Museum News

It’s time for hot cross buns!

By 9 April 2020January 13th, 2021No Comments
Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters,
give them to your sons.
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns!

Hot cross buns are a delicious seasonal treat. Traditionally they were eaten on Good Friday, at the end of Lent. Above is an image of the hot cross buns fresh out of the oven in the Newdigate Bakehouse last year. You can find many different recipes online, or you could try an historic one.

Below is Mrs Beeton’s recipe, from her ‘Book of Household Management‘ (1861). To make the distinctive cross, we piped a mix of plain flour and water across the hot cross buns – going straight across the whole tray as we were making lots at a time!

We hope you enjoy making and eating some hot cross buns at home this Easter.

Hot cross buns recipe


– 2 lbs. of flour
– ½ a lb. of sugar
– 1 oz. of yeast
– 1 pint of warm milk
– ½ a lb. of butter
– 1 lb. of currants
– ½ a teaspoonful of salt
– 1 teaspoonful of mixed spice.


  • Mix the flour, sugar, spice and currants; make a hole in the middle of the flour, put in the yeast and ½ a pint of warmed milk; make a thin batter of the surrounding flour and milk, and set the pan covered before the fire until the leaven begins to ferment.
  • Put to the mass ½ a lb. of melted butter, add the salt, and beat well together, make up into rather a soft paste with all the flour, using a little more warm milk if necessary.
  • Cover this with a clean cloth, and let it once more rise up for ½ an hour.
  • Shape the dough in buns, and lay them apart on buttered tin plates or baking-sheets in rows at least 3 inches apart, to rise for ½ an hour.
  • Place a cross mould on them (this may be done roughly with the back of a knife), and bake in a quick oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Time 15 to 20 minutes, to bake.
Sufficient to make 2 dozen buns.