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A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun usually made with fruit, marked with a cross on the top. Nowadays, these fragrant, fruit-studded buns are served often all through Lent. Most traditionally eaten hot or toasted after midday on Good Friday. The bun signifies the end of Lent.
Hot Cross Buns are a Catholic tradition. While I’m not Catholic, I have family and friends that are and I think that Hot Cross Buns are a fun and meaningful Easter tradition. This is a quick version made with Homemade Biscuit Mix or Bisquick®. This recipe should make anywhere from 14 – 18 buns depending on how big you roll the dough out. The recipe states that it will make 18 buns 2-1/2 inches in diameter, I only ended up with 14 buns.
The first definite record of hot cross buns comes from a London street cry: “Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs. With one or two a penny hot cross buns”, which appeared in Poor Robin’s Almanac for 1733.
The original recipe is from “The Cooks Blessing”, By Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965.
Quick Hot Cross Buns
- 4 cups biscuit mix (like Bisquick®)
- 1 cup dried fruit (raisins, currents, candied citron, candied fruit)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 cup milk (approximately)
- 3 Tbs heavy cream
- 2 Tbs sugar
- ¾ powdered sugar
- 1 Tbs milk
- Preheat oven to 450°. Grease a baking sheet or use parchment paper.
- Combine biscuit mix, dried fruit, cinnamon, and sugar. Add just enough milk to make a soft dough, mixing with fork. Knead by hand several minutes, until dough is elastic.
- Form into balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Makes 18 buns 2-1/2 inches in diameter. Bake for 13-15 minutes until they start to turn golden brown.
- Whip the heavy cream and sugar together with a fork or whisk. Brush on top of buns and put under broiler just until glaze sets. Usually around a minute. Cool buns.
- Whisk powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag or resealable plastic bag. Cut a small opening in 1 corner, then pipe crosses over each bun. Let sit until icing is set