good friday bonus: hot cross buns!

Hot cross buns. Photographed with Nikon D300 and 60mm micro lens.

Earlier today, I came across the following tweet from my friend Susannah:

Dude. Hot cross buns. Remember hot cross buns? I used to live for Good Friday when I was a kid, because my mom would always make us hot cross buns. And as I slipped further and further in nostalgic reverie, I became a bit sad: my poor daughter would grow up not knowing the love of a good hot cross bun. Because I? Do not do anything with yeast or kneading, or let alone rising.

However, I would not be deterred! I started searching for a quickbread version of hot cross buns, and found one. Okay, I find a few, but this was the only one for which I had everything already in my pantry. Somewhat skeptical, I made it (doing my usual tweaking thing with the recipe, of course). And then, Marcus, Alex and I tentatively tried them.

Sweet merciful Gumby, they are absolutely delicious. They didn't look like the buns I remembered from my childhood, but they sure tasted like them. (In fact, they're so good, I may even make them during the rest of the year, without the cross in the middle.  And then I shall call them "Hot Buns."  And the name alone will make them famous.)

Anyway, I thought I'd post the recipe here in case in the waning hours of Good Friday, you are now seized with the unshakable yen for a hot cross bun.

Besides, people, think of the children.



1 cup unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold butter
1-1/2 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celcius). Grease a cookie sheet.

2. In a mixing bowl, mix the flower, baking powder and salt together thoroughly.

3. Cut in the butter with a fork until the mixture looks crumbly.

4. Add the honey, cinnamon and raisins and mix well with a fork. Then add the milk and mix thoroughly by hand, forming a large ball.

5. Divide the ball into 6 smaller balls, and place on the greased cookie sheet. Cut a deep cross into the top of each ball with a knife. Bake them for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  They'll look more like hot cross scones rather than hot cross buns, but whatever.  Still delicious.

6. While buns are cooling, make a frosting by mixing the following ingredients together:

1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
2 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

7. Pour the frosting into each of the crosses on the buns.  Enjoy.  And happy Easter!