How to make perfect hot cross buns, using Tom Aikens’ recipe

Tom Aikens, founder of Tom's Kitchen, shared his recipe with Country Life.

Ingredients (makes four)

For the buns

  • 270g strong white bread flour
  • 9g mixed spice
  • 7g milk powder
  • 30g caster sugar
  • A large pinch fine sea salt
  • 10g fresh yeast
  • 110ml water
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 23g unsalted butter, softened
  • 30g raisins
  • 20g mixed citrus peel

For the mixed spice

  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1tbsp allspice
  • 1tsp ground cloves
  • 2tsp ground mace
  • 2tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground ginger

For the cross mixture

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  • 100g strong white bread flour
  • 20ml vegetable oil
  • 50ml water
  • pinch of salt

For the glaze

  • 70g caster sugar
  • 25ml whole milk
  • 25ml water


  1. Prepare the mixed spice, my combining all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. To make the dough, in a mixing bowl, mix together the mixed spice and all the bun ingredients, except the raisins and mixed peel. Work the dough until it comes loose from the sides and becomes smooth and elastic.
  3. Transfer to an air-tight container and prove in the fridge over-night.
  4. The next day poor the dough back into a big mixer bowl and work in the raisins and mixed peel.
  5. Roll into small balls and store in the fridge until ready to use, you can also freeze the mixture.
  6. To make the cross mixture, Whisk together all the ingredients. Use straight away or store in the fridge, it will keep for two days.
  7. To bake, take out of the fridge or if frozen defrost in the fridge over-night. Spray/ dampen with a little water, cover with a lid and prove on top of the oven until double in the original size. Space the buns on a lined tray, brush with egg wash and pipe the cross mixture on top. Bake at 170°C, fan 2 for 16 minutes and turn half way through baking.
  8. Once baked, brush with the glace as soon as they come out of the oven.
  9. Eat warm, cold or toasted. Delicious served with homemade fruit jam and butter.

Tom Aikens is the founder of Tom’s Kitchen, now located in Chelsea, Canary Wharf, St Katharine Docks, Somerset House and the recently launched Birmingham. Over the Easter period, from 10th-21st April, freshly baked hot cross buns will be available to pre-order from the delis of Birmingham, Canary Wharf and St Katharine Docks.