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No Knead Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

“Hot cross buns, hot cross buns, everybody loves hot cross buns!” are the words to the children’s song and they hold true even now. These little buns are traditionally served at Easter time: A sweet dough, spiced, studded with dried (sometimes candied) fruit and decorated with a cross made of icing. I made them after many requests and my kids devoured them within minutes; they were nervous about the raisins, but the cream cheese crosses and scent of cinnamon and nutmeg drew them in.

As I researched these delicious buns I realized that there are just as many ways to make them as there are families who bake them. Some people slash the dough to make the cross, others use a flour and water paste to create the symbol and others use the sweet icing. Tell me how you make your buns, and if you don’t have a family tradition yet, you can start with these!

Hot Cross Buns

If you follow along on Red Star Yeast’s Instagram story highlights, you can watch us make the buns in our Instagram stories. The recipe comes from our latest book, Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which also has a whole chapter on Easter bread recipes.

Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns

No Knead Hot Cross Buns

No Knead Hot Cross Buns
A sweet dough, spiced, studded with dried (sometimes candied) fruit and decorated with a cross made of icing.
Yield 8 or 9 buns



Hot Cross Buns

  • 2 pounds (907g) dough (recipe below)
  • 4 ounces (113g) cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup (57g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup (85g) maple syrup


  • Makes about 5 pounds (2495g) of dough
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) lukewarm water (100F or below)
  • 2 (0.25ozeach) packages (14g) or 4 1/2 teaspoons Platinum Yeast
  • 1 tablespoon (17g) kosher salt
  • 8 large eggs (455g, lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 cup (170g) honey
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) unsalted butter (melted)
  • 7 1/2 cups (1065g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest (grated)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) currants or raisins
  • Egg wash: 1 egg yolk plus 1 tablespoon water (beaten together)


  • Mixing and storing the dough: Mix the water, yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter in a 6-quart bowl, lidded (not airtight) food container, or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Mix in the flour, spices, zest, vanilla, and raisins without kneading, using a spoon or heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). If you’re not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour. The dough will be loose but will firm up when chilled; don’t try to work with it before chilling.
  • Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature for 2 hours, then refrigerate.
  • The dough can be used as soon as it’s thoroughly chilled, at least 3 hours. Refrigerate the container and use over the next 5 days.
  • On baking day: Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 2-pound (907g, cantaloupe-sized) piece. Divide the dough into 8 or 9 equal pieces and quickly shape into balls.
  • Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat, cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for about 45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, with a rack placed in the center of the oven.
  • Brush the tops of the risen buns with the egg wash and place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until richly browned.
  • Allow to cool completely on wire rack. Pipe the icing in a cross over the top of each bun. There will be some extra icing for spreading on the buns.
  • To make the icing: Mix the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, and maple syrup in a small bowl until smooth.


Authors: Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François met in their children’s music class in 2003 and have written bread cookbooks with more than 715,000 copies in print. Jeff, a doctor by training, is a self-taught baker who grew up eating great bread and pizza in New York City, and longed to recreate it himself. Zoë is a pastry chef and baker trained at the Culinary Institute of America. Her work appears in blogs all over the United States, and her dessert menus grace fine restaurants in the authors’ hometown, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jeff and Zoë were among the very first cookbook authors to support their readers with personal responses on their website,, beginning in 2007, where they blog about their super-fast yeast breads.

Review & Comments

Cassandra D | Reply

5 stars
I would say dinner rolls.

Linda Brown | Reply

4 stars
I love making the dinner rolls every year.

Julie Smith | Reply

At Easter, I make a tradition of a baking a lovely braided bread. The one year that I neglected to make it, the family asked about it, “Where’s the braided bread? We LOVE that!”, even though I’d made rolls instead. 🙂

Donna Buckley | Reply

I love to use a trusted Buttermilk recipe to make enough for 18 cloverleaf rolls and 18 crescent rolls, they’re such fun as dinner rolls, slider-size sandwiches, or snacks with butter and/or jam.

MargeB | Reply

I love making dinner rolls every year.

Tina Docharty | Reply

5 stars
Hot cross buns make our Easter Egg Picnic so yummy ????

Felice | Reply

Definitely Hot Cross Buns.

Teresa | Reply

5 stars
I love to bake for the Holidays!! Homemade rolls, Easter bread, cinnamon rolls…
I always bake from scratch!! For me it’s the only way to bake and I only use Red Star Platinum Yeast!!! Love these recipes!! Going to bake them tomorrow!!
Happy Easter!!!

Lara Maynard | Reply

I like to try out recipes for traditional Italian bakes like colomba at Easter.

Annie | Reply

Hot cross buns!

manda shank | Reply

Eating food with the fam.

Erika Chilton | Reply

5 stars
My favorite Easter baking tradition is making bunny & chick shaped rolls with my son for Easter dinner with family.

Jan | Reply

May favorite is family get togethers.

Lindsay | Reply

Cinnamon Rolls are always a must on Easter!

Kayla | Reply

I’ve actually never had a hot cross bun! But my husband did teach elementary music for 6 years, which includes a recorder lesson on “Hot across Buns” so that counts for something, eighth? ????

Lisa Babs | Reply

Well now that I have a recipe for hot cross buns, that will be my favorite Easter baking tradition. I do remember one year we made carrot cakes in the shape of carrots… that was fun but we only did it that one year because it was too much work. We stuck to cookies every year after that.

Katherine | Reply

Easter bread. On my to-do list for tomorrow!

Thanks Kate | Reply

5 stars
Glazed cinnamon raisin rolls ❤️

Debora | Reply

5 stars
I will be making some hot cross buns this Easter. Maybe it will be the beginning of a new tradition.

Katie Zack | Reply

So many great recipes, so little time!!

Ana Maria | Reply

We love Easter bread

Michelle L | Reply

My mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls were always a favorite.

Sandra | Reply

I use to love Hot Cross Buns but have not had any for years. This recipe looks like a great one to try. Thank you for sharing the recipe.
I have had difficulty in finding Red Star Yeast. Please tell me which grocery stores in Virginia Beach, Virginia stock it. Thank you.

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Sandra,
Our store finder ( shows Harris Teeter and Walmart Neighborhood Markets carry some Red Star Yeast products.
I hope you will find this information helpful.
Happy baking!

Nadia | Reply

Hot Cross Buns! I’ll need to try this recipe!

Jamie Hoad | Reply

My favorite Easter baking tradition is making fresh rolls for Easter lunch and also making peanut butter eggs.

Amy Donahue | Reply

Hot cross buns were an Easter treat we always looked forward to 🙂

Hope Hill | Reply

The hot cross buns look great! We normally make Easter bread in our home but maybe we will have to give these a try too.

Linda L Canfield | Reply

4 stars
Would love to add this to my collection of yeast cookbooks. Love making a variety of breads to give away

Tina W | Reply

Homemade dinner rolls to go with the ham and fixings.

Cathy | Reply

Have never tried them, but have thought about it a few times since they do look good!

Stephanie Fossum | Reply

I like to make cinnamon rolls for breakfast!

Laura Sharp | Reply

Our little family is just starting out so I need to figure out some baking traditions! I do love baking but I’ve never tried hot cross buns, this might just be the year!!

dixie l baker | Reply

5 stars
love dinner rolls always a favorite

Glenda Schreiber | Reply

love to make hot cross buns

Sunnie Iacovetta | Reply

I like making homemade rolls.

Elonie Sheen | Reply

These hot cross buns look delicious! I might need to start a new family tradition!

Tina B. | Reply

Cinnamon rolls and buns for yummy ham sandwiches!

Naomi C. | Reply

Hot cross buns!

Janene | Reply

3 stars
I love cinnamon rolls with orange icing. I enjoy baking with my granddaughter.

Peggy Caffey | Reply

I love making big bakery style cinnamon rolls for Easter morning and dinner rolls for our Easter dinner.

Carla | Reply

Delicious recipe and super easy to follow. Will definitely make again!

Lorena Keech | Reply

Freshly made orange nut bread for breakfast.

Lisa | Reply

Always some kind of sweet. Cinnamon rolls, sticky buns or crumb cake.

Mandy | Reply

Definitely Easter rolls

Janet E | Reply

5 stars
I made Hot Cross Buns for the 1st time Friday – 2 doz. They were so good that I made more on Saturday to give as gifts!!! Yummy!!!!!

Becky B | Reply

4 stars
Rolls so you can have ham sandwiches after Easter Dinner!
I am going to try the hot cross buns this year

Roberta Sorrentino | Reply

4 stars
I start the holiday by making hot Cross Buns on Good Friday and freezing one for the next year its tradition, then on Saturday I love coloring Easter eggs with my family, then I bake all day Saturday making Easter breads.

Susan D | Reply

I love to make holiday breads such as hot cross buns and paska!

denise | Reply

5 stars
I bake yeast rolls for dinner, monkey bread for breakfast, and a decadent chocolate cake for dessert–all from scratch.

Wanda N | Reply

5 stars
Love to bake fresh dinner rolls to go with our Easter ham!

Sandy Parker | Reply

4 stars
I help my friend’s bake Kolaches and have fun eating them as well.

Pam B. | Reply

We love to make rolls. The rolls aren’t too sweet. There’s enough sweet stuff already on the table!

Marijka | Reply

We’ve never had a tradition of hot cross buns, but printed and will start one this year!

Angie Chase | Reply

5 stars
My favorite Easter baking tradition is a cute bunny cake with jelly bean eyes and nose and licorice whiskers

Cindy Melby | Reply

My Grandmother taught me how to make homemade cinnamon rolls. I like the Hot Cross buns – I used to have them on Palm Sunday when I was younger. I
look forward to making the Hot Cross Bun recipe. I like to try new recipes. I am looking forward to trying these recipes. I enjoy using Red Star Yeast products.

Kat | Reply

my favorite Easter baking is Greek Easter bread. it has red dyed eggs in a round braid.

Home Baker | Reply

Looks delicious!

Regina H. | Reply

5 stars
love Easter twisted sweet bread with golden raisins, it has many names like paska, babka, ect… so good, also many different types has just raisins, or and candied fruit in it.



Jill I. | Reply

Love, love, love these books. My family looks forward to each new bread I try. Hot Cross Buns this week.

Karen D | Reply

Hot cross buns are my favorite tradition

Cris Hamilton | Reply

These look amazing!!

Frances Hutchins | Reply

5 stars
In the past, I always baked cinnamon or hot cross buns for breakfast and cloverleaf rolls for Easter dinner. My wonderful mother-in-law, Ossie, introduced me to yeast baking 43 years ago. Haven’t stopped since! ????. Happy Easter, everyone!

Lucy | Reply

I would love to win a copy of Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook! It would I know give me delicious and tasty ideas to serve to my family and friends. And if they are good my folks at work 🙂

Shirley | Reply

My family favorite Easter (and Christmas) holiday baking is my grandmother’s Hungarian Nut Rolls. Brings all the family memories back and to celebrate our roots.

Shirley Wilson | Reply

5 stars
Hot cross buns are a favorite.

Amy Heinle | Reply

My favorite Easter tradition is coloring eggs!

Susan J | Reply

I’ve never made hot cross buns (not sure I’ve even tried them) but they look great. I suppose my baking tradition would be to make some sort of dinner roll. No specific recipe as I’m always trying new things.

karen hayden | Reply

Portuguese Easter yeast bread that my mother makes every year. Also my mother’s wonderful shortbread cookies, and swirl cookies that she’s baked since we were kids. Just fabulous. Every year she out does herself.

Anne | Reply

Hot cross buns are usually a pre-Easter tradition for me, and I bake them during the week or two before Easter. But for Easter itself, carrot cake is always on my baking to-do list!

Michelle | Reply

These look delicious! Can’t wait to make them at home.

KathleenC | Reply

My favorite Easter baking tradition is making Ukrainian Nut Rolls.

Michelle | Reply

Would love to win copy of latest giveaway book. Bread is such a essential part of my diet

Dee Hayes | Reply

Hot Cross Buns..I use Red Star ein baking…..5 Stars

Kellie | Reply

My tradition is making Easter babkas as gifts for family members. Everyone looks forward to them.

Lisa Keys | Reply

5 stars
a beautiful Easter tradition

Tamara Bognar | Reply

5 stars
My favorite Easter baking tradition was visiting my Grandparents and making holiday treats with Grandma! It was then as a little girl I got my love for baking from scratch. Whenever I miss my Grandma I simply bake bread and she seems a little closer. Hot Cross Buns were and still are my favorite Easter tradition!

Judy Bowen | Reply

5 stars
I really enjoy the bread n rolls recipes that I have tried with red star yeast products. My favorite tops are potato bread, dinner rolls. But I enjoy al the items that I make for my family.

Deborah W. | Reply

5 stars
I love to make hot cross buns.

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