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Cranberry Hot Cross Buns

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  • Author: Maegan - The BakerMama
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 mins
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: Breakfast


Super-soft, cinnamon-spiked, cranberry-studded hot cross buns that will make Easter brunch extra special!


  • 1 envelope active dry yeast (21/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 21/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg plus 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash
  • 2 tablespoons sugar plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon, for cinnamon sugar


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. In a small bowl, combined the yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and warm water. Allow to proof for 10 minutes. Stir in the beaten egg.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir the 1/4 cup milk into the melted butter.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Make a well in the center with a wooden spoon and add both the yeast and butter mixtures. Stir with the wooden spoon or your hands until a soft dough forms. Knead in the dried cranberries until evenly dispersed throughout the dough.
  4. Butter the same bowl and place the ball of dough back in it. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for an hour and a half until about doubled in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Divide dough into 8 even-sized balls. Place each ball, about an inch apart, in a lightly greased baking pan or dish. Use a table knife to make a cross indention in the top of each ball of dough. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until buns are golden brown. Let buns cool for a few minutes while you prepare the icing.
  7. For the icing, whisk together the powdered sugar, cinnamon and milk until smooth and thick. Place icing in a small plastic bag and snip the corner. Pipe icing into the cross marks on the top of each bun. Serve warm or cooled.