a kitchen counter with a cup of tea and a homemade hot cross bun

From egg hunts to family gatherings, Easter is a time to create memories and enjoy the company of those closest to us. Easter may have different meanings for different people, but for all of us, it's a time to embrace the season of renewal, the joy of spending time with loved ones and all the delicious treats that come with it. 

And, of course, Easter wouldn’t be Easter without Hot Cross Buns! These sweet and spiced buns with their iconic cross on top are a comforting and nostalgic reminder of this special time of year. We’ve collaborated with the chefs at The Long Table to bring you their tried and tested Hot Cross Bun recipe with a gingery twist.

a kitchen worktop with all the ingredients needed to make Easter hot cross buns

Before we get to the recipe let’s find out a little more about the history of the hot cross bun. They date back to ancient times when bakers would bake small buns and mark them with a cross to symbolize the four-quarters of the moon. Later, when Christianity spread throughout Europe, the cross on the buns came to represent the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Hot cross buns became associated with Easter in England during the 16th century when a law was passed that allowed bakers to sell them only on Good Friday, Christmas, and for burials. This law was eventually repealed, but the tradition of eating hot cross buns at Easter has endured.

a close up of hot cross buns proving

I’m really excited to share this recipe with you, kindly developed by chefs, Chris Burger, Maisie McBagley and Tom Herbert at The Long Table. The Long Table is a community organization based around the corner from us here at Object Story in Stroud, UK. It is revolutionizing the way people think about food with a mission to provide good food for all, regardless of income or social status. 

Chris has previously worked at Farro Bakery in Bristol, while Maisie came from the travelling kitchen at Giffords Circus and Tom is a fifth-generation baker - so I knew this recipe would be fool-proof and utterly delicious, I hope you’ll enjoy baking and eating these HXBs - do tag us @object_story and @thelongtableworld on Instagram if you do. 

a kitchen counter with a kitchen aid making hot cross buns for Easter

Here’s the recipe to try at home:

Orange and Ginger Hot Cross Buns 

For the dough:

500g strong bread flour 
75g light brown or caster sugar 
10g (2 tsp) salt 
30g (4 tbsp) mixed spice
20g (2.5tbsp) dried yeast 
100g unsalted butter, softened 
2 large eggs 
250ml milk, warmed 

For the fruit soaker:

100ml whiskey or orange juice 
250g dried fruit 
125g stem ginger, finely chopped 
100g stem ginger syrup
2 Oranges, zest and juice

For the cross:

75g plain flour
75ml water
Pinch of salt
Pinch of baking powder
1 tsp oil



  1. Weigh all ingredients for the fruit soaker into a saucepan and bring to a boil on medium heat for about one minute, then remove from heat and leave for 10 -15 minutes to cool and for the fruit to absorb some liquid. 
  2. Strain the fruit mixture through a sieve but reserve the syrup. This will be used to glaze the buns once cooked. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl or mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt, spices and yeast. 
  4. Add the softened butter, eggs and warmed milk to the dry ingredients. Mix until a soft dough forms.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a surface and knead for 10-15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Or mix for 5 minutes at medium speed in a mixer with a dough hook.
  6. Add the drained fruit soaker mix and knead or mix again thoroughly until incorporated fully.
  7. Place the dough into a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place (20-30c) for 1- 1.5 hours, or until roughly doubled in size.
  8. Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (130 -140g each) and shape into balls.
  9. Place the dough balls onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, leaving a very small gap between each one. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise for a further 45 minutes to 1 hour. 
  10. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.
  11. Once proofed, optionally brush buns with an egg wash for an extra shiny finish. They should be touching each other on all sides. 
  12. For the cross, weigh the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe crosses onto the top of each bun.
  13. Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  14. Immediately brush with reserved syrup from the fruit soaker whilst still hot out of the oven.

a plate with a hot cross bun

April 05, 2023 — Alice Paling