You’ve probably heard the nursery rhyme about hot cross buns, but have you ever actually eaten a hot cross bun? I grew up in the south, and I don’t remember seeing these very often down there. I’m not saying they weren’t there. I just don’t remember them. So when I moved to upstate New York a couple years ago, I was intrigued by these sweet rolls that showed up everywhere around Easter. I tried some from a supermarket, but I wasn’t very impressed. They were dry and tasteless. So then I tried some from a bakery in hopes that they would be better. Wrong again. This bakery actually put some sort of dried fruit candy in their hot cross buns. They weren’t very good, so I kinda gave up on hot cross buns. I assumed they were supposed to be dry and bland, and people just ate them out of tradition rather than taste.
This past weekend, I decided I needed to try some homemade hot cross buns before entirely giving up on these traditional Easter treats. Wow…am I glad I did. They were amazing! Soft, tasty, and quite addicting. I’m pretty sure I could have eaten the whole pan by myself.
These buns are similar to a cinnamon roll dough, but the flavors are definitely unique. For instance, I included raisins and chopped up pieces of Candied Orange Peel in my Hot Cross Buns. Dried currants are also a common addition, but I didn’t happen to have any currants on hand. Once the rolls are baked, a cross is typically piped on top. I also chose to brush the rolls with a sugar glaze before adding the cross (an old bakery trick). The result was amazing! If you’ve never had a good Hot Cross Bun before, then you should definitely give this version a shot. They are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, so go candy some citrus peels, pick up some raisins, and make these on Friday. You’ll be glad you did!