James Martin is a beloved British chef with an incredible collection of recipes up his sleeve. A blog called James Martin Chef shared how foodies at home can make his simple hot cross buns.

A hot cross bun is essentially a sweet, spiced bread dough ball with raisins. They can be served cold but lots of people enjoy them toasted with butter.

Hot cross buns are gorgeous all year round but are particularly popular over the Easter period.

Supermarket shelves are already brimming with the sweet treats but baking homemade buns is much more impressive – and more fun – than buying them.

James Martin’s hot cross buns are a satisfying yet simple treat if you’re having guests round over the long weekend.

They are particularly poignant over Easter for Christians; according to Ina Taylor and Ina Turner who wrote ‘Christianity’, the cross on top of the bun alludes to the crucifixion, the spices represent the spices put on the body of Jesus, and the sweet fruits show that Christians no longer have to eat plain foods.

James Martin’s recipe makes 12 hot cross buns but quantities can be amended depending on the number of guests.

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For the hot cross buns

625g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

One teaspoon salt

Two teaspoon ground mixed spice

45g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing

85g caster sugar

One unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest only

10g fresh yeast

375ml tepid milk

125g mixed dried fruit

For the topping

One tablespoon plain flour

Thick sugar stock syrup for glazing


1. Place the white flour, salt, spice, butter, sugar and yeast into the bowl of a KitchenAid fitted with a dough hook.

2. Add the milk and mix slowly to start with until combined. Once combined, mix on a medium speed for five minutes. For those who do not have a KitchenAid, Jamie Oliver offered a hack. Place the ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a fork, before kneading for around 10 minutes – or until soft and springy – on a flour-dusted surface.

3. Add the lemon zest and dried fruit before mixing for another minute.

4. Cover and leave until the dough has doubled in size.

5. Lightly flour your baking surface and roll the dough into 12 even-sized balls. Grease a baking tray and then add the dough balls.

6. Mix the plain flour with enough water to make a thick paste and place in a piping bag. Carefully pipe a cross over each bun then leave to double in size.

7. Bake at 200°C for 30 minutes then brush with sugar and stock syrup. Happy Easter and enjoy!

The James Martin blog read: “Hot cross buns are in all the shops at Easter time but once you’ve tried these home made ones you’ll never buy them again.

“They’re perfect for serving up as an Easter treat and taste amazing!”

The celeb chef clearly has dessert covered with his lovely hot cross buns, but the chef also has plenty of recipes which are perfect for an Easter Sunday dinner.

Try his beef bourguignon for the ultimate hearty meal, paired with deliciously decadent dauphinoise potatoes.

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