cross buns, hot cross buns…” my whole life, it wasn’t until a few years ago, when my husband ordered Hot Cross Buns at a bakery near our school, that I saw and tasted my first real hot cross bun.
In fact, I didn’t even know they existed beyond the song!
Now that I know Hot Cross Buns are, indeed, real – and made my own version at home – I’m sure they’ll forever be a part of my children’s song and recipe repertoires.
Hot Cross Buns are an unusual species of “bun,” in my opinion. They’re nothing like I’ve ever tasted. When I first made them, my family was in town, and none of us could pinpoint another recipe that was similar to the taste of these buns.
They’re spicy (not “hot” spicy, but full of spices), chewy but not tough, and the raisins, currants and light cross of sugary glaze on top gives just enough sweetness to the bread. They’re like nothing like you’ve ever tasted, but you’ll want to try them again and again.
The amount and variety of spices in this recipe is your call – I’m a big fan of all the Hot Cross Bun-appropriate flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. But for those who aren’t so enamored, tailor the types and measurements to your taste.
To help gauge: The amount in my recipe, 3 teaspoons, gives you a little more than a hint of spiced flavor, but it’s not overwhelming. Dried fruit, in my opinion, is essential to the recipe, but you don’t have to use raisins and cranberries – I’ve tried versions with candied orange or even dried apricot.
Just be prepared, after making this recipe in your kitchen, to have that familiar children’s song stuck in your head for a while! I’m still humming it.
Stephanie (aka Girl versus Dough) joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie’s Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!