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Ostara Hot Cross Bun Recipe Round-up
Have you had your first hot cross bun of the year yet? Like the first mince pie of the season, or the first of the Summer fruits, they taste all the sweeter for their limited appearance. I find this is one of my favourite aspects of living seasonally; I appreciate these small things all the more for only being able to enjoy them for a few weeks or months. And yes, I know you can get them in a supermarket at other times, but it’s just not the same!
Baking cakes in honour of Gods and Goddesses was a widespread Celtic tradition. With the introduction of Christianity, crosses began to feature atop spiced, yeasted buns and they became a feature of this Ostara time of year. In Scotland the hot cross bun is apparently more heavily spiced than its English cousin. I’m yet to tell the difference myself! Traditionally hot cross buns are made and enjoyed on Good Friday.
If you’ve never made your own hot cross buns, I urge you to do so. There are few more satisfying things to make. And you know me: I like to give traditions a bit of a twist, and I have to say chocolate and spice feature heavily in my Easter bakes. I have lots of tried and tested recipes in my archive now - so without further ado, here’s my hot cross bun recipe round-up! Let me know if you make any of them.
These sourdough hot cross buns are great if you have a sourdough starter: the sourdough tang perfectly balances the sweetness of dried fruit and spices. I put pecan nuts and dried apple in mine and will definitely be replicating the combination this year. If you don’t have a starter, why don’t you try one of these other recipes below…
Chocolate and cardamom hot cross buns: generously spiced, rich chocolate chip buns, topped with a moreish cardamom glaze and signature crosses. Even better once toasted and oozing with melted butter and gooey chocolate. These were adapted from a recipe by Benjamina Ebuehi.
Vegan lemon and marzipan hot cross buns: zesty with lemon, rich with almond sweetness from the marzipan and studded with sultanas, these buns are delicious straight from the oven. The oat milk gives them a lovely light texture - perfect for vegans and non-vegans alike.
Earl grey and orange hot cross buns: aromatic Earl grey and traditional fruit and orange make for a grown-up twist on the classic bake. If you are a fan of citrus like me, you will love these perfectly Springlike buns that make the most of seasonal fruit.
Hot cross bun loaf: if you can’t be bothered with shaping, this all-in-one loaf is perfect. This post goes way back to 2015 and one of my first forays into hot cross bun baking. I think my bread making, photography and styling skills have all improved considerably since! The recipe was from thecornerkitchen.
Happy Ostara baking!