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I confess that we may be a wee bit lacking at our house when it comes to food traditions on Easter. Don’t get me wrong, we eat… but I feel like we have something completely different every year. It’s always a very busy and exciting day for us at church with a big breakfast and Easter egg hunt, so the menu for the afternoon meal sort of takes a back seat to everything else. This year, I hope to begin changing this by starting some new Easter food traditions.

Hot Cross Buns seemed like the perfect place to start – an Easter Week tradition going back to the 1700’s, possibly earlier. Cinnamon and raisins are traditional, but I added a couple of special ingredients – cardamom and apricot.

They are sweet, yeasty little buns with pretty white crosses and packed full of  little surprises in every bite. I can see why they’ve been around for so long. What Easter food traditions do you enjoy?

Cardamom Apricot Hot Cross Buns


Adapted from [The Pioneer Woman|]

Yields: 12-18 rolls

  • For Buns:
  • 2c milk, warm
  • 1/2c canola oil
  • 1/2c sugar
  • 2-1/4t yeast
  • 4c flour + 1/2c additional flour, set aside
  • 1/2t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1t salt
  • 1/4c sugar
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 1/4t cardamom
  • 1/4c raisins
  • 1/4c dried apricots, diced (about the same size as the raisins)
  • For the egg wash:
  • 1 egg white
  • 1T milk
  • For the Icing:
  • 1 egg white
  • powdered sugar
  • splash of milk

To the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, add the warm milk, oil, sugar and yeast. Stir and let stand 10 minutes. Turn the mixer on low and gradually add 4c of flour. Mixture will be very sticky. Cover and let stand in a warm place, 1 hour.

Take the remaining 1/2c flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and add to the dough. Mix well.

In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Press the dough out into a rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with 1/3 of the sugar and spice mixture, then sprinkle with 1/3 of the raisins and apricots. Fold the dough over onto itself once, sealing all the goodies inside. Sprinkle again, then fold again. Repeat a third time until all the spice and apricot/raisins are used.

Pinch off golf ball-size bunches of dough. With floured hands, quickly roll it into a smooth ball, turning the edges in on themselves slightly. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare egg wash by whisking the egg white and milk together. Lightly brush the top of each risen bun with the egg wash.

Bake 20 minutes on center oven rack or until buns are golden on top and cooked through. Cool on a cooling rack.

Prepare icing by mixing the egg white with enough powdered sugar for icing to be very thick. Splash in milk as needed for consistency. Add icing to a small Ziploc bag and snip the corner. When buns are cool, make icing crosses on each one.


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