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Nadiya Hussain’s Berry Hot Cross Buns

Nadiya Hussain's pink-hued Berry Hot Cross Buns are a fruity, jam-filled take on the traditional Easter bake. As seen on the BBC2 series Nadiya Bakes.

From the book

Nadiya Hussain


I have to admit that hot cross buns were one of my least favourite things growing up. Not that my parents bought them often, but at Easter time we’d have them at school and I never liked the flavour. It’s still not my favourite, but the less my body needs butter, the more I crave it. These are a step up from regular hot cross buns, the dough crammed with all the fruitiness of berries, and there’s no reason to cut and toast them because they are already filled to the seam with jam.

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For the dough:
300ml whole milk
50g unsalted butter
500g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
75g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
7g fast-action yeast
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
oil, for greasing the bowl
75g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
50g dried blueberries, roughly chopped
1 orange, zest only
For the berry cross:
9g tube of freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries
75g plain flour, sifted
90ml water
For the filling and glaze:
300g jar of seedless berry jam (strawberry, raspberry, whatever you fancy)
3 tbsp golden syrup


Prep time: 40 minutes, plus rising. Cook time: 20 minutes

Start by making the dough. Add the milk to a sauce-pan with the butter, heat until the butter has melted and take off the heat.

Add the flour to a large bowl and mix in the sugar. Add the salt on one side of the flour and the yeast to the other side.

Make a well in the centre, drop in the egg and then add the warm milk mixture and roughly mix using the back of a spoon or palette knife, then get your hands in and bring the dough together.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it is smooth and stretchy. This will take about 10 minutes and lots of elbow grease. Or you can do it in a free-standing mixer with a dough hook attached, which should take about 6 minutes on a medium speed. Pop the dough into a greased bowl and leave to double in size in a warm place.

Line a large baking tray or two smaller trays with some baking paper. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knock all of that air out. Spread the dough out into a circle and sprinkle on the cranberries, blueberries and orange zest, then knead the lot in until the fruit is evenly distributed.

Take the dough and divide into 15 portions. Roll each dough ball until it has a smooth surface and pop onto the tray or trays with about a 3cm gap between each one to give them space to prove and grow. Leave in a warm spot, covered in some greased clingfilm, to double in size.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.

Now to make the flour paste for the cross. Pound the strawberries or raspberries in a pestle and mortar or blitz in a food processor until you have a fine pink dust. Add this to a bowl with the flour and water and mix to a smooth, pipeable paste. Spoon into a piping bag. Uncover the proven dough and pipe a thin cross on each bun.

Bake the buns for 18–20 minutes. As soon as they are golden brown and bounce back when touched, take them out of the oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack. Then use the handle of a teaspoon or the end of a dinner knife to make a hole in the side of each bun without going all the way through. You are creating a cavity to fill with delicious jam.

Pop the jam into a piping bag and pipe it into the hole of each hot cross bun, until full. You will know when it is as the piping bag will naturally force itself out. Put the buns back onto the tray. Warm the golden syrup just to make it runny and brush all over the buns to give them that sweet, sticky glaze. Filled, fruity and ready to eat!

Best eaten on day they are made.


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From the book: Nadiya Bakes

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