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Orange Hot Cross Buns

Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto
Prep time 3 hrs, 30 mins
Yield Makes 16
You'll need to plan ahead to find or make candied orange peel (see sources at the end of the recipe)—it's worth it.


  • 3/4 cup warm (100° to 110°) whole milk
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packages) active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg plus 2 tbsp. beaten egg
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Finely shredded zest of 1 large orange
  • About 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied orange peel*
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Nutrition Information

  • calories 195
  • caloriesfromfat 21 %
  • protein 3.9 g
  • fat 4.5 g
  • satfat 2.6 g
  • carbohydrate 35 g
  • fiber 1.5 g
  • sodium 152 mg
  • cholesterol 31 mg

How to Make It

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine milk and yeast; let stand until yeast softens, 5 to 10 minutes. Add whole egg, granulated sugar, butter, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and orange zest. Beat on medium speed with dough hook until blended.

  2. Blend in 2 3/4 cups flour. Beat on medium speed until dough is smooth and stretchy, 10 to 12 minutes. Add just enough flour (about 1/4 cup) so dough is only slightly tacky. Add orange peel and currants, pick up dough, and mix with your hands to distribute fruit. Return dough to bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/4 hours.

  3. Punch down dough. With floured hands, shape into 16 smooth rounds. Evenly space rounds in 2 buttered 8- or 9-in. square pans.

  4. Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place until doubled and puffy, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°. Brush buns with beaten egg. Bake until deep golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool in pans at least 30 minutes.

  5. In a small bowl, stir together juices and powdered sugar until smooth. Spoon into a small, heavy-gauge plastic bag, snip a hole in a corner, and squeeze icing onto buns to form large Xs.

  6. *Buy from gourmet food stores and, get the recipe on, or substitute orange marmalade: Heat 18 oz. thick-cut marmalade until bubbling, strain well, and substitute 1/4 cup of the syrup for the granulated sugar in step 1 and 1/2 cup orange pieces for the candied orange in step 2; add 1/4 cup extra flour in step

  7. Note: Nutritional analysis is per bun.