Cranberry Orange Hot Cross Buns

The whole family will love this fruity and spicy Easter casserole – let the kids help in the kitchen with mixing, kneading and glazing. These cranberry orange hot cross buns are a delicious twist on the classic recipe. They’re bursting with tangy cranberries and tangy orange and offer a delicious balance of flavors. The dough is perfectly seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg and will fill your home with a tempting aroma as it bakes. With their soft, pillowy texture and lovely cross shape on top, these buns make a wonderful treat for the Easter season. Try them together and create lasting memories!


  • Zest of 2 oranges and juice of 1
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 250 ml milk
  • 50g unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 large egg
  • 500 g strong white bread flour, plus some flour for kneading
  • 1 tbsp fast-acting dry yeast
  • 2 tsp spice mix
  • 100g powdered sugar
  • some oil for greasing
  • butter, for serving
  • 75g flour
  • Juice 1 orange
  • 5 tbsp apricot jam

Preparation steps

  1. Place the orange peel in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Pour the juice into another bowl, add 75ml boiling water and the dried cranberries and let it soak.
  3. Pour the milk into a saucepan, add the butter and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is just melted.
  4. Turn off the heat and beat in the egg by hand.
  5. Mix the bread flour, yeast, 1 teaspoon salt, the spice mixture and sugar in a large bowl.
  6. Make a well in the flour and pour in the milk mixture.
  7. Drain the cranberries and add them to the bowl along with the orange peel. Then mix them into the dough with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together well enough to handle without becoming too sticky.
  8. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Keep putting the cranberries into the mixture.
  9. Grease a bowl with a little oil, then add the dough and cover with cling film. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  10. Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
  11. Beat it back by kneading for about 1 minute – this will remove any large air holes and leave you with nice, even buns.
  12. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, roll into balls and place on baking sheets lined with baking paper.
  13. Place a plastic bag over the baking sheets and let rise for another hour.
  14. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.
  15. Mix flour and 5 tablespoons water in a bowl until a sticky consistency is formed.
  16. Place the dough in a small-mouth piping bag or use a 2mm nozzle and pipe crosses onto each risen bun.
  17. Place the buns in the oven for 20-22 minutes until brown on top.
  18. While the buns are baking, prepare the glaze.
  19. Pour the orange juice into a saucepan and mix in the jam.
  20. Bring to a boil over low heat and then simmer for 3-5 minutes – keeping an eye on and stirring the whole time to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  21. Once the rolls are ready, place them on a wire rack and immediately brush them with the glaze.
  22. Allow to cool and then eat with butter.
  23. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Nutritional Information

Equipment and tools

  • mixing bowl
  • measuring cup
  • Pot
  • Whisk or fork
  • wooden spoon
  • Kitchen scale
  • sheet
  • Oven
  • Wire frame
  • Pastry brush

Allergen information

This recipe contains the following allergens:

  • Dairy products: milk and butter
  • Eggs
  • Gluten: bread flour

Storage and leftovers

After baking, store the hot cross buns in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Alternatively, you can freeze the rolls to keep them longer. Allow them to cool completely, then place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. To eat, thaw at room temperature and warm in the oven for a few minutes.

Health Benefits of Cranberry Orange Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns are a popular treat during the Easter season, and these Cranberry & Orange Hot Cross Buns offer a delicious twist on the classic recipe. Combining the tangy flavors of cranberry and orange, these rolls not only taste delicious but also offer several health benefits.

1. Rich in antioxidants

Cranberries are known for their high antioxidant content. These tiny berries are packed with phytochemicals called anthocyanins, which give them their bright red color. Antioxidants help protect our bodies from damage caused by harmful free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

2. Strengthen the immune system

Oranges, the main source of the orange flavor in these rolls, are known for their high vitamin C content. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the immune system and protects against infections. Including oranges in your diet can help you prevent colds and flu, especially during the winter months.

3. Good source of fiber

The dried cranberries used in these rolls are a good source of fiber. Consuming an adequate amount of fiber can improve digestion, prevent constipation, and promote a healthy gut. Fiber also helps control blood sugar levels and can help maintain a healthy weight.

4. Essential nutrients

The combination of milk, butter and egg in these hot cross buns provides important nutrients such as calcium, protein and vitamins. Calcium is crucial for strong bones and teeth, while protein plays an important role in building and repairing tissue. Vitamins found in milk, such as vitamin D, are necessary for bone health and general well-being.

5. Spiced enjoyment

In addition to the health benefits of cranberries and oranges, the spices used in these rolls offer their unique benefits. Mixed spices, often a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and other warming spices, offer potential anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits.

Making cranberry orange hot cross buns

To make these delicious hot cross buns, you’ll need a combination of ingredients like dried cranberries, orange peel, bread flour, yeast, milk, and butter. The recipe also contains spice mix, powdered sugar, flour, orange juice and apricot jam. Follow the instructions carefully to make a delicious batch of Cranberry Orange Hot Cross Rolls that your family and friends will love!

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