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Close up of hot cross buns on a white plate.
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5 from 3 votes

Lemon Hot Cross Buns

Delicious lemon hot cross buns made with lemon zest and lemon juice for plenty of zesty flavour and mixed peel for a citrus tang.
Course Baking
Cuisine British
Keyword hot cross buns
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rising Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings 12 buns
Calories 261kcal


  • 500 g strong white bread flour
  • 80 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp ground ginger
  • 0.5 tsp ground allspice
  • lemon zest the zest of 2 lemons
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 7 g easy-bake yeast 1 sachet/package
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • 200 ml milk I normally use semi-skimmed
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice the juice of 1 medium lemon
  • 50 ml water
  • 75 g mixed peel candied lemon and orange peel

For the crosses:


  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the strong flour (500 g), caster sugar (80 g), cinnamon (1 tsp), ground ginger (½ tsp), ground allspice (½ tsp) and lemon zest (zest of 2 lemons), and stir.
  • Add the salt (½ tsp) and yeast (1 package/sachet/7 g) on opposite sides of the bowl.
  • Melt the butter (50 g) and allow to cool.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the cooled melted butter. In a jug measure out 200 ml milk, then crack the egg into it and beat well.
  • Pour the milk and egg mixture into the well in the centre of the flour too, then add the lemon juice (2 tbsp, approx. the juice of 1 medium lemon).
  • Stir the ingredients together with a spoon. Add as much of the water (50 ml) as needed to to form a soft dough (you may not need all of the water).
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Lightly oil a bowl, put the dough in the bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave the bowl in a warm place for the dough to rise for 1.5 hours or until doubled in size.
  • Knock back the dough, knead for a couple of minutes gently then leave to rise again for 1 hour or until doubled in size once more.
  • Turn out the dough and knead briefly. Split it into 12 pieces using a dough scraper or knife. Roll into balls and place the buns in a lightly oiled tin.
  • Leave to rise for 50 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (fan oven).
  • Make the paste for the crosses by mixing the plain flour (50 g approx) with a little cold water to form a thick paste. Add more water if needed to adjust the thickness, or more flour.
  • Transfer the paste to a piping bag and pipe crosses onto the buns.
  • Bake for 20-23 minutes until lightly golden.
  • Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Warm a little honey (or jam/golden syrup etc) and brush it over the hot cross buns using a pastry brush to add shine.
  • Serve warm or cold with butter and for added luxury, lemon curd.


Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 92mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 153IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg