Hot cross bun scrolls are a fun take on the traditional Easter bun recipe, Hot cross buns. Soft dough spiced with hot cross bun spices is swirled with cinnamon sultanas, and topped with a glaze and icing cross decoration.
Along with chocolate nests, lemon biscuits, another recipe we always make at Easter are Easter hot cross buns. This year I decided to adapt my Chelsea Bun recipe to make a cinnamon bun type Easter bun.
Why we love this recipe
- The dough can be made in the bread machine, stand mixer or by hand.
- The dough is so soft and fluffy!
- This is a family friendly recipe – young and old alike will love them!
- They are also great fun to bake with kids.
- They smell amazing when baking and will fill your kitchen with the scent of Easter.
Ingredients for this Easter bun recipe
It may look like a long list of ingredients is needed for this recipe, but many are used in both the dough and the swirls.
Step by step instructions and photos
Please note the full recipe and exact quantities is in the recipe card below. These are a few extra details to help you.)
- Heat the butter and milk until the butter has just melted.
- Mix the flour with spices, salt, yeast and sugar.
- Add the beaten egg and warmed milk.
- Knead for 5 minutes.
- Leave to rest for an hour.
- It will double in size.
- Roll out on floured surface.
- Mix butter with lemon zest and spread over the dough.
- Sprinkle over sultanas.
- Sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar.
- Roll tightly.
- Cut into 9 pieces.
Once the dough is rolled and cut into pieces:
- Place in your lined tin.
- Leave them to rise until they’ve filled the tin.
- Whilst warm, brush with the sugar glaze. Cool before icing.
Easter buns are traditionally eaten in England on Good Friday to commemorate the Crucifixion.
Add a little more sifted icing sugar until you get a thicker icing.
Add ¼ teaspoon of water and stir. If it’s still too thick add another drop of water.
My Tips for making these the best Easter buns
- Make sure your yeast isn’t past its expiry date and is active.
- Make sure your spices are in their best before date. If they aren’t then their flavour won’t be as strong, and you won’t get such a flavourful spicy Easter bun.
- Heat the sugar and water for the glaze over a low heat. You want the sugar to dissolve. If you don’t let it dissolve, the crystals will form and you’ll have a crunchy glaze rather than soft and sticky glaze.
- Don’t overcook the glaze – you don’t want it to take on any colour.
- If you don’t want to use a lemon icing, you can use water or fresh orange juice.
As with many homemade breads, these buns are best eaten on the day they are made.
If you do have leftover Easter bun scrolls, then cut them in half, and toast them under the grill, cut side up. Then spread with butter and enjoy warm!
You can free them, without the icing. Defrost and reheat in a moderate oven, wrapped in foil, for around 5-7 minutes until warmed through.
You may also like these other baking recipes
Hot Cross Bun Scrolls
- 200 g milk
- 50 g butter
- 450 g plain flour
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ lemon zested
- 7 g dried yeast
- 35 g granulated sugar
- 1 egg beaten
- 25 g butter softened
- ½ lemon zested
- 150 g sultanas
- 30 g soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- 1½ tbsp granulated sugar
- 1½ tbsp water
- 50 g icing sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice or water
- Place the milk and butter in a small saucepan and heat over a low heat until the butter is just melted.
- In a roomy mixing bowl, mix together the flour, salt, mixed spice, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, lemon zest, dried yeast and sugar.
- Stir in the beaten egg and warm milk.
- Mix to make a soft dough then knead for 7 minutes by hand or 5 minutes in a stand mixer until smooth and elastic. (If making in a bread machine, see note below)
- Place in a clean bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1-1½ hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured board and roll out to a rectangle size 20cm x 30cm (8" x 11")
- Mix 25g softened butter with the lemon zest and spread this in an even layer over the dough, then sprinkle over the sultanas.
- Mix the brown sugar with cinnamon and mixed spice and then sprinkle this in an even layer over the sultanas.
- Press down the long side closest to you on the board. Take the opposite long edge and roll tightly towards you.
- Cut the roll into 9 even sized pieces – around 4-5cm thick (1.5-1.8")
- Line the bottom (not the sides) of a 20cm x 20cm(8" x 8") square tin with baking paper and place the scrolls, cut facing up, into it, leaving an even gap between them all.
- Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 30-40 minutes until the scrolls have grown and are now touching.
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan/ 200˚C / 356˚F Convection / 392˚F
- Place the scrolls into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, checking after 15 minutes – if the scrolls are starting to brown and the sultanas are catching then cover with foil.
- Once baked, leave to cool in the tray for 5 minutes before topping with the glaze.
To make the glaze
- Heat the sugar and water in a small saucepan over a low-medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
- Brush the glaze over the tops of the scrolls.
- Leave for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. When completely cold, ice the scrolls.
- Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the lemon juice (or water) and mix.
- Using a teaspoon, drizzle over the scroll to make a 'cross' shape on each scroll.
- Leave for a few minutes for the icing to set, then enjoy!