Raisin and Blood Orange Hot Cross Buns

When I first arrived in London, one of my most loved activities on a Saturday morning was trotting down to Borough market, hessian bag in hand, to explore the food marvels amongst all the hustle and bustle. If I still had the time to do this on a weekly basis, I would.  I am a strong supporter of small, local businesses and take pride in using my fantastic local suppliers. The great thing about London is the support behind farmers’ markets, the genuine love for them and the brilliance in everyone realising how fantastic farmers and their markets truly are.

I was so pleased to find Farmdrop – I must say, it was love at first sight! I could market shop wonderful produce from the comfort of my own sofa on a cosy Sunday night. It honestly was extremely hard to choose what to buy, there was everything I could want; foraged products to fish, cordials to cakes and bundles galore. With Easter just around the corner, I wanted to create some fun hot cross buns and with the help of some very juicy oranges, I managed to do just that.

The smell of these Blood Orange Hot Cross Buns cooking wafting through the office was serious punishment to the upstairs team.  However, when enjoyed fresh from the oven with a knob of butter they were definitely worth the wait. These were a great hit with a beautiful smell, tempting glaze and enjoyable taste.

Perfect for spring mornings and definitely a tradition in my house on Easter morning.

If you are a keen baker and love to make bread, then these Blood Orange Hot Cross Buns are definitely the recipe for you. This is also the perfect fool proof recipe for any novice as it’s simple and you can’t really go that wrong!

Delicious served cold or my favourite, warmed, with a spread of butter.

Blood Orange Hot Cross BunsINGREDIENTS

Zest of two oranges and juice of one

100g raisins

250ml milk

50g unsalted butter

1 large egg

500g strong white bread flour

1 tbsp fast action dried yeast

2 tsp mixed spice

100g caster sugar


75g plain flour

10tbsp water


75g plain flour

Juice of 1 orange

5tbsp apricot jam

Blood Orange Hot Cross Buns


Put the orange zest in a bowl and the juice of one orange in a separate bowl.

Add 75ml of boiling water to the raisins and orange juice and leave to soak.

Pour the milk and butter into a saucepan and warm until the butter has just melted.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool for about 5 minutes.

In a big bowl, mix together the bread flour, salt and mixed spice.

Beat the egg into the milk and butter mixture until combined.

Put 1tbsp of yeast into a small bowl and add ½ tbsp. of water to the yeast and mix until it for a runny mix. Pour this into the flour.

Drain the raisins, keeping the liquid!! Add the raisins to the flour.

Pour a little of the milk mixture into the flour and mix with a cutlery knife.

Add a little milk mix at a time and combine well with the knife. If you see any dry pieces of flour, pour some milk mix to the area and mix into the bulk of the dough.

Place the dough onto a well floured surface a knead for 5 minutes.

Put the dough back into a bowl greased with flavourless oil and leave in a warm place until doubled in size. About an hour.

Once risen, turn the dough again on a floured surface and knock back to release the large air holes. Knock back for about 1 minute.

Weigh the entire dough ball onto some scales and divide the total amount by 16.

Weigh your dough balls into the required weight and cup your hand and rotate in a circular motion to create a nice, even balls.

Place the balls evenly in a small brownie tin lined with greaseproof.

TIP: when placing the buns in their tin, place them neatly together so they’re touching.

Place a piece of cling film lightly over the tin, not touching the buns and leave to prove again in a warm place for an hour.

Whilst proving, make the crosses mixture by mixing the flour and water together until it makes a mix that isn’t too thin and not too thick. Just the right consistency, which will allow you to pipe the mix evenly on top of the buns without it running off. Preferably you need a thick trail to appear on the buns.

TIP: I practised the consistency of the buns on a table. This will ensure the piping is even and the mix is the correct sticky consistency.

Once the buns have proved, cook in the oven at 200 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Until brown on top.

Whilst the buns are cooking place the orange juice mixture, which you soaked the raisins in earlier into a saucepan, along with the apricot jam.

Bring to the boil until a sticky consistency appears.

Remove the buns once cooked and then paint them with the glaze you’ve just made.