Hot cross buns with lemon and marzipan

“Hot Cross Buns with Lemon and Marzipan” are a delicious twist on the classic Easter treat. These fluffy rolls are full of tangy lemon zest and offer a refreshing touch. They’re best enjoyed warm, accompanied by a dollop of creamy lemon curd that perfectly complements the zesty flavors. Soft, sweet marzipan surprises in every roll and provides an irresistible element of enjoyment. Prepare to be surprised as these delicious hot cross buns disappear before your eyes, leaving behind a smile and satisfied taste buds. Get ready to enjoy this delicious Easter treat with a modern twist!


  • 250 ml whole milk
  • Zest 2 lemons
  • 50 g butter, diced
  • 500g strong white flour, plus 140g for the crosses and a little more for dusting
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 85g golden powdered sugar
  • 7 g bag of fast-acting dry yeast
  • 1 large egg, beaten, plus 1 egg for glazing
  • Vegetable oil or sunflower oil for greasing
  • 200g marzipan, chilled
  • 100g mixed dried fruits
  • 50g candied lemon peel (or use mixed peel)
  • 1 tbsp lemon curd for glazing and a little more for serving
  • salted butter for serving

Preparation steps

  1. Heat milk and lemon zest in a small saucepan until steaming.
  2. Remove from heat and add the butter, swirling in the pan until melted and the milk has cooled slightly.
  3. Mix flour, cinnamon, sugar, yeast and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
  4. Add the milk mixture and beaten egg and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture clumps.
  5. Transfer to work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes – dough should spring back when pressed with your finger.
  6. Place in a clean, oiled bowl, cover with cling film or a tea towel and let rise for 2 hours until doubled in size.
  7. Dust your largest baking sheet with flour.
  8. Transfer the dough to the work surface and knead it again to remove any air bubbles.
  9. Roll out the dough into a rectangle measuring approximately 30 x 40 cm.
  10. Using the coarse side of a cheese grater, grate the marzipan directly onto the dough, covering the entire surface.
  11. Also sprinkle the dried fruits and candied peel on top.
  12. Roll the dough up one of the longer edges into a tight sausage shape.
  13. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 equal pieces, then lightly roll each piece into a smooth ball, closing the cut edges.
  14. Try not to overwork the dough or you will lose the marzipan layers. Instead, squeeze the sides together like a handbag, focusing on creating a smooth surface on the bottom (which will become the top).
  15. Arrange the balls on the tray, smooth side up, leaving a small space between balls.
  16. Cover loosely with a piece of oiled cling film and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size – the rolls should just touch each other.
  17. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
  18. Brush the rolls with a little beaten egg.
  19. Mix the 140g flour with enough water to make a thick, smooth paste, then place it in a piping bag fitted with a small round tip (or use a sandwich bag and snip off a corner).
  20. Pipe crosses onto the buns with the paste.
  21. Bake for 25 minutes until deep golden brown and cooked through.
  22. Mix the lemon curd with 1-2 teaspoons of water to loosen it slightly, then spread it over the top of the buns.
  23. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
  24. Serve warm from the oven or toasted with butter and lemon curd.
  25. It can be stored in a can for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 2 months.

Nutritional Information

Equipment and tools

  • mixing bowl
  • measuring cup
  • Zester or grater
  • sheet
  • parchment paper
  • rolling pin
  • Pastry brush
  • Sharp knife

Allergen information

This recipe contains the following allergens:

  • milk
  • butter
  • Wheat
  • egg
  • Marzipan (almond)

Please be sure to check ingredients and labels for possible allergens and adjust recipe accordingly.

Storage and leftovers

Once cooled, these lemon marzipan hot cross buns can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. To keep them fresh longer, store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Leftovers can be enjoyed roasted or reheated in the oven for a few minutes. Serve with a little butter and an extra dollop of lemon curd for a delicious treat.

Health Benefits of Hot Cross Buns with Lemon and Marzipan

Hot cross buns are a traditional Easter treat enjoyed by many. In this version, the combination of lemon and marzipan gives the classic recipe a delicious touch. Not only are these rolls delicious, but they also offer several health benefits thanks to their nutritious ingredients.

1. Lemon

Lemons are rich in vitamin C, which is known for its immune-boosting properties. Vitamin C is important for the production of collagen, a protein that supports the health of your skin, joints and blood vessels. Additionally, eating vitamin C-rich foods like lemons can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and lower blood pressure.

2. Marzipan

Although marzipan is often considered a sweet treat, it also offers some surprising health benefits. Made primarily from ground almonds and sugar, marzipan is a good source of healthy fats, proteins and fiber. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects your cells from free radical damage. They also provide essential minerals such as magnesium, which is important for bone health and energy production.

3. Dried fruits

This recipe contains mixed dried fruits that add both flavor and nutritional value. Dried fruits are a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. They are particularly rich in potassium, which is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure. Dried fruits also contain antioxidants that help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

4. Cinnamon

A touch of cinnamon is added to these hot cross buns for more than just a warm and comforting taste. Cinnamon has been linked to numerous health benefits, including improved blood sugar control. It may also help reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, and improve brain health and function.

5. Lemon curd

The lemon curd used to glaze these hot cross buns adds a touch of citrus flavor and an extra dose of vitamin C. As mentioned, vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system and plays an important role in wound healing and collagen production.

So these hot cross buns with lemon and marzipan not only taste amazing, but they also offer some surprising health benefits. From immune-boosting vitamin C to the antioxidant properties of almonds and dried fruits, these rolls are a treat for your taste buds and your body.

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