Hot cross buns …the bun of myths and legends with an added Simnel inspired version.

Its that time of year again, its nearly easter and I have been slack as far as my easter blogging has been concerned, due to being so busy at work in the Spring studio kitchen.  Also I was asked by another food blogger from  Dulwich, where I live, to take part in a local hot cross bun taste test to see what the best of the local bakeries have to offer. So I had better get my finger out. Here’s my hot cross bun recipe for you to try!

There’s an element of  Marzipan in this recipe if you want an extra bit of stickiness … making a bun homage to Simnel cakes 🙂

But first a few myths about theses sticky easter treats :

We all know them as buns we eat on Easter, traditionally  good friday in most christian countries, they are first recorded in the uk around the early 1700’s.

They pre-date christianity apparently. Some say the greeks came up with a bun with a cross on, some say the saxons baked them in the honor of the goddess Eostre, with the cross marking the four quarters of the moon- this was before the good ole christians got in on the act at Easter, they thought the crosses keep horrible spirits out of the bun over this period.  (Nowt so strange as folk eh)  😉

Protestant English monarchs apparently tried to ban them  as they thought they were a sign of the catholics hold over the country as they were made form the same dough as communion bread. In the end Elizabeth the first passed a law allowing bakers to make them…but only at Easter or Christmas. (according to mid-20th century cookery writer Elizabeth David)

Whether this is all true or not is up for discussion… but I tell you what isn’t, the fact they are rather yummy toasted with a nice chunk of butter melting over them 🙂

Right lets get cracking.  After the recipe follow the method gallery and have a go yourself !

This recipe can make around 25 if you weigh each portion of dough at roughly 80g each..halve it if thats too many for you.

As I usually make these in bulk it’s difficult for me to cut the recipe down too far 😉


1kg strong white bread white flour

1tsp of salt

3 tsp of supermarket rapid dry yeast (usually one sachet)

150g butter ( unsalted)

150g caster sugar

The buns of myths & legends ....nice anyway with a knob of butter :)

The buns of myths & legends ….nice anyway with a knob of butter 🙂

500ml milk ( luke warm)

2 tsp of ground mixed spice

1tsp of ground cinnamon

2 eggs

300g sultanas

200g currants

200g dried cranberries

50g candied peel

zest of 1 orange.

100g small diced marzipan.


100ml cold water

20g olive oil

100g strong flour


100ml milk

100g caster sugar

1/2 tsp of mixed spice.


A disposable piping bag

A Lined baking tray

A Cadbury’s cream egg to get you in the mood 😉

Pre-heat your oven to 180c


© The cake-shaker 2011


One thought on “Hot cross buns …the bun of myths and legends with an added Simnel inspired version.

  1. Pingback: Easter Taste test, and some cake-shaking ideas « THE CAKE- SHAKER

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