All I ever talk about around this time of year is hot cross buns. Traditional raisin stuffed buns, chocolate filled buns, buns laced with orange zest or packed with spice. They are {unfortunately} usually only reserved for Easter, but I usually make a batch and freeze the lot to save for an afternoon later in the year. My favourite way to enjoy them? Toasted, cooled ever so slightly, and scraped with lashings of unsalted butter. Then eaten quick so the butter doesn’t all melt.

People tend to get rather territorial about what a hot cross bun *should* contain, and *how* it should be eaten. Dare we stray from the traditional spices and currants, or add a topping other than butter, and we may hear gasps from those around. Chocolate in a hot cross bun? God forbid. Aldi, for instance, recently launched ten {yes, TEN} hot cross buns flavours ranging from their luxury fruited hot cross bun to honeycomb, rhubarb and custard, and chilli and cheese. The hot cross bun has without a doubt evolved – but let’s not get carried away here.

Hot cross bun & butter pudding

I wanted to create an Easter recipe that was yes, traditional, that didn’t stray too far from the “classic” bun, but was also a reinvention of said classic. Cue hot cross bun and butter pudding – beautifully fluffy hot cross buns, swimming in creamy custard with all the flavours of a traditional bun added in for good measure.

Hot cross bun & butter pudding

My hot cross bun and butter pudding is made using traditional hot cross buns ofc – and while I prefer my pudding without chocolate, I won’t stop you adding it of your own accord if you so desire. The custardy filling is made with spice-infused cream and milk, elevated with a little vanilla bean paste and the whole thing is finished off with a sprinkle of demerara sugar to add a delightful crunch. I also add orange zest because there’s nothing quite like a hint of citrus to deliver a fantastic flavour. I like to serve mine with fresh summer fruits, or a generous scoop of cinnamon or vanilla ice cream. So Happy Easter! I hope you have a good one – wherever you are, and whoever you’re with.

Hot cross bun + butter pudding

{Serves 6}

300ml whole milk
150ml single cream
A few generous shavings of grated nutmeg
1/2tsp ground ginger
1 cinnamon stick
Zest of one orange
1tsp vanilla bean paste
400g hot cross buns
50g salted butter
2 large eggs + 2 yolks
1 x 397g can condensed milk
50g demerara sugar 
100g milk or dark chocolate buttons {optional}*

  1. Heat the oven to 190C / 170C fan / 375F and lightly grease a baking dish big enough to accommodate the hot cross buns.
  2. Put the milk and cream into a saucepan, and add the nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon stick. Bring to a scalding point but don’t let it boil, then remove from the heat. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes while you prepare everything else. 
  3. Tear the hot cross buns into 3cm cubes and place in a large bowl. Melt the salted butter then drizzle over the torn buns, tossing to evenly coat. 
    *If you want to add some chocolate buttons to your pudding, now’s the time! I prefer mine without but it’s up to you.
  4. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and in the same bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, vanilla bean extract, orange zest and condensed milk.
  5. Bring the milk and cream back to scalding point and then slowly pour it into the egg mixture, whisking at all times as you do so. 
  6. Carefully pour the warm mixture all over the hot cross buns, sprinkle with the demerara sugar and place in the oven for 20 minutes until the custard has set and the top is golden brown. 
  7. Allow the pudding to stand for 5 minutes before cutting into portions and serving with a scoop of cinnamon or vanilla ice cream.
April 17, 2021



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