RECIPE: Hot cross buns

This recipe is traditionally made with raisins, yet I have a daughter who refuses to eat them even at 18 – so I use dried blueberries. Plus, I've always found it odd that Hot Cross Buns are made with what I consider Fall/Winter spices – brown sugar, cloves and cinnamon. I decided to make it more Spring inspired by using lavender, fresh nutmeg and cardamom. I also like the cross icing to be more frosting like instead of glaze – I hope you enjoy my rendition of the Easter classic.


1/4 cup brandy

1/2 cup dried blueberries

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1 1/4 cups milk

1/4 c. sugar

1 tbsp. yeast

2 large eggs, 1 egg yolk (white is used later)

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 tbsp. dried lavender

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg

1 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

5 cups AP Flour + more

Place brandy into a liquid measuring cup and heat up in the microwave until hot, then add the dried blueberries and let soak until soft and cooled off.

Place milk and sugar into another liquid measuring cup and heat up in the microwave until warm to the touch of your pinky, not lukewarm – cozy warm. Add yeast and stir to combine, set aside for five minutes to proof yeast and make sure it is activated.

In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the two eggs and one egg yolk, dried lavender, cardamom, nutmeg, salt, baking powder and 5 c. flour. – stir until the dough cleans the bowl, you will most likely need to add more flour – 1/4 c. at a time until the bowl gets clean. Add the white chocolate chips and brandy/blueberry mixture along with another 1/4 c. flour, kneading until the bowl comes clean – you may need to add more flour.

Place dough into a bowl that you have sprayed with nonstick spray or with butter, cover with a damp rag. Put into an oven that has been preheated to 200, and turn the oven off immediately. Allow dough to rise for one hour.

After an hour, remove dough from oven and knead a little. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces, and form into balls. Place them into a 9X13 pan that has been prepped with non-stick spray or butter. Cover with a damp rag and place into the oven again that has been preheated to 200, and turning it off as soon as you close so the dough can rise for another hour.

Remove from the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a basting brush, brush glaze (recipe below) over dough. Place into oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to fully cool on a cooling rack.

Glaze before baking

1 large egg white, reserved from above

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/3 c. sugar

Mix together icing and place into a piping bag fitted with a star tip, pipe crosses on the top of each bun.


2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

4 tablespoons soft butter

2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract

1/4 c. cream

Serve and enjoy!

Looking for more Easter recipes? Get the recipe for Spring Stuffing at 

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