Easter Baking

The NZS.com Easter baking article contains information on how to make hot cross buns, including easy traditional and chocolate hot cross bun recipes in NZ.

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New Zealand Easter Baking

Hot cross buns are an Easter favourite in New Zealand homes. Read on for an easy hot cross bun recipe, plus twists on the classic recipe, and other Easter baking ideas for Kiwi kids and families.

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Easter is the perfect time to enjoy special foods – following the traditional prayer, fasting and repentance of Lent, the Easter feast includes seasonal and symbolic Easter foods. One of the favourites in New Zealand Easter baking is the tasty hot cross bun.

Perhaps the most-loved of all Easter foods (aside from chocolate eggs of course!) Easter hot cross buns are enjoyed during the months before Easter and during the holiday itself. But hot cross buns are more than just an Easter treat; they have an interesting history. Buns marked with a cross were eaten by Saxons in honour of the goddess Eostre (the cross is thought to have symbolized the four quarters of the moon). For Christians, the cross came to represent the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

If you're looking for the best hot cross buns, homemade hot cross buns beat store-bought ones hands down. Follow this easy and delicious recipe for hot cross buns:

Hot cross buns recipe

For buns:
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp spices – combine your choice of mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg
¼ cup brown sugar
1 ½ tsp yeast
1 cup milk, warmed
100g butter, softened
2 eggs
1 cup mixed dried fruit

For crosses:
½ cup flour
1 Tbsp butter
¼ tsp baking powder

Blend flour, salt, spices and brown sugar. Stir yeast and milk together, and leave to stand for 15 minutes in a warm place (mixture should be frothy). Beat eggs and softened butter into the yeast mix, then add to blender with dry ingredients. Add dried fruit and blend until mixture is a dough consistency. Place dough into a greased bowl and cover, leaving in a warm area for 1 hour (dough should have doubled in size). Turn onto a floured board and divide into 16 portions, rolling into balls and placing on a greased oven tray. Allow about 1cm between each bun. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes until risen. Brush each bun with milk and add crosses to each bun. Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 20 – 25 minutes. Brush with sugar glaze before taking the tray out and cooling.

For variation, make chocolate hot cross buns by adding ½ cup cocoa and ½ cup chocolate chips to the classic hot cross bun recipe. Alternatively, give your hot cross buns an orangey twist by adding the grated rind of one orange and glazing the buns with a mix of freshly squeezed orange juice and sugar.

Traditional Easter baking

Try other Easter baking treats:

  • Gingerbread biscuits cut out in bunny shapes
  • Egg-shaped chocolate and rum truffles
  • Homemade Easter eggs
  • Dutch Easter bread, a sweet bread with a filling of ground almonds, sultanas and glace cherries
  • Simnel cake, a marzipan and fruit cake which originated in the 17th century


Looking for more information? Find hot cross buns recipes in the NZS.com directory.

Seasons and Celebrations images from Flickr: Fireworks Finale, Christmas in Love.

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