Orange Hot Cross Buns

Serves: 12
Cooks in: 1 hour plus proofing
Difficulty: 5/10


8g/approx 2 tsp Dried Yeast

1 & 1/4 cups/300ml Non Dairy Milk

2 tsp Orange Extract or Vanilla

2 tbs Vegan Margarine or Vegetable Oil

Zest 2 Oranges

4 heaped tbs Caster Sugar

4 cups/500g Strong White Bread Flour (not all purpose flour)

3 tsp All/Mixed Spice

1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt

1 & 1/2 cup/270g Dried Fruit (such as dried orange peel, raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried apricot etc – chopped small)


1 cup/125g Plain Flour

Approx 1/2 cup/125g Water


1/4 cup/100g Caster Sugar

2 tbs Orange Marmalade or Jam

1/4 cup/60ml Water


Add the milk, margarine, sugar, orange extract & orange zest to a small saucepan then place over a very low heat & whisk together until the margarine has melted. As soon as it has, remove it from the heat & let it cool to a luke warm temperature then whisk in the yeast.

Leave for around 5 mins for the yeast to activate and become bubbly.

Meanwhile, mix together the flour, mixed spice and salt in a large mixing bowl or bread mixer. Make a well in the middle then add then milk & yeast mix. Stir until the mix starts combining.

Once everything has come together, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. (If hand kneading).

Now it’s time to knead.

Knead the dough for around 6-8 minutes. The dough should be beautifully smooth and elastic after. Add minimal flour whilst kneading, if you feel it’s too sticky.

If you’re using a bread mixer, knead the dough on medium speed for 5 minutes with the dough hook attached.

Place the dough back into the mixing bowl this time make sure you have light oiled the bottom of the bowl.

Cover over the bowl with a damp cloth and leave it somewhere warm for around 1 hour or until it’s double in size. Meanwhile lightly grease a flat baking tray.

After an hour, transfer the risen dough to your work surface then lightly knead in the dried fruit. 

Knead only for a couple of minutes so that all the fruit is running through the dough evenly.

Split the dough into 12 even pieces. I weigh each piece, aiming for around 90g.

Form each piece into a neat ball, then arrange them on your baking tray around a cm apart from one another. Cover over the dough balls with a damp kitchen cloth and leave somewhere warm to rise again for an hour.

Meanwhile for the crosses – In a mixing bowl, add enough water to the plain flour to make a thick batter/paste like consistency. Transfer the mix to a piping bag or a simple plastic sandwich bag ready to pipe over the buns.

Pre heat your oven to 190 degrees C and place an empty baking tray filled with hot water on the bottom shelf. This will create steam as the buns are cooking.

Mix together the sugar, marmalade & water to make the glaze. When the dough balls have risen, glaze them generously using a pastry brush then pipe over the crosses. If you are using a sandwich bag to pipe, simply snip a small corner from the bag.

Bake the buns for 30 minutes.

Once baked the buns should have risen considerably and be lovely and golden. Brush over the remaining glaze. Then leave the buns to cool with a wet cloth covering them. This softens the crust.

When the buns have cooled slightly, serve.