Sweet Hot Cross Buns with Cranberry & Lime

March 30, 2019Sew White

My sweet hot cross buns are a super twist on this classic Easter treat with a kick of lime and plenty of dried cranberries and other fruit!

I’d never made hot cross buns before, but I just couldn’t say no to the opportunity to put my own twist on such a classic. I’ve always loved the flavours of cranberry and lime and in the hot cross buns they worked together absolutely perfectly. I’ve already got orders from my family for another batch this week!

What do I need to make cranberry hot cross buns?

Most of the ingredients are pretty standard for bread or are there for flavour. None of them are too rare, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding them.

  • Strong white bread flour to give the hot cross buns a bread-like texture. Don’t substitute this with regular plain flour or they may come out more like cakes than bread!
  • Salt, which is absolutely integral for flavour. Without salt, all bread is bland!
  • Instant yeast so that they’ll rise quickly and you can have them ready even sooner.
  • Caster sugar to provide the yeast with the nutrients to work its magic.
  • Unsalted butter to keep the buns soft and moist.
  • Eggs to give the hot cross buns a richness that can never quite be replaced.
  • Semi-skimmed milk to make the buns soft and tender without adding excess fat.
  • Cool water to hydrate the yeast so that it can survive to work.
  • Cranberries because they wouldn’t be cranberry hot cross buns without them!
  • Currants to provide a good mixture of dried fruit.
  • Chopped mixed peel to provide even more fruity flavour because hot cross buns wouldn’t be authentic without plenty of fruit!
  • Lime zest for that sour, tart punch!
  • Mixed spice for a warming flavour.
  • Cinnamon for even more warmth.
  • Plain flour and water for the crosses.
  • Apricot jam for the sweet, sticky glaze.

It looks like quite a large list written down like that, but trust me – it’s nowhere near as awful as it looks! Some of these ingredients can be skipped, but I wouldn’t recommend skipping any if you want perfect hot cross buns.

Cranberry and Lime Hot Cross Buns in a wicker basket on straw for Easter.

How do I make sweet hot cross buns?

The steps are fairly simple, so if you’re familiar with making bread then you shouldn’t have any issues. However, if you aren’t familiar with making bread then make sure to follow them fairly closely as it can be rather finicky – even the wrong temperature of water makes a difference!

  1. Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the salt, sugar and yeast.
  2. Add the butter, eggs, milk and half the water. With one hand, bring all the mix together. Add a little more water if it’s not quite soft, and add a little extra flour if the dough is soggy.
  3. Tip the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes or until smooth and fairly elastic.
the bright reds and browns of the fruit and spices ready for the hot cross buns.

4. Add the cranberries, currants, mixed peel, lime zest, mixed spice and cinnamon. Knead them in until they’re evenly spread through the dough.

the fresh hot cross bun dough ready to be shaped.

5. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and leave for a minimum of an hour or until doubled in size. (I left mine for 2 hours).

6. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it a little to get the air out.

7. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and divide the dough into 12. Place the balls on the tray with a 1cm gap between them.

8. Put the baking tray somewhere warm for approximately an hour to leave the buns to rise.

hot cross bun dough after it's prove studded with cranberries and lime

9. Preheat the oven and mix together the flour and water for the crosses. Pipe the paste across the buns to form the crosses.

10. Bake until golden-brown then remove from the oven and brush with warm apricot jam.

11. Enjoy!

Again, it looks like a lot of work but it more-than pays off in the end – you end up with incredible lime and cranberry hot cross buns for your efforts – and really, very little is better than that.

Drawing the cross on the hot cross buns.

After baking the kitchen smelled divine and I desperately waiting for them to cool so I could eat one. They were so shiny when they were fresh out of the oven. The glaze worked beautifully. We all ate them when they were still warm and they were amazing. What a treat!

Cranberry and Lime Hot Cross Buns hot out of the oven

How should I serve sweet hot cross buns?

I eat mine for breakfast or lunch with plenty of butter. They’re delicious lightly toasted and if you’ve ever made butter then that’s definitely the best thing to spread on them – delicious, salted homemade butter.

Personally, I think that they’ve got enough flavour from cranberries and lime to be a light breakfast or comforting snack. I just don’t feel like you need anything but warm, freshly baked hot cross buns!

golden brown hot cross buns with dried cranberries recipe

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Cranberry and Lime Hot Cross Buns on a checked cloth in a wicker basket
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5 from 7 votes

Sweet Hot Cross Buns with Cranberry & Lime

My sweet hot cross buns are a super twist on this classic Easter treat with a kick of lime and plenty of dried cranberries and other fruit!
Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Bakes, Bread, Sweet Treats
Cuisine: British, English
Keyword: Cranberry and Lime Hot Cross Buns, cranberry hot cross buns, lime hot cross buns
Servings: 12 hot cross buns
Calories: 140kcal
Author: Sisley White

Ingredients

  • 500 g strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
  • 10 g salt
  • 10 g instant yeast
  • 80 g caster sugar
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 120 ml warm semi skimmed milk
  • 100 ml cool water
  • 75 g cranberries
  • 75 g currants
  • 80 g chopped mixed peel
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

For the crosses

  • 75 g plain flour
  • 75 ml water

For the glaze

  • 100 g Hartleys’s smooth apricot jam

Instructions

  • Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the salt, sugar and yeast.
  • Add the soft butter, eggs, milk and half the water. Here is where it gets messy. With one hand start bring all the mix together. Add a little more water if you need it to make a soft but not soggy dough
  • Tip the dough from the bowl and knead for 5-10 minutes with a little flour to stop it sticking to the work top until smooth.
  • Add the cranberries, currants, mixed peel, lime zest, mixed spice and cinnamon to the dough and knead in until evenly spread through the dough.
  • Pop the dough into lightly oiled bowl and leave for at least an hour until doubled in size. I left it for 2 hours.
  • Take the dough from the bowl and give it a quick knead to get the air out.
  • Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  • Divide into 12 and place the balls on the tray with about a 1cm gap between them.
  • Place the baking tray somewhere warm for 1 hour for the buns to rise.
  • Meanwhile, heat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan.
  • For the crosses mix the flour and water in to a thick paste. Pop the flour paste into a piping bag and draw the crosses across the buns.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  • While the hot cross buns are baking warm the apricot jam as soon as it’s baked remove from the oven and brush over the tops of the warm buns to glaze.
  • Leave to cool slightly before tucking in.

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7 Comments

  • Nisha

    March 31, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Wow cranberry and lime is such an interesting combination.. These look lovely though, packed with fruit, just how I like them x

    5 stars

    1. Sew White

      March 31, 2015 at 10:08 am

      Thank you 🙂 I agree they should be packed with fruit. It makes them so nice x

  • vicky

    March 31, 2015 at 10:18 am

    OMG! sounds amazing and will be trying these out over the weekend, I love hot cross buns5 stars

    1. Sew White

      March 31, 2015 at 10:26 am

      Thank you! I hope you like them a lot x

  • Laura

    March 31, 2015 at 10:49 am

    These look so incredible! I am partial to a hot cross bun, I may have to indulge this weekend!5 stars

    1. Sew White

      March 31, 2015 at 10:55 am

      Thank you! This is the weekend to indulge in Hot Cross Buns x

  • Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns – Supper in the Suburbs

    March 25, 2016 at 8:19 am

    […] Cranberry and Lime Hot Cross Buns from Sew White […]5 stars

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