Hot Cross Bun-nies

These delicious cherry bakewell flavoured Hot Cross Bun-nies are my fun take on the traditional hot cross buns. Quite easy to make, these are a fun bake to make with your children and serve up over Easter for all the family.

Hot Cross Bun-nies

I love eating hot cross buns but I have to confess that I have never tried to make any myself. I think I was a little scared in case they went wrong because, to be honest, they are quite time consuming to make due to them requiring several proves. So of course attempting to make Hot Cross Bun-nies was not going to be a problem……..well it was a challenge I set myself and here is how I got on. 

I was asked by Oven Pride to take part in their #HotCrossPride challenge to bake hot cross buns but with a twist.  This finally gave me the kick up the baking bun (lol!) that I needed to give this bake a go. However, (oh yes there is a however!) I did not want to just make a regular hot cross bun, oh no!I decided too make cherry bakewell flavoured ones but more than that I decided to make them bunny shaped and therefore, make some hot cross bunnies!

The dough needs to prove 3 times so this recipe does require a little time, BUT I can assure you that the finished buns or bunnies are delicious: fruity and soft and better than shop bought ones! I did not add any currants, candid peel or spices to my dough, I added some almond extract along with some chopped grace cherries and apple instead. 

**TIP 1: When the dough is ready to shape after the second prove, I find it a good idea to use an ice cream scoop to make the dough balls, this ensures they are the same size, as much as possible at least.

**TIP 2: as you can see from my photos and my recipe method below, I added the raisins eyes and cherry nose before the buns were baked. If I were to make these again, I would not add them until after the buns were baked, because some of the raisins either fell off or got a little burnt! They can be easily stuck on with the apricot jam glaze at the end instead though.

I followed a recipe I was sent, with some modifications of course, and it was suggested that the buns should be cooked at 220oC/200oC for 20 mins. I followed this, but after 17 minutes I could smell that my buns were a little over done, and when I removed them they were a little darker in colour than I would have liked. So I have amended my recipe accordingly to reduce the temperature of the oven. 

The ‘x’ part of these bunnies are the whiskers – and I used icing rather than the flour and water mixture that top traditional hot cross buns. Personally, I think that the icing really added another yummy dimension to these bunnies and helped with the decoration too. 

However, despite any bunnies looking a little black in places, I can assure you that they did not taste burnt – in fact they were delicious and soft inside and not hard or chewy at all. Here is one we tore apart to try and show that the centre of the bunnies were lovely and soft and not over cooked or over proved. Yay 🙂

Hot Cross Bunnies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 300ml milk (I used semi skimmed), plus 2 tbsp more
  • 50g butter
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 150g glace cherries, chopped finely
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • *For the decoration*
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • cold water
  • 12 raisins
  • 6 glace cherries, whole
  • 1-2 tbsp apricot jam
  1. Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature.
  2. Put the flour, salt, sugar, almond extract and yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, mix well,
  4. At this point I used my free standing mixer which has a dough hook and I let the machine knead my dough for 10 minutes on high
  5. (If you didn't have a mixer to do the hard work for you, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heel of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic.)
  6. Once the kneading has stopped, put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film, or loosely cover with a plastic bag which is what I use as I did not have any cling film! Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.
  7. While the dough is still in the bowl, tip in the apple and the glacier cherries. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 hour more, or until doubled in size, again covered by some well-oiled cling film/carrier bag to stop the dough getting a crust.
  8. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces - use an ice cream scoop to ensure even sized balls.
  9. Place one ball onto a lined baking tray and take another ball and cut in half - these will be the bunny ears. Add them to the ball on the baking tray. Repeat with the other balls of dough
  10. Add two raisins on each ball 'face' to make eyes and add a glace cherry in the middle to make a nose. Use a fork and make some whisker indentations.
  11. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film./carrier bag, or a clean tea towel, and set aside for the final prove for 1 hr more.
  12. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/. Bake for 15- 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.
  13. Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.
  14. Make the icing - add a little water at a time to the icing sugar to make a paste thats not too thick but not runny either. Place into a piping bag and once the buns have cooled down, pipe whiskers - the 'x' 's on to each bunny face and add some icing to the ears too.
  15. Enjoy - best served on the day they are made. They do not need any butter , they are tasty to eat as they are.

I found that these bunnies did not need to be buttered, there are delicious eaten as they are. Of course they taste best on the day they are made, but they are fine the next day too. 


Thanks to Oven Pride my hob was given a littles price up after my baking this afternoon. I am a messy baker (maybe that would have been a better blog name for me lol!) so I was more than happy to have a little help in cleaning up my kitchen! Easy to use the hob cleaner takes minutes to clean my blemished hob.


Lovely and clean now! (although not for long with my cooking lol!)

This recipe was created in collaboration with Oven Pride. Please check out the #HotCrossPride to see what other hot cross bun recipes have been created .


Linking up to:

Treat Petite hosted by Kat

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