HOT cross buns are one of the joys of Easter. That’s why we asked Bexleyheath baker Magdalena Marsden to share her recipe with us.

Magdalena, 37, owns Cocoa & Heart in Izane Road where she runs cooking classes, as well as selling her own treats.

She said: “You can taste the difference really quickly because they are freshly baked.”

Makes 8-12


250g strong white bread flour
250g plain white flour
250 warm milk (any kind)
1 sachet of fast action dried yeast (7g)
1 1/5 teaspoon of salt (or less if you prefer)
60g caster sugar
1 ½ teaspoon of ground mixed spice
1 large egg
50g unsalted butter
125g dried mixed fruit (currants, sultanas, raisins or any other you like)

For the crosses

50g plain white flour
100ml water

For the glaze

Apricot jam, water

  • Mix together all the dry ingredients – flour, yeast, salt, sugar and spice.
  • Add milk, egg and butter and carry on mixing – the dough will be quite sticky.
  • Add the dried fruit, turn on a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 to 15 minutes. Use plastic dough scraper to help you to knead your dough as it will be quite sticky.
  • Make the dough into a round, place in a bowl and cover with plastic bag.
  • Leave the bowl in warm place (no more than 32 C) to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size. (in colder kitchens, this will take longer).
  • Knock the air out of your dough, divide into 8 to 12 pieces and shape into small rounds (do this by rolling the dough under your hand until smooth and quite firm).
  • Place on baking sheet – with space between each bun.
  • Cover loosely with plastic bag (lightly oil it, so it doesn’t stick) and leave to prove for the second time until double in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/ 180C fan/ Gas Mark 6.
  • Mix together the flour and water for the crosses and make a smooth paste. Fill a piping bag with the mixture and pipe cross on top of each bun.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
  • To finish your hot cross buns – melt apricot jam with water over medium heat. Brush the buns with the glaze when they are still hot straight from the oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Enjoy with extra butter or just on its own.

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