hot cross bun eggy bread with orange slices

Words and recipe by Ren Behan

The Easter weekend may be behind us, but there are still plenty of excess Easter goodies lurking around our house. Chocolate eggs, hot cross buns and Easter cakes from visitors are still in plentiful supply, and I also went slightly overboard in the fresh egg department, having found some beautiful barn eggs in a local farm shop. We made some traditional coloured Easter eggs, known as Pisanki (according to an Eastern European tradition) and have some more fresh eggs left to use up.

The chocolate is bound to be eaten up first, although I always try and smuggle a little bit away to melt and make into a quick chocolate sauce to keep in the fridge for milkshakes or ice-cream toppings. Since we seem to have also ended up with lots of Easter bunny biscuits, a chocolate fridge cake may be in order, made with more melted chocolate and plenty of dried fruit, such as raisins, apricots and cherries (you can also give Jamie’s recipe a try).

This Easter, we also made our first batch of homemade hot cross buns, which were so simple and tasty that a second batch quickly followed. Despite a very full house this Easter, there were more hot cross buns than we needed, so we came up with this quick breakfast or brunch recipe for the leftover buns and the extra barn eggs. It’s based on one of our favourite “eggy bread” recipes – also known as French toast or Pain Perdu – which translates as ‘lost [or wasted] bread’. It works best with stale bread, or buns that are a couple of days old, so it’s the perfect post-Easter recipe to have a go at.

easter leftovers hot cross bun eggy bread

Hot Cross Bun ‘Eggy Bread’ with Orange Crème Fraiche recipe

Serves 2


  • 2 fresh eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk or double cream
  • 2 hot cross buns
  • olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest, plus slices of orange to serve
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraiche
  • honey or maple syrup (optional)


  1. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the milk or cream with one teaspoon of orange zest. Whisk until well mixed.
  2. Slice the hot cross buns in half lengthways and dip each half into the eggy mixture, coating both sides well.
  3. Place a frying pan on a medium heat, add the olive oil and carefully swirl it around to coat the pan evenly.
  4. Take the hot cross buns out of the eggy mixture, allowing any excess beaten egg to drip off. Place the coated buns into the frying pan and cook them on both sides for 2-3 minutes, or until golden.
  5. Transfer the buns to a plate and drizzle with a little honey or maple syrup. Serve the eggy hot cross buns with a spoonful of crème fraiche, mixed with the remaining teaspoon of orange zest and a few slices of orange, or any fruit of your choice.
  6. An alternative recipe to try with leftover hot cross buns is Jamie’s bun and butter pudding, with apricots and cognac. Delicious!

About the author

Ren Behan is a well-known food writer and mum-of-two based in Hertfordshire in the UK. She grew up in a food-loving Polish household and now writes a popular family-friendly and seasonally-inspired blog at Ren enjoys cooking with her two children, aged 6 and 4.

Ren Behan


Easter, Eggs