Olive Oil Hot Cross Buns

Olive Oil Hot Cross Buns

Prep Time 15 Minutes
Serves 12
Cook Time 15 Minutes
Difficulty Easy

Not for all the Colomba in Italy would we miss out on Hot Cross Buns at Easter. And these, made with olive oil, are a real treat. It may take a little longer than just nipping into the store, but you won't regret it when you try the end result of the soft, sweet, spicy olive oil hot cross bun. Plus, much like our famous olive oil panettone at Christmas, hot cross buns made with olive oil mean they are easier to digest and that bit better for you.


  • 3 ¼ cups flour - For the buns
  • 5g active dried yeast
  • 2 tbps honey
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Zest of an orange
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • A pinch of salt
  • 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups mixed dried fruit
  • ½ cup mixed peel
  • 1 beaten egg - For the oven glaze
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 200g flour - For the cross
  • 230g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp milk
  • Hot water - For the sticky glaze
  • A few spoons of honey, apricot jam, or sugar


Step 1
Sieve the flour into a large bowl. Mix through the yeast, honey, milk, eggs, orange zest, salt, and spices until all combined.
Step 2
Slowly add the olive oil until it’s all mixed in, then stir in the dried fruit and mixed peel.
Step 3
Pour out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic like. This will take roughly 6-7 minutes.
Step 4
Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with a slightly damp tea towel. Leave in a warm room for 1.5 hours until it has doubled in size.
Step 5
Pour out on to a floured surface and knead again for a couple of minutes.
Step 6
Divide into 12 equal balls, shaping them in your hands into smooth buns, and arrange them equally on a baking tray.
Step 7
Cover again and leave to rise for another little while, again they should double their size.
Step 8
While they are proving, prepare the mixture for the crosses:
Step 9
Whisk together the flour, icing sugar, milk and olive oil and then spoon this into a piping bag and pipe crosses onto the risen buns.
Step 10
Whisk the egg and milk together for the glaze together and brush each bun with this.
Step 11
Bake the buns in a preheated oven at 425F/ 220C for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Step 12
Whilst they bake, make a sticky glaze to brush over when they come out. Mix with some hot water a little honey, or apricot jam, or simply sugar, into a thin consistency you can brush over the buns. As soon as they come out, do just that and you will have lovely sticky hot fresh buns to enjoy. Nudo tip: if you really love the citrus flavours in hot cross buns, use mandarin oil instead of extra virgin to enhance the flavours in there.