How to make hot cross buns in your breadmaker

It wouldn’t be Easter without hot cross buns.

Buttered hot cross bun on a plate.

Chocolate and hot cross buns are two of my favourite foods, so it makes sense to combine them into one delicious treat, right?

Hmm, not really. Because honestly, whoever thought chocolate hot cross buns were a good idea needs to sit on the naughty step and contemplate the error of their ways.

As for salted caramel hot cross buns? A travesty. White chocolate and raspberry? No thanks. Give me a good old-fashioned bun any day.

What can you make in a breadmaker?

As well as hot cross buns, I’ve made colomba Pasqual (an Italian Easter treat similar to panettone). I'll also try my hand at other Easter breads such as Kulich (from Russia), choereg (from Armenia), and potica (from Slovenia).

If fruit breads aren’t your jam, you could bake a cake. You’ll have to mix the batter by hand, but you could probably let the breadmaker do the actual baking.

Breadmaker hot cross bun recipe

Recipe from Panasonic's The Ideas Kitchen.
Serves 12


Stack of two fresh hot cross buns.

1 ½ tsp yeast
450g strong white flour
50g sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tsp mixed spice
50g butter
1 medium egg
210ml milk
150g mixed dried fruit

For the crosses

50g plain flour
25g butter

For the glaze

2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp caster sugar


  1. Place the ingredients in the pan in the order listed above, set the machine to BASIC RAISIN DOUGH, reserving the fruit for when the machine beeps.
  2. When the cycle is complete remove dough from the pan and shape into 12 equal size balls. Cover with greased cling film and leave to prove until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven on convection 200°C.
  4. Meanwhile to make the crosses rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, add enough water to make a paste thick enough to be piped. Pipe crosses onto the buns.
  5. Bake for 10-15 mins until brown and hollow sounding when tapped.
  6. Make the glaze by dissolving the sugar in the milk and brushing over top of the hot buns.

Tips for baking with dried fruit

  • Don’t add more fruit than stipulated in the recipe, or you’ll end up with doughy little rocks instead of light, fluffy buns.
  • Before adding dried fruit, shake it in flour. That’ll stop it sinking to the bottom of the pan.
  • If your machine doesn’t dispense the fruit automatically, add it five minutes after mixing has begun, otherwise it’ll be pulverized in the kneading.

What if you don’t have a breadmaker?

You could knead the dough by hand, but getting it just right can be tricky. With a breadmaker, though, measuring the ingredients is as fiddly as it gets.

Breadmakers aren’t essential items, so you won’t be able to buy one immediately. Still, take advantage of the shopping hiatus to research your options. An excellent place to start is with our buying guide and test results.

Whatever you decide, the Consumer team wishes you a hoppy Easter!

Member comments

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The Real John R.
15 Apr 2020
Yeast - a tip

I tried these out in my Consumer recommended Panasonic. I used Tasti brand Fast Acting Breadmaker yeast. After waiting for an hour with the buns sitting in my warm place (the hot water cylinder cupboard) I gave up waiting for a rise. The buns rose during the bake and look great and taste good too. So I'm not sure that the reliable yeast I use to make bread is necessarily the right yeast for this recipe.

Hamish W.
14 Apr 2020

Made in our Panasonic breadmaker - Consumer recommended of course, from around 12 years ago. We did think a bit more all-spice would make them just a little more tasty.

Allison C.
13 Apr 2020
Awesome hot cross buns

I made this hot cross buns recipe in my Sunbeam Quantum breadmaker (a Consumer recommendation over 18 years ago!) and it's the best one I've found. I've tried others but they all turned out too doughy or not enough spice. This one was delicious!