No-knead hot cross buns

Nothing says ‘Easter holidays’ quite like a batch of hot cross buns straight from the oven. Super-fast and easy, this recipe is all you need come Good Friday.

By Jo Wilcox
  • 2 hrs 5 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking
  • Makes 16
  • Print
Why waste time hunting for your mixer's kneading hook attachment when you can whip up a batch of these easy-peasy buns with no kneading at all? This is our Easter gift to you – the easiest hot cross buns you will ever make.


  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp yeast
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 60 g butter
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 5 cups high-grade flour
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup mixed peel
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, to glaze
Paste for crosses
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk


  • 1
    Pour water into a small bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Stir in honey, then leave at room temperature for about 5 minutes until foamy and puffed up.
  • 2
    In a saucepan, warm the milk and butter until just melted.
  • 3
    Stir in the spices and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • 4
    Stir in the lightly beaten eggs.
  • 5
    Sift the flour into a large bowl, then add the sugar, raisins, peel and a pinch of salt. Use your hands to gently mix.
  • 6
    Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the warm milk mixture and yeast mixture. Using a metal spoon, gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry, just enough to create a large ball.
  • 7
    Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp, warm tea towel (see tips) for about 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • 8
    Transfer to a lightly floured surface and gently shape into a log. Divide into portions and lightly roll into evenly sized balls. Arrange on a baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving a little room between each.
  • 9
    Cover with a warm, damp tea towel and leave to rise for another 30-40 minutes (the buns will be touching by then).
  • 10
    Preheat oven to 195°C. Combine the flour, sugar and milk to make a thick paste. Transfer to a piping bag or a zip-lock bag with the corner snipped off. Pipe crosses over buns.
  • 11
    Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Brush with maple syrup to glaze.


To warm a tea towel, just wet under the tap and wring out excess, then microwave for about 30 seconds. Hot cross buns are best eaten soon after baking; older ones can be toasted and served with butter. If you like, replace the peel with 1/2 cup freeze-dried raspberries, blueberries (fresh, frozen or freeze-dried) or finely diced apple or pear.

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