Hot Cross Biscuits


It’s that time of year.

It’s time to put a marshmallow Peep in your hat.

It’s time to pipe a cross on your biscuit.

It’s time to eat way way way too many white chocolate Easter bunnies.

Or maybe you gave up sugar for Lent… in which case… I’m sorry to torture you with dessert everyday.  I’m sorry.


Hot Cross Buns are traditional this time of year.

These are not Hot Cross Buns.

These are the totally lazy version of Hot Cross Buns.


Hot Cross Buns are traditionally and English Spring/Easter time treat.

They’re yeasted and spiced and adorned with a frosting cross.  They’re usually served on Good Friday.  They’re always always delicious.


I don’t do well with rules.

I turned buns into biscuits, added currants and lemon zest, and added a cream cheese frosting cross.

Jesus would totally be down.  I’m almost certain.


… and I love when things turn into a pretty pretty mess.

… Like my kitten, he’s a pretty mess too (picture not included).


I like this.

These biscuits are subtly sweet, filled with sweet and tender dried currants, and have a hint of citrus flavor.  If you’re tempted to have a heavy hand with the cream cheese frosting… we must be related.  I like you.

Hot Cross Biscuits

Makes 8 to 12 biscuits (depending on how thick you like them.  I made 8.)

Print this Recipe!

For the Biscuits:

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoon granulated sugar

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes

1 large egg

3/4 cup buttermilk, cold

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1/2 cup dried currants

For the Frosting:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

dash of vanilla extract

Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add lemon zest.  Add cold butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture.  Work quickly to incorporate the butter into the flour.  The butter bits will be the size of small pebbles and oat flakes.

Whisk together egg and buttermilk.

Toss the dried currants into the dry ingredient mixture, and create a small well in the center of the flour and butter mixture.  Pour in the buttermilk, all at once, and use a fork to incorporate the ingredients.  Make sure that all of the flour bits are moistened by the egg and buttermilk.

Dump the shaggy dough onto a lightly floured work surface.  Bring together, kneading lightly, until the dough forms a 1-inch thick disk.  Use a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter to cut biscuit circles.  Place on the baking sheet.  Gently knead the remaining dough scraps together.  Form into a 1-inch thick disk and cut out more round biscuits until no dough remains.

Brush biscuit tops with buttermilk and baker for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned on top and firm-ish in the center.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting with a cross.

In a medium bowl, using a firm spatula, blend together 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons cream cheese, and 1 cup of powdered sugar.  Add just a dash of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon if you’d like.  Mixture will be thick.

Cut a small tip off of a zip lock bag (you can also use a small round cake decorating tip).  Fold down the sides of the bag and scoop the frosting into the bag.  Pipe crosses onto completely cooked biscuits and serve.

Biscuits are best served the day they are made, but will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for one day.

148 thoughts on “Hot Cross Biscuits

  1. These look like a nice twist on traditional, NON-ICED, HCBs! I had never had one until moving to England, but I have never run across any with icing (although icing never hurt anything!)…here the crosses are built in and made of dough. Hot cross biscuits…nothing wrong with that! Yum! And I would totally be one of those heavy handed frosters! There are few icings better than cream cheese icing, or maybe there isn’t any!

  2. Your last instruction (pipe crosses…)~ did you mean completely cooked biscuits, or completely cooled?

    I’m one of those on a 3 week Daniel fast. No sugar, dairy, meat. Just fruits and veggies and water. So, yeah, your yummy desserts are getting to me. But God is good.

    I just keep collecting the printed recipes until I can use them…Easter!

  3. Lazy buns! I will make these to impress the gf’s parents (meeting them for the first time Easter weekend). Will obviously make a ahem, practice batches. Thanks!

  4. You are always so creative! I think your lazy twist made those biscuits look so fabulous. Hmm…sadly I think you might not like me, because cream cheese and I are not friends. I’d break out in rash after that. Still, it’s really awesome to just feast my eyes on these gorgeous treats:)

  5. I, too, was put off making hot cross buns in the past because of the ‘faff factor’. These do look good – and is it also wrong to agree with Kathryn that chocolate would be a good addition?

  6. I, too, was put off making hot cross buns in the past because of the ‘faff factor’. These do lookk good – and is it also wrong to agree with Kathryn that chocolate would be a good addition?

  7. we’ve adopted Scone Friday at the school where I work in Budapest, Hungary. this would be an acceptable substitute. and YES. Everyone should adopt Scone Friday. And I mean everyone.

  8. I’ve never bothered making hot cross buns as they always seemed like so much faff but these seem very manageable. Is it wrong though that I immediately started thinking about adding chocolate to them?

  9. What a funky take on the traditional hot cross buns! I totally agree with you Joy, this is the time of year where the green light gets given for eating your entire body weight in chocolate, hot cross buns, Easter biscuits, simnel cake… I could go on!

    Katescakesandbakes x

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