Traditional Hot Cross Buns with a cream cheese icing, brushed with a sweet syrup and filled with juicy raisins. Perfect for your Easter brunch.
For hot cross buns
- 1 1/2 cups milk lukewarm
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoons or 1 packet dry yeast
- 4 – 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons butter unsalted (1/2 stick), softened
- 1 cup raisins soaked in rum or orange juice in the refrigerator overnight
For syrup glaze
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
For cream cheese icing
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 tablespoons butter unsalted, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice
- In a small bowl combine the lukewarm milk, sugar, and yeast. Stir and let it rest for about 10 minutes until the yeast activates, you will notice bubbles forming.
- In the bowl of your mixer add 4 cups of flour, salt, and nutmeg. Mix until combined.
- Add the eggs and butter to the yeast mixture and stir. Pour the yeast mixture over the flour, and using the dough hook attachment mix for about 5 minutes. Add raisins and continue mixing for another minute. If the dough is too wet add more flour as needed. The dough should be quite soft and elastic. You will know when it’s done when it doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl anymore.
- In a large bowl add a bit of oil, about a tablespoon and place the dough in the bowl, rolling it around so that it gets oil all over, this way it won’t get dry. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. You need to let the dough rise for 1 to 1 ½ hours until doubled in size. You can also do my trick where I turn the oven on for about 1 to 2 minutes just until it’s warm in there, and place the bowl in the oven, close the door, make sure you turned off the oven and in about half an hour the dough would have doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I used a roasting pan that’s 16×12 inches.
- Clean and flour your work surface. Usually I don’t add any flour to my work surface because I find it easier to roll the buns on a clean surface. Cut the dough into 16 equal pieces and roll each one. Place the buns in the pan and cover with a clean damp towel and let them rest for another 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how warm your kitchen is or until doubled in size.
- Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- While baking make the syrup by mixing the Lyle’s golden syrup or sugar with the water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over low heat. Continue boiling for another minute or until syrup thickens a bit. Set aside.
- To make the icing, whisk all the ingredients together and pour in a piping bag and refrigerate until ready to use. If the icing is too thin add more icing sugar, if it’s too thick add more water until desired consistency.
- When the buns are out of the oven, brush with the sugar syrup. Let cool for about 5 to 10 minutes then pipe the icing over the buns to form a cross.