We will serve no buns before their time: Except hot cross buns

How do you track the seasons? By the temperature outdoors? The quality of light pouring in the window as you sit at the breakfast table? Or perhaps by which of your favorite professional teams is in action. (Go Sox!)

Me, I track the seasons by what’s for sale just inside the entry doors at Kmart; and what’s featured in the supermarket’s in-store bakery.

Though I haven’t been to Kmart recently, I’d imagine that by now, 7 weeks before Easter, they’re heavily into spring clothes, stuffed bunnies, and the ubiquitous Marshmallow Peeps—in more shapes and colors than ever before.

Yes, the past few years we’ve witnessed a Peeps explosion. Blue bunnies! Purple eggs! Green chicks! Yellow, white, pink, doesn’t matter to me, so long as they never lose that plain-jane marshmallow flavor, and signature soft-gritty Peep texture.

Supermarket bakeries, on the other hand, are still drafting on the high of Mardi Gras king cakes, while getting ready to jump into shamrock cookies, green-iced cupcakes, and golden rounds of Americanized Irish soda bread.

St. Patrick’s Day is a tough one for bakers. Green + baking aren’t two concepts that play happily together. Though pistachio cookies and Key lime pie try to carry the day, there’s not a single kelly-green baked good that doesn’t rely on a heavy dose of food color for its hue. Ewwww.

But Easter—ah, Easter is heaven for supermarket bakeries. Bunny cakes! Iced flower cookies! In Italian bakeries, gorgeous lamb cakes, and columba pasquale, Easter dove bread.

And everywhere, of course, hot cross buns.

These buns, historically baked 2 days before Easter on Good Friday, are now available well before that. Originally packed with candied peel and other dried fruits, and marked with a piped pastry cross on top—not sweet icing—they’ve devolved into plain raisin buns topped with a thick frosting cross.

I don’t know many kids who like hot cross buns, once they’ve licked off the icing. But lots of Boomers still seem to go for them, perhaps remembering pre-Kmart days when the seasons weren’t accelerated and extended, and the appearance of hot cross buns meant spring really was just around the corner.

So, forgive me. I’m pulling a Kmart here, and surfacing hot cross buns well before their calendar due date. We’re in the heart of winter still; February and March, here in Vermont, are traditionally our snowiest months.


Still, I can see the green tips of daffodils edging up along my south foundation. So maybe spring isn’t so far away after all. And perhaps it’s OK to celebrate the longed-for return of warm weather with a batch of hot cross buns well in advance of Easter.

Read our Easy Hot Cross Buns recipe as you follow along with these pictures.


First, let’s prepare the fruit; you should do this well ahead of when you want to make the buns, as it needs to sit for preferably a couple of hours (longer doesn’t hurt).

I like to use tiny, sweet dried currants; and our fruitcake blend, which combines diced apricots, pineapple, cranberries, raisins, and dates. Non-traditional, for sure, but oh-so-tasty. Combine the fruit with rum (or apple juice), cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for a minute or so, just to heat it up. Remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature. As it cools, it should absorb most of the liquid.


I decided to follow this recipe’s original directions by combining everything except the flour—butter, milk, eggs, yeast, sugar, spices, salt, and baking powder.


And here’s what happened—a mess. Globs of butter and spices floating in liquid. Next time, I’m combining ALL of the dough ingredients at once.


Here’s what the dough looked like when I added the flour. That’s more like it.


It’s very soft. I beat it with the flat beater for 3 minutes…


…then scraped down the sides of the bowl, and switched to the dough hook.


An additional 4 minutes of kneading with the dough hook turned it into a sticky, fairly smooth dough.


In goes the cooled fruit, including any liquid that hasn’t been absorbed.


This is sticky business, kneading the fruit in. Your best bet is to oil your hands, and do it right in the bowl.


Keep at it till the fruit is well distributed throughout the dough. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for 1 hour.


Here it is after 1 hour. It’s not a vigorous riser, but should puff up a bit.


Gently deflate the dough by scraping it down.


Use a muffin scoop, if you like, to scoop out generous, billiard-ball-sized portions.


Grease your hands, and round the scoops into balls. I ended up with 13 full-sized buns, and one baby. They snuggled nicely in a 9” x 13” pan.


Cover the pan; a plastic shower cap works nicely. Let the buns rise for 1 hour, or until they’ve expanded and started to crowd one another.


Next, whisk up a mixture of egg white and milk; this will give the buns a satiny shine.


Apply to the risen buns; a silicone brush does a nice, gentle job.


Here they are, ready to go into the oven.


Bake the buns for about 20 minutes, till they’re a rich golden brown.


Remove them from the oven.


See that soft shine? Take them out of the pan, and cool them on a rack.


When the buns are cool, make the icing. Combine confectioners’ sugar, milk or cream, a tiny pinch of salt, and vanilla.


Your goal is enough milk or cream to make icing that’s the perfect consistency for piping. Go easy with the liquid; icing can go from perfectly pipe-able to liquid with just a few extra drops.


Now comes the challenge: piping the crosses atop the cooled buns. I used to cut the corner off a plastic sandwich bag to do this; now, it seems every sandwich bag I find has a gusseted corner, or some other “improvement,” that makes it unsuitable for snipping off its corner to make a homemade piping bag.

Plan B: a parchment funnel.  (Or Plan B might be disposable pastry bags, if you’re into piping icing on a consistent basis.)

Roll the parchment into a cone.


Secure with a rubber band.


Spoon icing into parchment cone, and cut off its tip, if it’s too small.


Squeeze icing in cross shapes atop the buns.


Here’s what my homemade piping bag looked like by the time I was done. This is why disposable pastry bags were invented.


But in the end—success. These buns looked almost as good as they tasted. Welcome, spring!

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipe for Hot Cross Buns.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Entenmann’s hot cross buns, 41¢/ounce

Bake at home: Easy Hot Cross Buns, 12¢/ounce

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...


  1. susan moore

    And exactly where does this fit into my diet? I don’t think you would find anything like these a KMart

    Ummm… not low carb, that’s for sure… I think it fits into the “occasional treat” part of your diet. Make a batch – eat one – share the rest. How does that sound, Susan? PJH

  2. Penny

    I also like to put a bit of cardamom in my Hot Cross Buns. Yumm! Even in Oregon it seems like winter will never end when we get to this part of February. I’m heading for the kitchen right now!

    You’re right, cardamom is EXCELLENT in HC buns. I’d forgotten that – thanks for the reminder, Penny. I hope your flowers bloom soon- PJH

  3. skeptic7

    I bake Hot Cross buns all Easter season, which doesn’t start till Wednesday!. Its a traditional pastry for the 40 days of Lent, being an exception to all the fasting rules. I like it with the traditional citrus fruits and start by making my own candied orange and lemon peel. Try with 1/3 white whole wheat flour for a better color. I’ve made several of the King Arthur Flour hot cross bun recipes but its always nice to find a new one.
    I haven’t had trouble yet finding a non gusseted cheap plastic zip lock bag. For more amusement try maple icing for the cross.

    Ah, maple icing – now THAT sounds absolutely stupendous. I’m definitely trying it next time. And your home-candied fruits sounds so much better than those gelatinous, bitter supermarket fruits, too. Thanks, Skeptic!! PJH

  4. Angelina

    Hi PJ,
    I plan to make raisin bread tomorrow. When I see this new post, I’d like to try it out. One question: do these buns stay soft for days like the soft dinner rolls????

    Wellll…. I’d say they’re pretty good if you keep them wrapped. Not sure which dinner rolls you’re referring to. The unfortunate thing is, I’d tell you just to reheat before serving, but then the cross melts. Also, not sure how many days. All I can say is – they’re nice and moist, and if you wrap them they should be fine for a few days at least. Good luck – PJH

  5. Donna

    I usually make just one huge batch of hot cross buns the week before Easter (90 buns), give a bunch away, freeze some, and serve some. I keep a pastry bag full of icing in a plastic bag so I can ice warmed buns just before serving. The kids like to double up on the icing! I like the idea of soaking the fruit in rum, and your KAF fruitcake blend looks delicious–a very appealing combination. Family and friends will expect my traditional recipe, with only raisins for fruit, and cinnamon in the dough (a potato based dough), but I might just try this one earlier in the season, it looks so good!

  6. Anne

    I have only one thing to add:

    If you have no daughters,
    Then give them to your sons…

    These look seriously wonderful with all that lovely fruit.

  7. Mike T.

    And let’s not forget the folks in your workplace! At least until your manager tells you that you can’t bring them in anymore cuz you’ve caused the average weight of the team to rise…

    Well, it happened to me… ;-)

    Oh my goodness, Mike – can’t imagine that. Here at KAF, eating is part of our job descriptions – we HAVE to taste-test, and the larger the group of testers the better. That’s why we have Weight Watcher meetings on site… PJH

  8. Beth

    So, do I dare ask: How many Weight Watchers points are one of these babies??!

    I just ran the recipe around the block in our nutritional software. The buns are 5 points apiece. The nutritionals are now posted on the recipe online. Susan

  9. Jana

    The hot cross buns sound good, but have you ever toasted a peep? You have to watch out for the burning sugar on the out side, drop into a dish and cool a minute or two, but they are tasty.
    I am ready for buns! Right after that delicious cheese bread from a much earlier blog. I keep looking like a wonderful baker thanks to you all

  10. Claire R.

    The Hot Cross Buns that I remember as a child did NOT have icing on them for the cross, but rather a pastry dough type, lighter cross that was baked in. For sweetness there was a clear sugar glaze. Only in recent years have I noticed that everyone seems to use icing. What happened to the original? Does anyone still make it that way? I would like to be able to recreate that kind for my family this Easter.

    Check online, Claire; bet you can find it by googling. Some bakeries still do it this way. In fact, I think our King Arthur bakery still does it this way… try emailing jeffrey.hamelman@kingarthurflour.com, maybe he can help you. Good luck – PJH

  11. Lillian Stark

    Hey there,These hot cross buns look as good as they are easy, I will make them again, I meant to ask why the baking powder, since it already has yeast? Thanks again for the wonderful time last Friday at Greensboro, sorry to miss the pie and cookie show, Thanks again, Lillian Stark, Oh by the way it was worth the 90 mile drive.

    Baking powder gives them a little extra oomph in the oven, Lillian. Hey, glad you liked the class – thanks for coming! PJH

  12. Sue E. Conrad

    Ah-h-h, hot cross buns!! What memories I have of my mom making HUGE pans of them every year to be served at church after the Easter sunrise service. She must have made at least 12-14 dozen. Luckily the church kitchen had commercial-size ovens. The HC buns were always the hit of Easter breakfast. Will certainly try your HC buns, P.J., because my boat oven will fit a 9 x 13-inch pan……..the one I purchased last summer at KAF!!!!!

    Whatever floats the boat, Sue – :) PJH

  13. mary

    I followed this recipe exactly and they came out beautiful. Thank you for your recipes. I love them

    Good job, Mary – glad they worked out for you. See, now you’re all practiced up for Easter- PJH

  14. Mimi Bouchee

    I love the cardamom idea. How much ground cardamom would you use per cups of flour in a recipe? Too much would be too much!!!

    Not sure. Start out with a little, and add to taste? 1/8 teaspoon per cup of flour would probably be a mild start… PJH

  15. Lance

    These look great, if you use liquid eggs, such as eggbeaters will that cause a problem? other than not having egg whites to brush on?

    Should be fine, Lance. Less tender and a bit drier, due to less fat; but if you use Eggbeaters, you already understand that tradeoff… PJH

  16. Eugenia Read

    I”m from England where Hot Cross buns originated (I think!) and as a child the baker would deliver them warm from the oven on Good Friday.
    We never had an icing cross on them ; the pastry cross made from flour and milk was piped on before they were baked and somehow stayed lighter than the rest of the bun. That is how I make them each year using currants and mixed spice (the closest I have found here is pumpkin spice). Anyway it reminds us of “home”.
    “Oh! to be in England now that April’s here”

    Glad to be able to help you cast your memory back, Eugenia. I’ve been in Paris in April, but not England – would love to travel there sometime. Enjoy the buns – they do indeed have an English history. – PJH

    1. Elaine Oxford

      I too am a Btit I love the look of these Hot Cross Buns I will bake them tomorrow welfare only two
      So I will freeze some thank you so much for the great pictures on the blog, Elaine

  17. Rose

    Do you have a recipe for Italian Easter Bread? The one my Aunt made had a hard boiled egg hidden in the sweet dough.

    Not as such, Rose, but try our Classic Challah recipe, which is the bread part; You just have to figure out how to weave hard-boiled eggs into the braid. You can do it, Rose – I know you can! Good luck – PJH

    1. Satina Anziano

      I’ve been wanting that Easter Egg Basket bread recipe, also. My aunt used dyed eggs, which made a very colorful table.

  18. skeptic7

    I went to the recipes section and I couldn’t find the Hot Cross bun recipes that you used to have. I have several hard copies in my notebook so I know they existed. Why the purge?

    Just cleaning up, Skeptic; we had too many versions going. I think I can go back in and find them and make them live again – is there one particular one you liked the best? PJH

  19. skeptic7

    I liked the Recipe with a little proofing sponge of 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour, and then had an additional cup of white whole wheat flour. My hard copy didn’t have any fruit in this recipe and I wanted to check to see if the recipe had been updated to add some fruit. Otherwise I plan to add 1/2 cup citrus peel and 1 cup currents. I mainly wanted to say hello to old friends.

  20. tigerlille

    The midwest chain Marsh makes the most delicious Hot Cross Buns! The buns are filled with candied citron, peel, currants and raisins.

  21. Andra

    I’ve finally gotten around to trying these delicious looking Hot Cross Buns and I find that the dough IS NOT light,it’s quite heavy.The stand mixer moved under it.Oh,my,I wonder what I did wrong?Just waiting for the first hour rise to see if I “m succeeding or?
    Hope not.

    Andra, my first thought is you used too much flour. A cup of all-purpose flour should weigh 4 1/4 ounces. Take a look at our hints on measuring flour to see if it matches what you did… If your dough was that stiff, it’ll rise more slowly, but give it time; it should be OK in the end. Good luck – PJH

  22. skeptic7

    I am on my 5th batch of hot cross buns for the season. I tried a flour and water cross which I found on another blog. The initial version was 2 Tablespoons of white flour and 2 Tablespoons of water, mixed together and piped through a plastic bag. It was rather cute and gave a nice cross for the diabetics. It made enough batter to put crosses on 8 buns. I tried it on part of a low sugar batch of hot cross buns, batch #3. However I then scaled it up for the last batch and found two problems. 1) it doesn’t scale up very well, I tried 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water and found I couldn’t get the lumps out. 2) After baking its tough and tasteless.
    I salvaged the batch by using a maple frosting cross on top of the flour and water cross. Many things are improved with maple frosting. Do you have a maple fudge recipe? I could fix a lot of baking disasters by eating a nice piece of fudge to console myself. :)
    Moistening the dried fruit with a couple of tablespoons of orange juice works wonderfully, especially as I normally have orange juice around and rarely have apple juice or rum. Some of the batches of hot cross buns turned out better than others but so far they are all tasty.

    Thanks for sharing your experiments, Skeptic. Unfortunately, I don’t have a maple fudge recipe, Can anyone out there help? PJH

  23. Trisha

    This recipe didn’t work for me. I wanted to measure my ingredients by weight, so I printed out that version. The weight version says 17 ounces of flour, which is four cups, not 4 1/2. I kept adding flour because it looked too wet, which was kinda stressful the first time through a recipe.

    So sorry, Trisha – Something got lost in the volume/weight translation. I’ve gone in and fixed that. I’m sorry you were stressed; not our goal at all. I hope the buns tasted good, anyway? PJH

  24. Paula

    I’m thinking of trying these this weekend. Would it work to do the second rise in the fridge overnight? I’d like to have them for breakfast Sunday morning and don’t want to start the whole process at 4 a.m.!

    Paula, I’d say let them rise about 2/3 of the way on the counter, then refrigerate overnight. Let warm for about an hour the next day, then bake. Should work- PJH

  25. Smartfish

    I don’t have a Kitchen Aid Mixer w/ a dough hook, only a hand electrical mixer. How much time do you think I need to knead the dough by hands after I mix everything? Any tips for making sure that I can knead the dough just right?

    Keep in mind that this is a very slack or soft dough. You may be temped in kneading by hand to incorporate too much flour, so keep it soft by using some spray oil on your hands instead of the usual adding flour to make the dough pliable. You can still use a bit of flour, but follow the recipe times and keep it loose! Irene at KAF

  26. MaryEllen

    Well, I’m finally ready to make these, but I have a question. My kids don’t like raisins or dried fruits. A local bakery had chocolate chip hot cross buns last year, so I’m going to substitute chips for fruit. Can you think of any alterations in the rest of the recipe that I should be aware of?

    Nope, Mary Ellen, a 1:1 substitution should be just fine – and wonderfully tasty! Go for it – PJH

  27. Cathy

    I like using Mellow Blend for rolls sometimes. Would this work here? What about whole wheat pastry flour? How would Hi-Maize work with either of these flours?

    Yes, Cathy, Mellow Blend would be fine; cut back on the water by a few tablespoons. I wouldn’t use ww pastry flour – not enough gluten. And yes, substitute Hi-maize for about 3/4 cup of the flour you use -should work just fine. Enjoy – PJH

  28. Stephanie

    Love these! I did a combo of currants and one of Trader Joes’ yummy dried fruit mixes: blueberries, cherries, cranberries and golden raisins. Soaked them in rum (Mmmmmmmm). I added in a bit of vanilla and almond extract (just because almond always reminds me of Easter, and vanilla bumps that flavor up). I had to add-in more flour — I live in Almost Mexico, AZ, and it was a very hot, dry day (sounds backwards, but I ALWAYS have to add more flour.) Rose beautifully. I’m SOOO excited to eat these. It’s been years since I had hot cross buns.

  29. Nancy

    I made these on Good Friday, and after a little taste have frozen them for Easter morning. My dough was a bit wet and sticky, and although my buns were not rounded and smooth they were still fantastic. The crumb was so moist, shreddy, and tender. I used currants, golden raisins, and dried cherries, reduced the cinnamon by 1/4 tsp and used both cloves and allspice along with nutmeg. Soooo good.

  30. Sara

    I made the recipe from The Baking Sheet this morning, and oh my oh my! I used all raisins instead just because that’s my family’s preference, and I did cut back a smidge on the amount of fruit. I have a question: can I make these up the night before? Does the baking powder make that ill-advised? I saw above you recommended the last 1/3 of the second rise in the fridge. Is that the best way to go, or should I do the first rise in the fridge, let them warm while we get ready for church, let them rise while we’re AT church and bake at home? (That’s what I do with my so-called Sunday Bread…) I think these should work well with your Sunday technique. Give it a try and let us know how it comes out. Have fun with it. Mary @ KAF

  31. Sherry Gary

    I want to try these for Easter morning. All of the posts are from 2009 and here it is, 2010. I have two questions. On the rum, do you want white, gold, or dark? And, the muffing scoop, is that a #10? Thanks

    Sherry, muffin scoop we use is a #16; #10 would be slightly larger. Any type of rum is fine – your call. Enjoy! PJH

  32. Jeanette Eastham

    When converting to weighing the ingredients; are the liquid ingredients also done by weight, or liquid oz.

    How about slashing a cross in the buns before baking than, than pipe the icing in the slashes.

    When you convert from volume to weight, you would weigh all the ingredients, liquid and dry. Have you seen the ingredient weight chart on the recipe page? You may find it helpful.

    You wouldn’t slash hot cross buns before baking as they would deflate. Bake them and when they’re cool, ice them. Molly @ KAF

  33. Jean Allen

    Would orange juice work instead of apple juice or rum?
    Any liquid should work fine, the flavors of apple juice and rum work well, and if you think OJ would suit your tastes, go for it. ~ MaryJane

  34. Kathy Jones

    I have made these twice and will make them again and again. I used apple cider and increased the fruit by half a cup. Since I like the citrus taste, I also added 2 tablespoons of orange zest. They were delicious and so easy to make.

  35. Leanne

    I should have come here first! (how many times have you heard that). I bought the Hot Cross buns mix and it’s now rising for the second time. I only wish I looked at the picture first because I don’t think I kneaded it enough to get that slick look (hey, I’m used to my bread machine doing all the work) … so anyway, hope it still works.

    My plan is to bake them this afternoon, refrigerate and then warm up at tomorrow’s Easter brunch. At that point I’ll make the icing crosses.

    I just hope they rise enough…..

    Leanne, I’m thinking they came out just fine, right? If you give yeast enough time, it tends to do the right thing. Happy Easter! PJH

  36. cathymo

    My mother says she always remembers these having a lemony yellow cross instead of a white one. Anyone familiar with that? Could I do it with lemon curd? Or a thick lemon merengue pie-like filling?

    Cathy, I have no memory of hot cross buns having any kind of true lemon cross on top – I’m betting that might have been a local variation. You could certainly add a touch of lemon oil to the white frosting, but I don’t think lemon curd or lemon meringue filling would be a good option, as they’re sticky, wouldn’t hold their shape particularly well, and might require refrigeration… PJH

  37. takefive34

    Ah, yes, time again for hot cross buns!!! Brings back the memory of my mother who made dozens and dozens of them to be served at church after Easter sunrise services. This was well before scales and measuring ingredients by weight – we’re talking the 1950-60s era (she also used Gold Medal flour….shhhh)!! There were few if any left by the time Easter Sunday ended what with the choir members plus the general church population indulging in the special treats. Lots of work for my mom, but also great appreciation for her efforts!!

  38. Suzanne Buchert

    My Grandma Schroeder, who sold her homemade bakery in her St. Paul, MN neighborhood to help earn money to take care of her family of 12!!! kids, passed her recipe down to her daughter-in-law, my Mother. She didn’t skimp on the frosting by making a cross. In fact, the fight was on many years later between my Dad and one of his sisters about the placement of the frosting. Dad said his Mom just frosted the bun straight across while they were still in the pan. My Aunt Deets, said Grandma turned them out, leaving them intact and upside down, and generously frosted the bottom. As a person who believes that the buns are merely a vehicle for getting the frosting into my mouth, I keep the frosting in a separate container and frost each one to perfection just before I eat it. Yum.

    To each his own, right, Suzanne? And nowhere is that truer than with baking… Happy Easter – enjoy those hot cross buns! PJH

  39. hayzelnut

    I only use currants and candied orange peel in my hot cross buns. However, I plump my currants in Grand Marnier, use orange zest and whatever Grand Marnier remains in the dough. I also use Grand Marnier in the icing for the cross. The result is quite decadent. I love to make and give to friends. Their palates are always shocked at first bite!!!!!

    Oooooh, sounds delicious! Never thought of liqueur in these, but I can totally embrace the concept – PJH

  40. bibiswas

    This was my first experience with a KAF recipe that was not dummy-proof, at least for me. I struggled with the dough from beginning to end. I followed all measurements to the T using a scale instead of cups and spoons. Very soft dough is an understatement – almost like a brownie batter with the exception of the added yeast-y elasticity. Came very close to throwing out the entire concoction. Couldn’t shape dough into any bun like form. Did measure out using a muffin scoop, but the dough expanded and just formed a big pan of tea bread. I am glad I experimented with this before Easter, because I am not going to be using this recipe for Easter hot cross buns. Need to find another recipe, or need help from KAF into making this a workable one. Sorry KAF, very disappointing and stressful baking experience – surprisingly from a blog from Ms. PJ who I think is just one of the most talented “hold your hand while you cook” kind of a baker/ writer. I am too disappointed to even try this again. The bread looked great, but after tasting it, my first reaction was “SO not worth the effort and stress” :(
    I’m so sorry that you struggled with this recipe. We would love to help! Please call our baker’s hotline for assistance- we look forward to hearing from you! ~Amy

    I’m sorry, too – totally didn’t mean to give you a stressful experience! As Amy says, please call our hotline, 802-649-3717 – I’m sure they can help nail down what happened… PJH

  41. mrsdrcook

    Hi! I was wondering if you thought I could fit a double batch of this into my Kitchenaid mixer bowl. I’m not sure if there is a rule on how much dough will fit or not.It depends on what size your Kitchen Aid mixer is, but as a rule I think that much dough in a 5qt bowl will be very hard on your little motor.

  42. Irene in T.O.

    Very soft dough? As a general rule add a tablespoon of flour. Or two or three, mixing very well between each spoonful. Stop adding flour just as soon as the dough will form a ball.

    It happens because your flour has more humidity than the average. It can happen even if you weigh ingredients perfectly.

  43. domer85

    I used a scale too and had the same problem as Bibiswas – very gooey and wouldn’t hold their shape :(

    I’ll have to check this recipe, see what’s up – thanks for the feedback, and I’m sorry it was troublesome for you… PJH

  44. "Flour Petals by Daisy"

    This is so bizarre. I tried this recipe on 3 weeks ago and it was PERFECT. The rolls were rolled out perfectly, like how rolls should shape and rise. I took notes and my comments were “room temperature about 63 degrees. fantastic results with no adaptation needed.” I tried these again today and they were a big mess! One big glob of wet dough and could not be shaped at all…! The room temp today is about 68 degrees. Could 5 degrees RT make such a huge difference in the dough? I mean, the dough was a brownie batter consistency; nothing like a bread dough!! It looks so ugly… :-( Urrggghhh!

    No, 5° difference wouldn’t be the cause of this. Sounds very mysterious; how about calling our bakers’ hotline, 802-649-3717? I bet they could help talk you through this. PJH

  45. ChefMikeBakesdotcom

    This is a wonderful recipe. The buns are tender and tasty.
    A more traditional “Cross paste” is made from a mixture of flour and milk; it is piped onto the buns before baking. Our version is slightly sweetened and a little buttery. It creates a sort of fortune cookie crispiness on the top of the bun, making a more textured first bite. Plus–kids can’t lick off the icing!

    Happy easter! Happy Spring!

    Thanks for the tip.

  46. volprincess

    I made these to bring to work. Made the dough over the weekend, put them in the 9×13 pan and put them in the freezer. Got home late last night, pulled them out and tossed the pan on the counter. 5 hours later I was popping them into the over. They were moist, light, and delicious. I served them with butter and homemade strawberry jam and received rave reviews from everyone. They were fantastic.

  47. Connie

    I’d love to make this but my family doesn’t like dried fruit. Can I just omit them?


    Absolutely, Connie. You can also go totally non-traditional and substitute chocolate chips… :) PJH

  48. gaylewithay28

    Used whole wheat flour for a quarter of the listed flour amount. And used all currants instead of dried fruit mix. They took 10 minutes longer to be done than the stated 20 minute baking time. Rolls on edges were getting little too brown while rolls in center still not quite done. Next time (and there WILL be a next time!) will try reducing oven temp to 350. Very good, moist roll. Thanks!

    Glad they turned out for you, Gayle – with a few tweaks. You might consider tenting the buns with foil for the final 10 minutes of baking; that’s usually what I do with sweet rolls, to prvent over-browning before the centers are done. Enjoy – PJH

  49. Beth

    This recipe produced a beautiful, silky, tacky dough that was transformed into fragrant, tender, moist and gorgeous buns in the oven! For those having trouble, please run, don’t walk, to the nearest kitchen store and treat yourself to a culinary scale – and leave the frustration of and disappointment associated with variable flour measuring techniques behind you.

    I highly recommend this recipe, and will make it my yearly go-to. Thanks, King Arthur bakers!

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Beth, your comment is so well written, I’m craving some of these buns right now. Well done! ~ MJ

  50. Donna D.

    Would I be able to use the Gluten Free Flour and if so, what measurements would change for the remaining ingredients….thanks

  51. Lise

    Traditionally (in England) the cross on top of the buns is made with strips of thin pastry, added before the buns go into the oven. They aren’t supposed to be overly sweet!

    I live at in NM at 7,850 ft elevation. What adjustments should I make to this recipe?

    1. Susan Reid

      Lise, cut the leavening in accordance with our altitude chart. Use extra large eggs instead of lard, and increase the amount of milk to 1 1/2 cups. Try refrigerating the dough for its first rise (it will go much faster at your altitude). Bake the buns at 400F, and check them at 15 minutes. You may need to tent them with foil for another few to get them set inside without overbrowning. Good luck! Susan

  52. Jenni

    Just made these and they are fantastic, not because they were easy, but because they taste out of this world! My husband can’t keep his hands off these delights! I’m going to have to make another batch tomorrow!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Jenni, we’re so glad you and your husband enjoyed this recipe! Happy baking! Barb@KAF

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      Jenni, We are so happy that you and your husband enjoyed this rolls. Another batch tomorrow will make everyone’s Saturday great! Happy baking! JoAnn@KAF

  53. Teresa

    Hello I was looking for recipes to use with a kitchenaid, saw that you dump in everything then the flour. Yeast and all ? No special warm up ?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      This recipe calls for instant yeast, Teresa, which does not need proofing in warm water before adding to the mix. And these days active dry yeast performs very much like instant yeast, and should work fine this way as well. If you’re old school like me and feel safer proofing your active dry yeast in a little warm liquid, this certainly won’t hurt anything. Simply warm 1/2 cup of the milk from the recipe not higher than 110 degrees and then proof your yeast in it for 10 minutes. When the yeast mixture is nice and bubbly add it to the remainder of the ingredients and proceed with the recipe as written. Barb@KAF

  54. Elaine Oxford

    I am a Brit and these look wonderful I will bake some tomorrow ready for as we say in UK
    ” Good Friday ” thank you for this delightful explanation on the making and baking pictures


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