Spiced Orange and South African Raisin Hot Cross Buns

Monthly Raisin Recipes
Juicy South African raisins add a fruity sweetness to these delicious Easter buns. Making them is so satisfying – and eating them is even better!

Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus approx. 2 hours to rise
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Makes 12


500g strong white bread flour
40g butter, plus extra for greasing
1tsp salt
2tsp fast action dried yeast
50g caster sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
150g South African raisins
300ml milk
1 egg
A little vegetable oil

To finish:

80g plain flour
50g caster sugar


Put the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add the salt, yeast, sugar, cinnamon, orange zest and raisins, stirring them in to mix thoroughly.

Heat the milk until lukewarm, then beat in the egg. Add to the flour mixture and stir it through, then draw the dough together with your hand. Transfer to a floured worktop and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Put the dough back into the clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead very lightly for just a few moments, then cut into 12 equal pieces and shape into buns.

Lightly grease a baking sheet with a little vegetable oil, then arrange the buns on top. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 50-60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan oven 180°C, Gas Mark 6.

Meanwhile, mix the plain flour with a little cold water to make dough for the crosses. Roll out and cut into 24 short lengths. Place on top of the buns once they have risen. Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes, until risen and golden brown.

Heat the caster sugar with 5 tablespoons of water for 2-3 minutes to make a glaze. Brush over the buns while they are warm.

Cook’s tips:

*Instead of making dough crosses, you could just use a sharp knife to cut a cross on top of each bun.
*Use lemon zest instead of orange if you prefer.
*You could use ground mixed spice instead of cinnamon.


Nutritional Values Per 100g Per serving 1 bun
Energy KJ 1141 1113
Calories Kcal 269 263
Fat 4.4g 4.3g
(of which saturates) 2.35g 2.3g
Carbohydrate 49g 48g
(of which sugars) 19.5g 19g
Protein 7.8g 7.6g
Salt 0.51g 0.5g