Rum Raisin Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Preparation: 2 Hours         Cooking time: 25 minutes

Serve: 24 Buns


  • 1/3 cup spiced dark rum
  • 1 cup sultana raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 7- 8 cups all-purpose flour – approximately (or substitute 1/2 whole wheat flour)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Cross Dough

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water – approximately

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water



Place the raisins in a small microwave-proof bowl, pour over the rum, and microwave for 1 minute.  Stir and set aside to cool and soak for an hour.

Combine boiling water, honey, butter, and salt in a large bowl and cool.

In a liquid measuring cup, combine the water and sugar until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, until it bubbles.

Once the first mixture is cooled, add the eggs and 1 cup of flour. Stir well. Add the yeast mixture to this bowl, and stir till combined. Drain the raisins with a sieve.  Add 4 of the remaining cups of flour, the drained raisins and the spices: stir until you can’t stir with a spoon (will get too difficult), adding more flour as needed.

Put the dough on a well-floured surface (counter) and using your hands, knead the dough for about 10 minutes. You will need to add more flour as you knead the dough to keep it from sticking to your hands and the counter. The dough will look smooth and ‘elastic’ when it is ready.

Put the dough in a well-greased large bowl, cover with a towel, and place in a warm draft-free place to rise. Once it has doubled in size (about 30-45 minutes), punch it down. Cover and let rise another 30 minutes. Punch down again.

Preheat the oven to 175C (350F). Grease a large baking sheet with butter and line with parchment paper.  Divide the dough into about 2/3 cup size pieces (a small handful), and shape into buns (balls) with your hands. Space the buns evenly in a grid on the pan about ½” apart: you should get approximately 24 buns in a large baking sheet (4 buns down x 6 buns across the pan). Cover the pan with a towel and let rise until doubled.

The Cross

In a small bowl, mix all of the above ingredients together to form a thicker batter. Start with the 1/4 cup of water and add more until you have a batter that is the consistency of a thick pancake batter. It will need to hold its shape when piped but still be able to flow out of the piping bag.

Fill a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip and pipe a cross, starting at one end of a row of buns and running along the centre of the entire row until you get to the end of the buns. Repeat on each row running length-ways, and do the same through the middle of the buns running the opposite direction to form a cross along the buns.

Bake for 15 minutes or until they are starting to turn golden brown.

Egg Wash

Whisk together the egg and water in a small bowl and, using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash with a pastry brush and return to the oven.

Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the buns are golden brown.

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