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Hot Cross Buns

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Hot Cross Buns were always a tradition at our Easter table.  Mom made sure of it!  I’ve taken a delicious, family favorite and lightened it up a bit.  Not to worry!  They’re still delicious.

Hot Cross Buns were always a tradition at our Easter table. Mom made sure of it! I've taken a delicious, family favorite and lightened it up a bit. Not to worry! They're still delicious.

It’s day four of #EasterRecipes.  I’ve been drooling over all of these recipes!  Some of them remind me of my childhood.  Sometimes I wish we had children.  Something about hiding Easter eggs for the dogs loses something in translation.

Easter. So full of traditions and rituals. I think back to my childhood every Easter and how my sister and I would spend our Easter mornings. She was always the one to wake me up and drag me downstairs before dawn to see what the Easter bunny had left us. Yes. She was the same at Christmas, too.

It always started out with an Easter egg hunt. Our parents would hide the eggs we colored the night before. I can’t remember how we would know if we had found them all. I’m almost sure my parents kept a list. There was one rule, though; always inside the house. The eggs were never hidden outside.

My sister and I would nibble our way through out baskets with chocolates and peeps while finding the eggs and then we’d each take turns hiding them again while we were waiting for the parents to wake up and make breakfast. Yes, I have no idea how we would still be hungry for breakfast after eating all the candy and chocolates in the baskets, but you know how kids are.

After they woke up, we’d proceed to make either deviled eggs for dinner or egg salad for lunch. Either way, the eggs were peeled and eaten that day or the following. They didn’t last very long at all in our house.

But there was one thing my sister and I could NEVER figure out! This is how we KNEW the Easter bunny to be real. There were always these eggs we didn’t color. They were the most interesting shade of brown and every year , try as we might, we could never figure out how to make that color. And where did those eggs come from? Mom and Dad didn’t make them. Why would they color eggs? They HAD to be from the Easter bunny!

Well, when my sister and I were finally old enough and didn’t really believe in the Easter bunny any more, my mother confessed that they made the eggs. They boiled them with onion skins, which turned them the most interesting shade of brown.

So, when I look back to all those Easter Sunday’s I fondly remember the brown Easter eggs, and the hot cross buns that Mom always made sure we had Easter morning. I haven’t ventured to make them often. But I thought #EasterRecipes was the perfect time recreate one of my favorite Easter traditions.

These buns are buttery soft and slightly sweet with deliciously soaked dried fruit. I’ve added saffron to the milk for added flavor and color; making them a lovely golden hue, almost like those eggs.  What  ideas have you used to keep the Easter Bunny tradition alive?


Healthier Hot Cross Buns

Healthier Hot Cross Buns

When I look back to Easter Sunday’s as a kid, I fondly remember the brown Easter eggs and the hot cross buns that Mom always made sure we had Easter morning. I made my own Healthier Hot Cross Buns for my family.


  • 1/2 cup mixed, dried fruit
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup citron
  • 1/4 cup limoncello
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 to 5 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 whole egg white
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar
  • splash milk


  1. Combine the fruit and the liquor and allow to set 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Steep the milk and the saffron together until the milk is between 100 and 100 F. Strain.
  3. Place the milk, yeast, and 2 tablespoons honey in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and stir until combined. Allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes or until bubbly.
  4. Add the remaining honey along with the egg yolks and butter to the yeast mixture. Stir a few seconds and then add 2 cups of flour, salt, and spices. Mix on medium for 5 to 7 minutes or until all the flour is incorporated and the dough begins to form.
  5. Add 2 cups of flour and stir until combined. Knead on medium speed 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking.
  6. Once the dough forms a smooth ball, turn out onto a floured surface and knead a few times more. Place in a container coated with cooking spray. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise 2 hours or until doubled in size. Alternatively, you could cover and allow the dough to rise in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. Once doubled, punch the dough down and turn out onto a floured surface.
  8. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls. Place in baking pan coated with cooking spray. Using a sharp knife, cut an x on top of each roll. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise one hour.
  9. Preheat oven to 350.
  10. Uncover the rolls and bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
  11. While the buns are baking, prepare the glaze for the cross. Combine egg white with enough powdered sugar to make a thick glaze.
  12. Once the buns are cooked, allow them to cool in the pan 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack, top with glaze crosses, and cool completely.

Did you make this recipe?

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This week, thirteen bloggers are sharing 46 recipes and tips to help you serve up deliciousness this Easter. Follow #EasterRecipes on social media to see what we’re serving up!


In case you missed them, here’s Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday’s #EasterRecipes




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  1. I was always the one to wake my brother on Easter & Christmas. He was never really happy but a good sport. Your hot cross buns look great!

    1. Seriously?? They’re so good!! Of course, I love citron, so yeah. Don’t think fruitcake. It’s not fruitcake. They’re better than that.

  2. I love holiday memories. Can you believe I’ve never had a hot cross bun. Every year I think this is going to be the year I make them, but I still haven’t gotten to it. Next year for sure!

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