12 hot cross buns on a cooling rack

Sticky, sweet and gently spiced, you can’t beat a classic hot cross bun fresh from the oven. Or can you?

This Easter, open your mind to mixing things up, using our hero hot cross bun recipe as your starting point. From here, you can use this principle dough in four fantastic ways: St Clement’s-inspired citrus buns; coffee, date & hazelnut; savoury cheese & chive; or an impressive sweet loaf that will make the perfect gift.

So whether you’re celebrating Easter or just love trying something new, our versatile buns will hit the spot.

COFFEE, DATE & HAZELNUT 

Follow the hero recipe to Step 4, replace the spices and ginger with 3 tablespoons good-quality instant coffee. Continue up to Step 8, replace the dried fruit with 200g  finely chopped dates and 100g roughly chopped roasted hazelnuts. Continue to Step 15, then replace the honey with sweet espresso and continue as normal.

 

ST CLEMENT’S

Follow the hero recipe to Step 4, replace the spices and ginger with the finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon and 1 orange. Continue up to Step 8, replace the dried fruit with 200g mixed candied peel. Continue up to Step 15, then replace the honey with a homemade glaze. To make the glaze, squeeze the citrus juice into a small non-stick pan on a medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon marmalade, stirring until the marmalade has dissolved. Continue as normal.

 

HOT CROSS BUN LOAF

Follow the hero recipe to Step 10, then divide the dough into two pieces, and place into  two greased 450g/1lb loaf tins. Continue to Step 13, then pipe a cross on each loaf, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and hollow-sounding when the bottom of the tin is tapped. Continue as normal.

 

SAVOURY CHEESE & CHIVE 

Follow the hero recipe to Step 4, then replace the spices, sugar and ginger with 180g Cheddar cheese, 180g red Leicester cheese and 1 bunch of fresh chives (20g). Grate most of the cheese into the dough (leaving two chunks of each cheese ungrated for later), then finely chop the chives and add to the mix. Continue to Step 8 and leave out the dried fruit and mixed peel. When you come to shape the buns in Step 10, poke a small lump of cheese into each piece of dough before rolling into balls and continue, missing out the glaze in Step 15.

Hungry for more? You’ll find more delicious twists on a hot cross bun here.