Did you know that sweet cakes, such as hot cross buns, were well known to have been used in Heathen rites? Some sources claim that hot cross buns were a Christian invention but digging a bit deeper one can easily recognise their Heathen origin. Why, just look at one! Can you not see the sunwheel when you look at one whole or can you not recognise the rune Gebo when you look at the cross itself? No wonder the hot cross bun has withstood the test of time as a true symbol of our celebration of the rites of Spring.

Here’s a quick and easy recipe that you and your family may want to try during this Ostara celebration. Of course you can add a few more goodies in the mixture such as candied peel. And the cross itself is often made of another type of pastry as opposed to an icing one. But this is a quick and simple recipe that’s sure to please. So give this one a try or continue a family tradition and make your family’s favourite recipe!

“An Easter tradition, these lightly sweetened cinnamon yeast buns feature tender little currants strewn throughout. An egg yolk wash gives these buns a browned, glossy finish, making a canvas for the namesake cross, a painting of milk and sugar icing.”


3/4 cup warm water (110

degrees F/45 degrees C)

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon instant powdered


1/4 cup white sugar

3/8 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 egg white

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

3/4 cup dried currants

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons water

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons milk


1.Put warm water, butter, skim milk powder, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, egg, egg white, flour, and yeast in bread maker and start on dough program.

2.When 5 minutes of kneading are left, add currants and cinnamon. Leave in machine till double.

3.Punch down on floured surface, cover, and let rest 10 minutes.

4.Shape into 12 balls and place in a greased 9 x 12 inch pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double, about 35-40 minutes.

5.Mix egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water. Brush on balls.

6.Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack.

7.To make crosses: mix together confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and milk. Brush an X on each cooled bun.

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