Monday Menu: Hot Cross Buns {Vintage Recipe}

IMG_2917Until I read the notation in my grandmother’s cookbook that Hot Cross Buns were a Good Friday tradition, I never made the connection between the crosses on top of the buns and the symbolism of Good Friday.

The buns are delicious and fairly quick and easy to make thanks to Rapid Rise yeast.  Instead of having to wait through two rises of the dough, all we have to do is let the dough rest for 10 minutes before we shape it into the buns.

Generally speaking, currants used in baking are a kind of raisin.  You will find them next to the raisins and other packaged dry fruit at the grocery store.  But if you can’t find currants, go ahead and substitute regular old raisins.


1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk scalded
1 envelope of Rapid Rise yeast
2 eggs
3 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup currants



Combine flour, cinnamon, and yeast.  Set aside.


Add the sugar, butter and salt  to the scalded milk and let cool to 120ºF to 130ºF.

When the milk has cooled to the desired temperature, add ONE well-beaten egg.


Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients.


Add the currants and mix very thoroughly.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.


Shape into large biscuit shapes (hint: oil your hands for easy shaping) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Let rise.


Use the remaining egg, lightly beaten, to brush the tops of the buns.

Cut a cross on each bun with a sharp knife.  Bake for 20 minutes at 400ºF.

Optional: Make cross out of frosting after buns have cooled.


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Dr. Julie-Ann

I'm Dr. Julie-Ann, living life in its Technicolor finest by channeling my Grandma, Donna Reed, and June Cleaver with a bit of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly glamour thrown in for good measure, too. I work outside of the home full-time as a university administrator but I nourish my soul and find my greatest happiness by trying to be the "perfect" 1950s homemaker.

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    Ooooo! Ooooo! Thanks for this recipe! I discovered a few years back that hot cross buns appear only at Easter time.(That’s why there’s such a short window of opportunity to buy them at the bakery.) Now that I know that, I’ve been collecting recipes and I make them whenever I want, though I don’t worry so much about the frosting.
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    Sue P says

    Julie-Ann McFann!! Was just wondering what you’re up to these days so checked out your blog – congrats on the job and the move – hope you are enjoying being far away from the LA craziness and have settled into a nice place. All the best, Sue P :)