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Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Hot cross buns are traditionally served during Lent, particularly on Good Friday in some parts of the world.  The cross on them reminds us of the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ. The spices used in them are reminders of the fragrant spices used during burial at the time.

So make some hot cross buns this Lent and take the time to reflect on the passion of our Lord with your family. One recipe is given below.

Hot Cross Buns

The icing cross on them reminds us of the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ and the spices remind us of his burial. The dough can also be made in an automated bread machine. Follow your ABM’s instructions to make the dough, and then continue at step 8 in the recipe.


  • 2 packages active dry yeast or 4 1/2 teaspoons
  • 2 cups milk warmed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 6 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons milk


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the milk.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, butter, sugar, salt, spices, yeast mixture and about 3 cups of the  flour.
  3. Stir in raisins.
  4. Continue stirring in the flour until a soft, sticky dough forms.
  5. Knead on a floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic
  6. Cover and let rise in a warm location until doubled, about an hour.
  7. Punch down the dough.
  8. Shape into 32 balls.
  9. Place the balls about 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets.
  10. Cover and let rise in a warm location until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  11. Preheat oven to 375°.
  12. Cut a cross on top of each bun with a sharp knife.
  13. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and water.
  14. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash.
  15. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  16. Let the rolls cool for 30 minutes on wire racks.
  17. Mix the powdered sugar and enough milk to reach desired consistency to make an icing.
  18. Pipe an icing cross on top of each bun.

Video Explanation

See and hear this recipe in video format.

pretzel prayer and recipe
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Pretzel Prayer and Recipe

The pretzel is a symbol of prayer. The twist in the pretzel is meant to look like hands in prayer. So here is a pretzel prayer to say as you enjoy these treats. A recipe is also included if you want to make your own pretzels.

More Lenten Activities

See more Lenten ideas for your family here. This page has enrichment activities as well as ways to practice prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

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