Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 2 Hr Cook Time: 20 Mins Total Time: 2 Hr 20 Mins
Mary Berry’s Hot Cross Buns are a delightful Easter tradition, embodying the warmth and joy of the season. These buns are soft, lightly spiced, and studded with fruit, perfect for sharing with loved ones. This recipe yields 12 buns and takes about 2 hours from start to finish.

What Are Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns Recipe?

Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns are a traditional Easter treat renowned for their soft, fluffy texture, and delightful mix of sweet spices and dried fruits. Each bun is marked with a cross, symbolizing the crucifixion of Jesus, making them a significant part of Easter celebrations. Originating from a recipe by the esteemed Mary Berry, these buns offer a perfect balance of flavors, making them a favorite for the holiday season.

Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns

Other Bread Recipes to Try

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Simple Ingredients: Uses readily available ingredients, making it accessible to bakers of all levels.
  • Clear Instructions: Detailed, step-by-step instructions ensure a foolproof baking experience.
  • Versatility: Offers room for variations, allowing you to customize according to taste preferences.
  • Tradition: Bring a piece of cultural tradition into your home, perfect for holiday gatherings.
  • Delicious Taste: The perfect blend of spices, fruits, and sweetness appeals to a wide range of palates.
  • Festive Joy: Baking and sharing these buns can become a cherished Easter tradition, adding warmth to the celebration.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns

You need following ingredients to make this recipe:

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 10g salt
  • 10g fast-action dried yeast
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 200g sultanas
  • 50g mixed candied peel

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns

Follow these simple steps, to make this recipe

Step 1: Preparing the Dough

  • Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, spices, and lemon zest.
  • Add Yeast and Salt: Place the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl.
  • Melt Butter and Warm Milk: In separate pans, melt the butter and warm the milk.
  • Form the Dough: Mix the dry ingredients with the butter, half the milk, and the beaten egg. Gradually add the remaining milk to form a soft dough.

Step 2: Kneading and First Rise

  • Knead the Dough: Tip the dough onto a floured surface, incorporating the sultanas and candied peel. Knead for 10 minutes.
  • First Rise: Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and leave to rise for 1.5 hours.

Step 3: Shaping and Second Rise

  • Shape the Buns: After the first rise, knock back the dough and divide it into 12 pieces. Shape each into a ball and place on a lined baking tray.
  • Second Rise: Cover the tray and let the buns rise for another hour.

Step 4: Baking

  • Preheat Oven: Set your oven to 220°C (200°C fan).
  • Pipe the Crosses: Mix plain flour with water to create a paste and pipe crosses on the buns.
  • Bake: Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden-brown.

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns?

  • Butter: A classic choice, serving these buns warm with butter highlights their soft, fluffy texture.
  • Clotted Cream: For a more indulgent treat, clotted cream adds a rich, creamy element.
  • Jam: A dollop of your favorite jam can complement the spices and fruits in the buns.
  • Cheese: A slice of mild cheese can offer a savory contrast to the bun’s sweetness.
  • Tea or Coffee: These buns pair wonderfully with a hot cup of tea or coffee, making for a cozy snack or breakfast.

Expert Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns

  • Yeast Activation: Ensure the milk is warm but not hot to touch; too high a temperature can kill the yeast, affecting the rise of your buns.
  • Even Distribution of Ingredients: When adding the dried fruits, make sure they are evenly distributed throughout the dough to ensure each bun has a generous amount of fruit.
  • Dough Consistency: The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. If it’s too dry, add a little more milk; if too wet, add a bit more flour.
  • Adequate Rising Time: Give the dough enough time to rise, ideally in a warm, draft-free spot. This is crucial for achieving the light and airy texture.
  • Piping the Crosses: Use a thick paste for piping the crosses; this ensures they maintain their shape and don’t melt into the buns while baking.
  • Baking to Perfection: Keep an eye on the buns during the last few minutes of baking to ensure they don’t overbrown. They should have a nice, golden color.
  • Cooling: Allow the buns to cool on a wire rack to prevent the bottoms from becoming soggy.

Variations of Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns

Exploring different variations can add a delightful twist to the traditional recipe.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns: Add chocolate chips to the dough for a sweet, chocolaty flavor.
  • Apple Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns: Incorporate diced apple and extra cinnamon into the dough for a fruity and spicy variation.
  • Orange and Cranberry Hot Cross Buns: Use dried cranberries instead of sultanas and add orange zest for a citrusy twist.
  • Cheese and Chive Hot Cross Buns: For a savory version, omit the sugar and fruit, and add grated cheese and chopped chives to the dough.

How do I store Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns Leftovers?

Storing leftovers properly ensures your buns remain delicious for days.

Room Temperature Storage

  • Airtight Container: Keep the buns in an airtight container.
  • Duration: They can last for up to 2 days.


  • Wrap Well: Wrap the buns individually in cling film or place them in a freezer bag.
  • Freeze: Store in the freezer for up to a month.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns Leftovers?

Reheating your buns can make them taste freshly baked.

Oven Reheating

  • Preheat: Warm your oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Time: Heat the buns for 5-7 minutes.

Microwave Reheating

  • Short Bursts: Use high power for 20-30 seconds. If not warm enough, heat for an additional 10 seconds.

Nutritional values

The nutritional values per bun are approximately:

  • Calories: 240 kcal
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 48 g
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Sodium: 0.36 g


What Are Hot Cross Buns?

Hot Cross Buns are a type of sweet, spiced bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top. They are traditionally eaten on Good Friday in various countries.

Can I use all-purpose flour instead of strong white flour for Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns?

Yes, you can use all-purpose flour as a substitute for strong white flour in making hot cross buns. However, strong white flour, also known as bread flour, contains more protein which helps to create a lighter and fluffier texture due to its higher gluten content. If using all-purpose flour, the buns may be slightly denser but will still be delicious.

How long should I knead the dough for Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns?

The dough for Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns should be kneaded for about 10 minutes by hand. This process is crucial for developing the gluten in the flour, which gives the buns their soft, elastic texture. If you’re using a stand mixer with a dough hook, kneading time might be slightly shorter, around 5 to 7 minutes, as the mixer can work the dough more efficiently.

What can I use if I don’t have mixed spice for Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns?

If you don’t have mixed spice, you can make a simple substitute by combining equal parts of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and allspice. This blend will give you a similar warm, spiced flavor profile that is perfect for hot cross buns. For the recipe’s required 2 teaspoons of mixed spice, you could mix 2/3 teaspoon of each spice.

Is it necessary to add the cross on top of Mary Berry Hot Cross Buns?

While the cross on top of hot cross buns is traditional and gives them their distinctive appearance, it is not essential for the taste of the buns. The cross is traditionally made with a simple flour and water paste, piped onto the buns before baking. If you prefer, you can skip this step, but the cross is a key symbol of the Easter tradition these buns represent.

Final Thoughts

Mary Berry’s Hot Cross Buns are more than just a treat; they’re a festive experience that brings joy to any Easter table. With this guide, you’re well on your way to mastering this classic recipe.

I hope this article meets your expectations and adds value to your food blog. Happy baking!

Leave a Reply