Old-fashioned hot cross buns recipe

Old-fashioned hot cross buns recipe

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Celebrate Easter with this hot cross buns recipe

Hot cross buns — sweet, spiced buns that are baked with raisins or currants and have a distinctive cross-shaped icing on top — are a traditional treat that have been a part of Easter celebrations for centuries.

Hot cross buns and have a rich history and cultural significance — the cross is often seen as a symbol of the crucifixion of Jesus and the treat is usually eaten on Good Friday, the day that commemorates the crucifixion.

Making hot cross buns at home is a fun and festive way to celebrate Easter, and there are many different recipes and variations to choose from. You can even add your own special twist to the old-fashioned hot cross buns recipe by using different spices, dried fruits, or even nuts.

Here’s an old-fashioned hot cross buns recipe from the 1960s, plus two even more old school recipes from 1912, so you can pick your favorite way to make some classic Easter buns with real vintage flavor.

One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns (from 1912)

From The Day Book (Chicago, Illinois) April 4, 1912

We do not hear the cry “Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns, One a Penny, Two a Penny, Hot Cross Buns,” when we awaken on Good Friday morning in this country.

A good reason for this failure is that our wives and mothers are such excellent cooks that with their own fingers they mix the dough that goes into the bread for the greatest fast day of the year.

In the older countries, the maternal head of the house is not a bread-maker. So the baker boy goes up one street and down another calling in musical tones the well-known rhyme of our childhood.

Here are a couple of recipes for Good Friday buns. Either will make delicious buns. Do not neglect, however, to make a cross in the top of each bit of bread before putting the baking tin in the oven.

24 adorable vintage Easter cards from the first decades of the 1900s

Hot cross buns from the 1950s

Old-fashioned Irish Hot Cross Buns recipe

To 3 cups of milk, add flour enough to make a thick batter. Into this, stir 1 cake of compressed yeast dissolved in warm water. In the morning, add a few spoonfuls of melted butter and 1/2 spoonfuls of grated nutmeg, 1 saltspoon of salt, 1 teaspoonful of soda, and flour enough to make a stiff dough-like biscuit.

FIND OUT MORE: Old-fashioned cooking measurements & equivalents

Knead well and let rise 5 hours. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness, cut in round cakes and put in buttered baking pans. Let stand until light.

Make a deep gash in each with a knife. Bake in a moderate oven till light brown. Brush over the top with the beaten white of an egg and powdered sugar.

Vintage hot cross buns from 1949
Vintage hot cross buns from 1949
1960s hot cross buns recipe

From The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) April 4, 1963

MORE: This old-fashioned baking powder biscuit recipe from the 1950s turns out delicious every time

Hot cross buns

Old-fashioned hot cross buns

Yield: 24 buns
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 50 minutes

Here's an old-fashioned hot cross buns recipe from 1963, so you can try the traditional Easter bread the way they were making it 60 years ago.


  • 1 cup scalded milk
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/3 granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cake compressed yeast or 1 cake quick-acting granular yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 3-1/2 all-purpose flour, sifted before measuring
  • 1 egg white
  • Powdered sugar icing


  1. Combine milk, shortening, cup sugar, and salt. Cool to lukewarm.
  2. Mix the 1 teaspoon sugar with yeast that has been softened in lukewarm water, and add to lukewarm milk mixture.
  3. Add egg, raisins, cinnamon, allspice, and as much sifted all-purpose flour as can be stirred into the dough (3-1/2 to 4 cups).
  4. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.
  5. Knead, shape into 2-inch balls, and arrange on greased pan.
  6. Brush each bun with egg white, cover, and let rise until double in bulk.
  7. Snip a deep cross in the top of each with scissors.
  8. Bake 15 minutes in preheated 400 F oven. Remove from pan immediately.
  9. Cool on wire cake rack.
  10. When cool, fill the cross on top of each bun with powdered sugar icing.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 73mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 2g

Click Americana offers approximate nutrition information as a general reference only, and we make no warranties regarding its accuracy. Please make any necessary calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, and consult with a qualified healthcare professional if you have dietary concerns.

Old-fashioned marshmallow Easter eggs & cute cupcake baskets (1963)

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