Hot Cross Buns : the 2010 Edition


(Hot Cross Bun with homemade marmalade)

Is it just me, or does holiday baking seem to revolve around a lot of dried fruit? Currants and mixed peel for Christmas tarts, dried cranberry stuffing for Thanksgiving turkeys and for Easter, raisin-studded hot cross buns… Mind you, it’s not like I’m complaining. Some of my best friends are raisins.

Every year I make it a point to bake my own hot cross buns. Most years, I experiment with new recipes and last year, I made these which I actually still remember quite fondly. This year, I’ve only managed to find time to try one recipe.

But what a recipe it is. Dan Lepard’s recipe for spiced stout buns have a fantastic crumb and great depth of flavour from the use of stout (James Squire Porter, in my case) and black tea for soaking the fruit in, as well as a generous quantity of ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. They were so tasty, B and I inhaled two each, straight from the oven.

I don’t mean two tiny bite-sized treats either. These are door-stopper sized buns, sticky with sugar glaze and heavy with juicy raisins. Eat two and you may want to consider skipping dinner. But eating two was the only way I knew how to adequately explain their deliciousness.

Forget Simnel cake, cookies shaped like bunnies and chickens and forget chocolate Easter eggs (you can get those at half price after Easter anyway). Trust me, all you need is a hot cross bun or two, ripped from a still-warm baker’s dozen, and a pot of hot tea. The rest of the holiday will sweetly unfold.


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  1. Anh said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 10:27 pm

    Don’t you just love Dan Lepard? I am so into the kitchen to try this recipe out. but I am out of town tomorrow (again!). So these babies have to wait until I get back!

    {I have been waiting for this post :P)

  2. Reemski said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

    Zomg, LOVE hot cross buns. will have to bake over the long weekend.

  3. Rosa said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 11:33 pm

    A great Easter treat! They look lovely!



  4. Karen said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 11:47 pm

    Umm will have to try these! I’m intrigued by the tea-soaked raisins and stout. Btw your green tea towel looks like mine (incidently also used in a HCB post LOL).

  5. Laura said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 12:52 am

    I have never made cross buns, but I always wanted to, you know as a baker I want to try as many things as I can. Thanks for testing the recipe and sharing it. I can’t wait to inhale one of these!

  6. Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 12:56 am

    Hi, this is my 1st time leave comment, but your blog have been listed in my blog list for quite some time. Love your blog with all lovely recipe. I will come back to check what you baking for the next..

  7. The Artist Chef (Joanie) said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 1:18 am

    Your blog is neat and cute. I like this recent post of yours. Soon when I get my oven I’ll try to make some buns too πŸ™‚ It was nice to stumble on your blog…

  8. the caked crusader said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 1:20 am

    Now that is a fine looking bun (oo-er missus etc). I love a nicely spiced hot cross bun toasted and dripping with butter!

  9. Angie's Recipes said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 6:24 am

    Have been thinking………… bake some hot cross buns too…but just didn’t feel find the time for them.
    Dan Lepard is my favourite of favourite bakers! His recipes work like a charm!

  10. Su-yin said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 7:27 am

    I made hot cross buns for the first time last weekend, and it definitely won’t be my last! There are quite a few variations I’d like to try – and yours is definitely on the list. I mean, black tea soaked raisins? Mmmmm.

  11. Wizzythestick said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 8:25 am

    Oh the Guinness gives it such a glorious colour. I’m a big fan of Guinness in lots of things, stews, cakes, ice-cream and now these buns. Nyom.

  12. Fig and Cherry said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 10:06 am

    Beautiful styling and photo Y! These sound absolutely moreish.

  13. Betty @ The Hungry Girl said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 10:53 am

    I completely agree, all you need at Easter is Hot Cross Buns, you can get chocolate anytime! Your buns sound delicious πŸ™‚

  14. Amanda said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 2:57 pm

    I’ve bookmarked this recipe to try this weekend. And I am considering changing my workplace to be closer to your baking!

  15. foodwink said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 8:13 pm

    Y, I’ve just received my subscriber’s copy of the latest Gourmet Traveller, and guess who I saw in the magazine?!

    It’s YOU! Congrats and bravo! Love the picture of you typing, but not really typing πŸ˜€

  16. Inner Pickle said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 8:37 pm

    They look GREAT. Am making these imminently. Love hot cross buns. Almost as much as I love stout. Ah, stout. Or dark beer generally. The biggest pregnancy sacrifice. xxx

  17. Christy said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 8:42 pm

    You are in the Gourmet Traveller??!! I gotta check it out this minute. Oh wait, the shops are closed!!!! Gosh I have to wait til tomorrow??!!

    These look dark, rich and so positively delicious. I usually refrain from making my own hot cross buns, a decision which I’m not sure why I made in the first place, probably because it’s not a cake, but this is seriously making me reconsider. Or maybe you have leftovers??

  18. Jamie said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

    Now who would choose tiny and dainty over anything door stopper sized when it looks this good. I have been seeing hot cross buns here and there – ok, I know it’s Easter – and I’ve never made them but they look soooo good! I know I’ll break any second now!

  19. Cannelle Et Vanille said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

    they look amazing! i will have to bake some hot cross buns this year!

  20. Trissa said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 9:27 pm

    I love the way you re-invented the classic hot cross bun! You’re right – the best way to celebrate easter is not with the chocolate easter eggs all you need is the hot cross bun! But it’s got to be THIS one!

  21. shaz said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 9:57 pm

    They look so good I might even ignore the fact that I have raisin “issues”. (Weird , I know). Thanks for the recipe, am very keen to make something yeasty this weekend. Happy Easter!

  22. Pam said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 10:25 pm

    Love these but I’ve never tried, now is the time! I have to try it!

  23. penny aka jeroxie said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 10:48 pm

    I have bookmarked the recipe. Using stout and infusing with tea? Why not!

  24. deana@lostpastremembered said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 11:14 pm

    I love the idea of the stout in the buns.. it must give them an amazing flavor.. not just white paste!… beautiful photo too…

  25. Susan Ooi said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 11:55 pm

    How about making us some hot cross buns?

  26. Sarka said,

    March 31, 2010 @ 2:34 am

    I’ve never tasted these buns, they look wonderful. I should give it a try finally!

  27. Sophie said,

    April 1, 2010 @ 8:10 am

    I’d happily take a couple of these as my Easter treat :). I love dried fruit and enjoy it in baked goods year around!

  28. cakebrain said,

    April 1, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

    oh yeah! this looks like Easter to me! yumm!

  29. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said,

    April 1, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

    I like the high squidge factor that these look to have. I hope you know what I mean by that hehe. You know, how Easter buns are so soft and squidgy!

  30. Phuoc'n Delicious said,

    April 2, 2010 @ 12:33 am

    Man.. everyone is making HCBs.. I want to make some too! I love mine with choc chips only as I’m not a big fan of dried fruits.. Happy Easter Y!

  31. cathy x. said,

    April 2, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

    i wish i had hot cross buns and a holiday πŸ˜›

  32. Julia @ MΓ©langer said,

    April 2, 2010 @ 10:09 pm

    You are so right about dried fruit and holidays. I actually have a little leftover from Christmas and was thinking how fortuitous I can use it at Easter. Hmmmmmm, making me think maybe that not a coincidence??

    Anyway, I’m loving the sound of these hot cross buns. I generally don’t ‘tamper’ with bread dough, adding things like stout, but you have me very interested in trying this.

    I love the flavour of the traditional hot cross bun and these sound oh so better!

  33. erin said,

    April 3, 2010 @ 4:00 am

    What great timing! I was just looking for a recipe to make with beer! Oh, and thanks for introducing me to Dan Lepard. I already found a recipe that I want to make: ginger beer scones. Mmmm.

  34. Tara said,

    April 3, 2010 @ 2:54 pm

    Recently found your blog, and I’ve been loving going through your archives! I wish I’d seen this HCB post before I confirmed I’d bring the strawberry-rhubarb pie to Easter dinner . . . may just have to try it later next week. πŸ˜‰ However, the stout (which I’m sure makes it great) will be a problem for me, as I need to eat – and convert recipes – gluten-free, and I haven’t seen any gf stouts. Hmmm, must talk to my beer connoisseur/Chef husband about what flavors I’ll need to recreate when replacing stout! Thanks for the inspiration!

  35. Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said,

    April 3, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

    Another wonderful recipe! Totally adore your blog.

  36. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said,

    April 3, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

    Oh I love a bun with presence and the addition of stout in the dough is inspired. Happy Easter!

  37. deb (bearheadsoup) said,

    April 3, 2010 @ 8:23 pm

    I’ve seen a few recipes for hot cross buns on the web but yours look great, stout, tea and raisins, yum! As someone else mentioned, thanks for the heads-up on Dan Lepard! Was going to make them but life got in the way. I even bought some Mountain Goat Surefoot Stout to bake with. Next year, definitely!

  38. Manggy said,

    April 3, 2010 @ 10:08 pm

    HA! I have no idea why there is a fondness for dried fruits on Easter (hee, I wrote “Eater” first), but then again, it’s much easier to bake into something. Must. Have. These. (Dan Lepard can do no wrong in mah book!)

  39. faithy said,

    April 3, 2010 @ 11:50 pm

    Looks fab & so delicious! i’m bookmarking this…i love hotcross buns! Now an addition of this to a list of other bakes from your blog which is in my to-do list and still not done yet..:S

  40. Jesse said,

    April 4, 2010 @ 3:10 am

    Those buns look soooo soft and cute! Happy Easter!

  41. El said,

    April 4, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

    Yum. An Easter classic. They look great.

  42. Simon @ the heart of food said,

    April 4, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

    The holiday periods do seem to be somewhat biased towards dried fruits (well, Christmas and Easter at least). Though, in this case, and your case more specifically, I don’t see it being a problem πŸ™‚

  43. Big Boys Oven said,

    April 4, 2010 @ 11:54 pm

    I sure you will share some for me to indulge with, fly them to me! I know you are babe! πŸ™‚

  44. veron said,

    April 5, 2010 @ 10:46 am

    I’ve been seeing this everywhere and I need to try this soon. You had me at “ripped from a still warm baker’s dozen”…

  45. Malin said,

    April 9, 2010 @ 5:05 am

    I love that dark brown colour – especially with all those raisins peeping out! Looks light fluffy and absolutely delicious!

  46. Dana said,

    April 11, 2010 @ 7:14 am

    Stout is just every where in baking these days, isn’t it?

    I think I might try that recipe myself sometime soon. Yummy!

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