Hot cross bun loaf

A fun twist on the traditional Easter bake, this hot cross bun loaf recipe by Clarence Court spreads the joy of hot cross buns just that little bit further...

Hot cross bun loaf Image credit: Clarence Court
Brought to you by Clarence Court

This loaf is best eaten on the day it’s made, but will come back to a lovely soft loaf if warmed through in the oven the next day. It makes great toast or as the base for a bread and butter pudding.

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  • 500 g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • a few gratings of whole nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 7 g sachet dry yeast
  • 170 ml whole milk, gently warmed to hand heat
  • 2 large Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs, beaten
  • 80 g unsalted butter, softened well, plus extra for greasing
  • 80 g sultanas
  • 60 g mixed peel
  • 80 g dried cranberries
  • 2 finely grated zest of 2 oranges

For the criss-cross

  • 25 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water

For the glaze

  • 2 juice or 2 oranges
  • 2 tbsp marmalade


Grease a 2lb (900g) loaf tin with softened butter.
Sieve the flour, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Place the yeast in a jug with the warm milk, stirring until dissolved and bubbling. Add the milk, eggs and butter to the well and mix into a soft dough.
Lightly dust a clean work surface with a little flour, or tip into the bowl of a free-standing mixer with a dough hook, then knead for 7 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Place into a lightly oiled mixing bowl and cover with clingfilm. Place in a warm place to rise for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
When the time is up, lightly flour a clean work surface. Tip the dough onto the surface and lightly knead. A few spoonfuls at a time, sprinkle over the fruit and zest, then knead and fold into the dough. When it’s all incorporated, place back in the oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Allow to rise for a further hour.
Divide the dough into 8 equal-size balls (use a weighing scale to make sure they’re all the same size). Shape the balls into fat sausages. Place the sausages side by side in the tin. Place the tin in a large sandwich bag and seal it. Allow to rise in a warm place for 1 more hour. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
Meanwhile, mix the plain flour, oil and cold water in a bowl to make a smooth paste. Spoon into a small piping bag and snip off a small hole. Pipe a little cross on top of each of the hot cross buns. Place the tin in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and risen.
Place the juice and marmalade in a small pan and allow to bubble and thicken on a low heat. When the loaf is ready, carefully and quickly turn it out of the tin and onto a cooling rack. Brush over the glaze and leave to cool. Serve warm with salted butter.
Last updated one year ago

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