Hot, happy buns this Easter

The other day Miss F asked me why it is that Hot Cross buns are so cranky.

Fair comment really. And not one that reflects on my poor teachings of Bible fundamentals (I send them to scripture each week, after all). No, I’m going to cut myself a bit of slack here and blame the supermarkets for the collapse of Christian teachings in our society.

So maybe I never did mention the significance of the whole ‘cross’ thing on hot cross buns, but how on earth are my kids supposed to link these treats just to Easter when they’ve been on sale since last New Year’s Eve?

Still, I do like the idea of a fruit bun with attitude, don’t you? Just sitting with friends in a plastic bag, being angry and dour.

Of course I promised to rectify the situation and create some hot happy buns to balance out the emotional quid pro quo.

The cheeriest (and most secular) hot cross buns.

The cheeriest (and most secular) hot cross buns.

Hot Happy Buns

Don’t be afraid of cooking these – they actually really easy and fun. A nice thing to do throughout a weekend day with the kids.

1¼ cups warm milk
2 x 7g dry yeast sachets
¼ cup caster sugar
4 cups plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp salt
60g butter, melted
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 cup sultanas
¾ cup other dried fruit (I like a mix of currants and dried apple)

2 tbsp plain flour
1½ tbsp water

1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp boiling water

In a small glass bowl or jug, whisk together the warm milk, yeast and sugar. Leave for 10 minutes somewhere warm and draught-free.

In a large bowl, sift the flour and mix in the spices and salt.

After 10 minutes the milk mixture should be frothy (if it isn’t your yeast may be too old). Mix in the butter and egg. Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix to form a dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Sprinkle over the fruit as you go, until it is evenly distributed throughout the dough. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm and draught-free place for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until doubled.

All puffed up and gorgeous.

Grease a large rectangular baking tin. Punch the dough (yes, truly, punch it) to deflate it. Knead for another 2-3 minutes. Divide into 15 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and pop it into the tin.

Give them a bit of breathing space – they’ll rise more.

Cover, return to your warm spot and leave for 30-40 minutes until they’ve plumped up again. Preheat your oven to 200C.

In a small bowl or mug, stir the flour paste with water. Scoop into a plastic bag, snip off a tiny hole in the corner and pipe a face onto each bun.

So yes, the paste is basically glue… papermache with leftovers?

Cook for 10 minutes at 200C then reduce to 180C and cook for another 15 minutes.

Turn them out after cooking and immediately glaze by brushing them with the combined caster sugar & boiling water.

MAKES 15 delicious, gorgeously home-made buns.


If you like my food philosophy, you’ll love my digital cookbook full of essential family recipes!

12 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    […] used this recipe and with the help of Miss Two had a batch of fifteen buns in the oven (pun intended, no wonder […]

  2. 2

    […] not that hard! Perfect for Easter Sunday brekky with some organic butter. Try these ‘Hot, Happy Buns’ from the clever Wendy at Vegie […]

  3. 3

    […] not that hard! Perfect for Easter Sunday brekky with some organic butter. Try these ‘Hot, Happy Buns’ from the clever Wendy at Vegie […]

  4. 4

    Karen said,

    Wow, my daughter and I just made these, we did a choc chip version. So light & lovely! Plenty of toddler friendly activities too, kneading, brushing glaze, mixing milk & yeast, stealing choc chips

    Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  5. 5

    […] Hot Happy Buns from Vegie Smugglers. Traditional buns, homemade and additive free! […]

  6. 6

    Shelley Bore said,

    Your recipes are great! Can I just clarify cooking temperatures-are they for fan assisted ovens? Thanks x

    • 7

      wendyblume said,

      Thanks Shelley. Yes these are for fan ovens, however I have the oldest, crappiest oven, so generally just use my timings as a guide – adjust to suit your oven. This one starts out with a hot oven, then drops to moderate.


  7. 8

    great recipe! I just made these with the help of Miss 4 and Miss 7. I see a new tradition developing 🙂

  8. 10

    Wendy said,

    Thanks for the receipt they are yummy.

  9. 11

    Sam said,

    Happy Easter! Love this recipe. Just threw in sultanas with the dry mix, was that the way to go?

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