Cranberry Ginger Spice Hot Cross Buns

This recipe adaptation was another one of those saw it-checked the pantry-made it situations. Jeremy and I spent a few days before the actual Easter holiday this year with his family in Southern Illinois. I’ve  established a precedent of bringing some baked goods with me every time we take the three hour drive north/west on I-24 and when I saw the Spiced Cranberry Hot Cross Buns Kathryn posted on her blog, London Bakes, I knew they’d be perfect.

I had a bag of fresh cranberries withering in a produce drawer of our refrigerator [last hold-outs from the winter holidays] as well as a bag of candied ginger slices. Adding both amped up an already deliciously spice-ful recipe and added a variety of textures with the pop of fresh cranberries and the chew of the candied ginger.

The beauty of these buns is that they don’t have to be pigeon-holed just for the Easter holidays. Just skip the addition of the plain flour cross on top of the buns – but don’t skip the sugar glaze!

Hot cross buns were never a tradition for the Easter holiday in my family, unlike the ham and potatoes au gratin, but after these buns turned out so beautifully, I’m thinking I may have to make them one!

What are your favorite family Easter traditions, if you celebrate this holiday? I would love to know!



cranberry ginger spice hot cross buns | sweet betweens

Cranberry Ginger Spice Hot Cross Buns

from London BakesSpiced Cranberry Hot Cross Buns

yield : 12 buns



300 ml [1 1/4 cups] milk [I used whole, but you can use whatever you prefer]

50 g [a little under 1/2 stick] unsalted butter

500 g [4 cups] bread flour

1 tsp kosher salt

75 g [1/3 cup] granulated cane sugar

1 packet yeast

1 large egg, lightly whisked to combine yolk + white

100 g [4 ounces] fresh cranberries, sliced in half

1/4 cup candied ginger, small dice

zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cross [optional]

75 g [2/3 cup] all-purpose flour, unbleached

Glaze [optional]

2 TBSP granulated cane sugar


Warm milk to near boiling, stirring to prevent scorching the milk. Add butter and stir until melted. Set aside and let cool to 120-130 farenheit [ideal temperature to activate yeast].

While milk is heating, butter is melting and/or mixture is cooling, put flour, salt, sugar and yeast into the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Whisk to distribute evenly. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture.

Add milk and egg to flour mixture. Stir together with a wooden spoon or spatula until combined. Knead mixture with dough hook attachment on low for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Cover dough with a clean cotton dishtowel and set in a warm place for an hour or so, until the dough has doubled in size.

Return bowl to stand mixer. Add cranberries, ginger and spices and knead for a few minutes until well distributed. Re-cover with towel and allow to rise again for an hour, or doubled in size, in your warm spot.

Divide the dough into equal pieces, weighing about 3 ounces each. Smooth into round buns and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover again and let rise until the buns have doubled in size, about an hour.

Heat oven to 375. While oven is coming to temperature, mix 2/3 cup all-purpose flour with 2-3 tablespoons water until you have a smooth paste. Pipe flour paste on top of buns into crosses.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

While buns are baking, melt 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in 2 tablespoons water. Once buns are finished baking [golden and crispy outsides, especially bottoms], brush syrup on top of each bun with a pastry brush.

cranberry ginger spice hot cross buns | sweet betweens

  1. I’ve actually never tried hot cross buns! I know they’re an easter tradition, but somehow, they’ve never made their way on to my family’s (or now, husband’s family’s) Easter table. Yours look awesome, though! I could go for one right now … along with that ham + potatoes au gratin you mentioned. NOM.

  2. those look amazing!! Now, if only I actually baked…luckily I have a younger sister haha

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