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Easter baking: Moroccan spiced hot cross buns recipe

Traditional Hot Cross Buns with a Twist

A traditional recipe for Hot Cross Buns with some added warmth, sun and spice!
Prep Time 4 hrs
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 8


  • 275 ml lukewarm milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dried active yeast
  • 80 g caster sugar
  • 625 g strong white bread flour sifted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Schwartz ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Schwartz ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Schwartz ground turmeric
  • 6 Schwartz cardamon pods
  • 25 g butter chopped
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 100 g dried apricots finely chopped
  • 40 g chopped pistachio nuts
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup


  • Whisk 1 tsp sugar with 150ml of the warmed milk. Add the yeast and whisk again. Leave to stand for around 10 minutes until a thick froth has developed on top of the milk.
  • Mix the remaining sugar with the flour, ground spices and salt.
  • Crack open the cardamon pods and grind the seeds with a pestle and mortar to a fine powder, then add this to the dry ingredients. Mix well, then place in a mixer bowl, add the butter, and rub in using the beater. Alternatively, rub the butter in by hand.
  • When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, make a well in the centre.
  • Add the orange zest, egg and remaining warm milk into the well.
  • Whisk the milk and yeast mixture again then add this to the mixer bowl.
  • Using the dough hook, slowly mix to a soft dough, then continue mixing for around 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Alternatively you can remove the dough and knead on a floured board for 10 minutes.
  • Towards the end of the kneading time, add the chopped apricots and nuts, and work into the dough evenly.
  • Turn the dough into a greased bowl, cover with greased clingfilm, and leave to rise in a warm place for around an hour, or until doubled in size.
  • Turn the proved dough out onto a board and knead lightly again, before placing back into the bowl to rise again, for around 30 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 12 even pieces, then place on an oiled baking sheet, cover with the clingfilm, and leave to rise one more times for 10-15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180CFan/400F/Gas Mark 6
  • Mix the 2 tbsp flour with water to form a thick but runny paste. Spoon into a disposable icing bag and snip the end off.
  • Carefully pipe a cross on each bun.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned on top and springy to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Heat the syrup gently in a pan and glaze each bun with a pastry brush while they cool.
Keyword Baking, Hot Cross Buns