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Hot Cross Buns with Whipped Lemon Buttercream

Hot Cross Bun Recipe

An Easter recipe that will please every bunny!

With Easter right around the corner, now is the perfect time to don your chef’s hat and bake some soft pillows of goodness that you can share with friends and family. Le Cordon Bleu Australia’s Technical Director, Tom Milligan, has created a hot cross bun recipe using the sweetness of sultanas, currants and candied mixed peel. They are best served fresh out the oven with lashings of whipped lemon buttercream.

“Easter is a time for slowing down and spending time with family and friends, and what better way to celebrate the long weekend than with hot cross buns on Sunday morning,” Chef Tom says. “This recipe is fool-proof and will have your guests coming back for more – even the kids.”

Check out Chef Tom’s recipe below. Happy Easter!

Hot Cross Buns with Whipped Lemon Buttercream


For the buns
  • 40g fresh yeast, or 20g dried yeast
  • 185ml warm water
  • 375g strong bread flour
  • 50g sugar
  • 2g salt
  • 5g cinnamon
  • 30g Lurpak slightly salted butter, softened
  • 10g sultanas
  • 30g currants
  • 15g candied mixed peel, chopped
For the cross
  • 75g plain flour
  • 60g water
  • 20g vegetable oil

For the syrup glaze
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 40ml water

For the lemon buttercream
  • 250g block Lurpak slightly salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 100g pure icing sugar (use more or less to your taste)
  • Juice and zest of 2 medium size lemons
  • 2 tbsp lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp pure cream


For the hot cross buns
  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C / 200˚C.
  2. In a jug, dissolve the yeast with the warm water.
  3. Sift together the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix to form a dough, then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly until a smooth dough forms.
  4. Work the softened butter into the dough, one small piece at a time.
  5. Once the butter is incorporated, sprinkle over the sultanas, currants and candied mixed peel until thoroughly combined.
  6. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with cling film, leave in a warm room until the dough starts to expand, about 30 to 60 minutes depending on warmth of the room.
  7. Remove the dough from the bowl and push down to deflate.
  8. Divide the dough into 40g balls. Shape each piece into a smooth seam-free ball, then place onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray, evenly spaced apart to allow the buns room to expand.
  9. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to rise in a warm room until doubled in size.
  10. Meanwhile, mix together the cross ingredients then spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle.
  11. Once buns are well risen, pipe a cross across the top of each bun.
  12. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  13. While the buns are baking, make the syrup glaze. Add the sugar and water to a small pan and bring to a boil, just until the sugar dissolves.
  14. While the buns are still hot, use a pastry brush to immediately apply the hot syrup and glaze them.
  15. Transfer the buns onto a wire rack, leave to cool completely, then serve.
For the lemon buttercream
  1. Using a stand mixer or by hand using a balloon whisk, whisk together the softened Lurpak butter, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, warm water and cream until the butter is light and doubled in volume.
  2. Remove from the mixing bowl and place in an airtight container until required.
  3. Serve hot cross buns directly out of the oven while they are hot with a large dollop of the Lurpak lemon butter. Or you can serve the buns toasted, accompanied by a thick spread of the Lurpak lemon butter.