Typically eaten on Good Friday, hot cross buns are sweet and dense spiced buns — this version is loaded with raisins (you can use chocolate chips if desired!), has a delicious zesty glaze, and is marked with crosses on top that are made of vanilla icing. They’re soft, flavorful, and absolutely delicious.
Features of these buns
Yeasted dough: You’ll make a simple but dense homemade yeasted dough that’s studded with raisins, currants, or chocolate chips.
Orange glaze: This zesty orange glaze will be spread all over the buns, giving them a delicious rich flavor.
Vanilla icing: You’ll use a simple vanilla icing to make the crosses on top of the buns.
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Hot Cross Buns
- 1 cup (240 ml) soy milk
- 1 tsp + 1/2 cup (104 g) granulated sugar
- 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
- 3 – 3 1/2 cups (375 – 438 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp (4 g) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup (56 g) vegan butter, softened and cut into pieces
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (160 g) raisins, currants, or chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) canola oil
- 1 cup (125 g) powdered sugar
- 2+ tbsp (30+ ml) orange juice
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 1/2 cup (62 g) powdered sugar
- 2 tsp (10 ml) soy milk
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
Make the dough
- In a small bowl, whisk together the warm milk with 1 teaspoon of the granulated sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top and whisk until it is completely dissolved. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture has foamed.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, stir together 3 1/4 cups (406 g) of the flour, the salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup (100 g) of granulated sugar. Add the butter and beat until incorporated (you can also mix it with a rubber scraper or large wooden spoon—the butter should break up slightly into the flour, but it’s okay if large pieces remain). Once the yeast is foamy, add it to the flour mixture. Beat on low speed or stir with the rubber scraper or wooden spoon, scraping the sides as necessary, until you have a soft but manageable dough. Add more flour, up to 1/2 cup (62 g), as needed, to ensure the dough is not too sticky to handle.
- Either beat the dough in the stand mixer for 5-7 minutes or transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 5-7 minutes, incorporating more flour as needed so that the dough does not stick to the sides of the bowl or to your hands. Once ready, add the raisins and stir until they are dispersed throughout the dough. Coat a large bowl with the canola oil. Form the dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Turn to lightly coat the ball with the oil. Place a clean towel over the bowl. Let rest in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Shape the rolls
- Butter a 9″x13″ (23 x 33 cm) baking dish with vegan butter. Once the dough has doubled, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Form into 12 equal pieces, shaping them into balls and placing evenly in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap or a large towel and set in a warm place to rise again until doubled in size, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Once the rolls are close to being doubled in size, preheat the oven to 375°F (200°C). Bake the rolls for 20 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Make the glaze
- In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, 2 tbsp (30 ml) orange juice, and the zest until well combined. If necessary, add more juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached—it should be slightly thick but still pourable.
Make the icing
- In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla and the milk until well combined. If necessary, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached—it should be thick enough to pipe onto the rolls. Place into a piping bag or small sealable bag and cut a small hole in the corner.
Finish and serve
- Once the rolls are out of the oven, allow them to cool slightly, then spread the glaze evenly over the rolls. Pipe a cross on top of each roll. Serve!