Hot Cross Sticky Buns

April 5, 2012

Easter fanatics and hot cross bun purists, don’t panic; these Hot Cross Sticky Buns isn’t some attempt to usurp a beloved Easter staple or to reinvent a classic. This is just a story about a big ass sugar craving for molten stick-to-your-teeth scrolls of cinnamon goodness. However using plain sweet bread as the base wasn’t going to cut it this time. I wanted spices, raisins, extra cinnamon and a bit more hot-cross-bun-fierceness. This is like delving into the best of both worlds and having my greedy fingers in two pies. I can have my two buns and eat it too because honey, I’m wurrrrrth it!

I used my favourite hot cross bun recipe that I love love so much. It’s such a winner especially for somebody who doesn’t get down with the yeast that often. The texture is insanely good and better than what you get at the stores. Even if I’ve over-baked the exterior a little (guilty many times over), the bun inside is always soft and super fluffy. Sticky bun or not, you simply must try this homemade version at least once every Easter. I enjoy it all year round :)

I love nothing more than peeling away the sides of this bun and eyeing off the layers laced with brown sugar and cinnamon. Then there is the caramel pecan-studded top. Gor-geous.

I chose not to over-indulge this time round and kept the caramel topping at a minimum because I wanted this sweet but not sickeningly so. Kind of more of a sticky toffee glaze rather than a full-blown oozing cascade. But heck, if you want to get all caramel-running-down-your-fingers-dirty then go right ahead and make these babies some extra ooze to bathe in.

Hot Cross Sticky Buns
Yields 8
  1. 155ml warm milk
  2. 30g caster sugar
  3. 7g dried yeast (1 packet)
  4. 300g plain flour
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 3/4 tsps ground cinnamon
  7. 1/2 tsp all-spice
  8. 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  9. 30g butter, softened and chopped
  10. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  1. 30g butter, melted
  2. 60g brown sugar
  3. 1/2 Tbl ground cinnamon
  4. Raisins or sultanas
  1. 180g brown sugar
  2. 45g butter, chopped
  3. 45ml golden syrup
  4. 1/2 Tbl water
  5. pinch of sea salt
  6. 3/4 cups of pecans, roughly chopped
  1. Whisk the warm milk, sugar and yeast together until sugar has dissolved. Cover and leave for about 10 minutes to froth up and bubble.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and spices. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles rough breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and frothy milk/yeast mixture and mix until combined.
  3. On a lightly floured surface knead dough until it is smooth, elastic and doesn’t stick to your hands or table (about 5 minutes if you’re a powerhouse or up to 10 minutes if you got weak ass arms like me).
  4. Lightly grease another large bowl and plonk the dough in, turning to coat all sides with grease. Cover and leave in a warm draught-free place for 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  6. For the filling, mix the brown sugar with the cinnamon until combined. To make the topping, melt all the ingredients except for the nuts in a pot over low heat, bring to a simmer then remove from heat.
  7. Punch down the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough into a rectangular approx. 35 x 25cm (with the longest side facing you). Brush with melted butter and sprinkle the sugar cinnamon mix over the whole surface. Sprinkle raisins in a single layer leaving an inch border on the sides and at the top.
  8. Starting with the side closest to you, roll up the dough as tightly as you can, pinch the ends to seal and place seam side down. Using your hands, mould out the rolled dough into an even log.
  9. With a very sharp knife, cut into 8 slices of about 4-5cm thickness. Try not to ‘press’ down but use a light see-saw motion and let the knife do the work.
  10. Pour the topping into a large greased or non-stick pyrex or baking dish (you could also use a large pie dish or about 2 x 20cm sandwich cake tins). If the caramel has hardened a bit, warm it back up over the stove.
  11. Scatter the pecans over the caramel and place buns, cut side down. Make sure you fit them in together so that they’re just touching.
  12. Place on a baking paper lined tray (caramel will bubble up and might spill over) and bake for about 20 minutes or until the buns are lightly golden and it sounds hollow when you tap it.
  13. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes. Place a plate or serving dish on top then carefully invert onto the plate. Be careful of hot tins and molten caramel!
  14. (I used a 20cm sandwich cake tin then placed another matching one on top. Then with oven gloves, tipped it over nice and easy).
  15. Serve warm and best eaten within a day. After a day, buns can be reheated gently in a microwave to soften.
Citrus and Candy

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Sean May 3, 2012 at 17:56

Hi Karen,
We’d like to invite you to submit your food photos on a food photography site called so our readers can enjoy your creations.

It is absolutely free and fun to make others hungry!

Thanks :)


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious April 21, 2012 at 14:53

I try to stay away from most yeast-type food but I will most definitely have to use it to make this!


waka network April 21, 2012 at 14:33

Breakfast will be so much exciting with this sticky buns. Perfect with hot coffee or hot chocolate.


cmichaelsny April 19, 2012 at 02:29

I really adore your recipe I want to try this..thanks for sharing..


Adrian (Food Rehab & What The Heck Is Filipino Food) April 16, 2012 at 21:12

Sticky, soft and smellin sweet – that’s my kind of yum! But seriously though, F%^&*# wow.
Thanks for making my Monday kinda bearable.


Javelin Warrior April 13, 2012 at 22:15

These sticky buns are incredible – that top layer of sticky goldenness is just perfection ;) I am featuring this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), but please let me know if you have any objections. It’s a pleasure to be following your creations…


Helen (Grab Your Fork) April 12, 2012 at 02:29

Nice buns :) That blanket of brown sugar is my kinda happy


sara April 11, 2012 at 19:24

I already adore your blog.. I will try this gnammy recipe – so interesting the downunder cooking! :-)


Crystal April 11, 2012 at 19:23

I have never seen such yummy as those… I think they are perfect for weekends…


muppy April 10, 2012 at 20:07

sounds like a brilliant rehash to me!!!


Kaitlin April 10, 2012 at 13:03

They’re beautiful!! Sound super tasty, too. I’m glad you took it to the next level :)


JJ @ 84thand3rd April 9, 2012 at 19:51

These look absolutely amazing!! Love the idea of using hot cross bun dough for them as well!!


Food is our religion April 9, 2012 at 11:56

I love your work, esp the creative twist to the typical hot cross bun!


dotty April 9, 2012 at 11:08

oh my! these look wonderful! can’t wait to give the recipe a try. thanks for sharing the recipe!!


Christina @ The Hungry Australian April 8, 2012 at 13:59

I want to eat this right now. YUM!!!!!
Love the moodiness of the shots, too.


The Food Sage April 7, 2012 at 16:45

Lovely looking buns! There’s been a bit of a hot cross bun blast on the blogosphere this weekend, but this is definitely a unique take on the matter. Thanks for sharing.


Imby April 6, 2012 at 21:35

oh yum!! these were delicious, so much better than what I was going to buy.. a definite make again, thanks for the alternative, top of the recipe pile :)


Lisa April 6, 2012 at 09:23

Those look just amazing. I’m making your hot cross bun recipe today – as has become a yearly occurrence. I might have to make some room to try out this decadent looking version too :)


Kankana April 6, 2012 at 08:56

Absolutely yummy goodness! And that dark tone in the photo.. super gorgeous.


Emma @ Poires au Chocolat April 6, 2012 at 07:05

OH KAREN. I am now starving.

Happy Easter!


mykitchenstories April 5, 2012 at 21:24

Looks golden and sticky and heavenly, happy Easter


thelittleloaf April 5, 2012 at 18:24

I’ve made your hot cross bun recipe several times and it’s fab…if anything I think these sticky buns look even better! And I might be one of those people who decides to ramp up the amount of sticky sauce and drown my buns in it…would be rude not to :-)


Phuoc'n Delicious April 5, 2012 at 14:37

Oooo baby! Give it all to me.. Happy Easter Karen!


Angie April 5, 2012 at 13:17

Oh yummy! I love the colour on these and that topping just completes it really… and a slab of butter on it too? =D


Tina@foodboozeshoes April 5, 2012 at 11:11

Loving the pics! Happy Easter!


Tiffany April 5, 2012 at 09:40

These look awesome!


Nic@diningwithastud April 5, 2012 at 09:21

Ok Im literally drooling right now. Must not read your blog before breakfast lol


leaf (the indolent cook) April 5, 2012 at 09:10

So decadent, especially with that topping… it looks almost like a doughnut!


Martyna@WholesomeCook April 5, 2012 at 09:00

OMG! Karen, you have truly outdone yourself with this one. I’m not the biggest fan of the hot cross but I’d have a whole tray of yours… on that note, any leftovers you could send my way? ;-P


chocolatesuze April 5, 2012 at 08:28

i want to hug the whole pan and never let go.


Tina @ bitemeshowme April 5, 2012 at 08:18

They look fantastic Karen. Not your normal hot cross bun but definitely a play on it. Genuius. That topping looks incredible.. so shiny!


ileana April 5, 2012 at 03:22

I’m drooling.


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