Hot Cross Muffins

Happy Easter!

You know how sometimes you just have one of those amazing thoughts that jumps into your head and you think – HOW did this not occur to me before now?

These were one of those things.

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Hot Cross Muffins! Or Buffins if you like. Whatever floats your boat.

I love hot cross buns. They are my favourite thing about Easter. I like them even more than Easter Eggs. But they are pretty time consuming to make.

So I was eating a hot cross bun…wait, it was actually just a hot bun because someone, errrr, was too lazy to make the crosses…anyway, it made me wonder if I could somehow make something similar to a hot cross bun without the hours they take. So I thought, why not try to capture that spicy, fruity flavour in a muffin form. So much easier to throw together on a whim. And enjoy any time. Not even just at Easter (you rebel!)

For those of you who have a fear of all things yeast, this one’s for you! And for all you raisins/dried fruit in baked goods haters out there….you can leave the fruit out and it will still be a beautiful spiced muffin.

But I don’t think we can be friends anymore. Raisins for life!!

Sift flour and baking powder into a medium sized bowl

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Add salt and cinnamon

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Mixed spice

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And ground cloves

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Peel an orange, trying not to get too much of the pith (white stuff). I got lots…whoops! You can scrape it off. It doesn’t taste so good.

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And then chop it up nice and small

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And add it to the dry ingredients along with the raisins (or whatever dried fruit you are using) Currants are more traditional but I didn’t have any. And I love raisins.

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In another bowl add an egg, brown sugar, oil and milk,

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And whisk together before adding to the dry ingredients. Mix until only just combined – you don’t want to over mix muffins as this can make them very dense.

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And spoon the batter into muffin tins.

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Bake until they look like this and your house smells like a bakery. (About 13 minutes)

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Let them cool down while you get the icing ready for the crosses. The muffins need to be completely cool before icing otherwise it will just melt right off. It takes a little while so I won’t judge if you eat a muffin first. I may or may not have done this too…

Mix together milk and icing sugar

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The easiest way to make the crosses is to use a ziplock bag and cut off the corner. So easy and no cleaning up!

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Perfect! Now cut one open, slather it in butter and enjoy the taste of a hot cross bun in less than half the time!

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Have a great Easter!

Hot Cross Muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Print

IngredientsHot Cross Muffins (23)


2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/4-1/2 tsp ground cloves (depending how much you like the clove flavour)
3/4 cup raisins/other dried fruit
2 TBSP orange rind
1 egg
1/2 brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 cup milk

Icing (crosses)

3/4 cup icing sugar
2 Tbsp milk


Sift flour and baking powder into a medium sized bowl and add salt, cinnamon, mixed spice & ground cloves. Add raisins and orange peel and mix through.

In a smaller bowl whisk the egg, then add sugar, oil & milk and beat to combine.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently until just combined.

Spoon mixture into greased muffin tins and bake at 200 degrees C for 12-14 mins or until slightly golden on the top and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely before icing. To make icing, sift icing sugar into a small bowl, add milk and combine. Add more milk/icing sugar if required to achieve the right consistency.

Spoon icing into a ziplock bag and cut the corner off the bag. In a smooth motion, pipe crosses onto the muffins.

Eat warm, with a slab of butter. These muffins also freeze well.


6 thoughts on “Hot Cross Muffins

  1. Whisked Away says:

    Hey! So fun to come across your blog, I’m fellow (adopted) kiwi. We’re just finishing up a 2 year work contract here in Christchurch and will be heading back to the states in a few months. I’m so sad to say goodbye to such a beautiful country! But back to your recipe, I love the hot cross buns Easter tradition here, I would love to carry it on when we move back and this looks like a delicious version!

    • Laura says:

      Hey! So great that you found it, I’ve just been checking your blog out too! Oh, that’s sad that you have to leave, NZ is great! We have traveled to the States though and LOVED it there too! Hot cross buns are a great Easter tradition and I think these muffins will become one in our house too! =)

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