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Catholic Recipe: Quick Hot Cross Buns


  • 4 cups biscuit mix (like Bisquick®)
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins
  • 1/2 cup diced candied citron
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk (approximately)
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • Confectioners' Sugar Icing (see recipe)
  • Details

  • Serves: 10
  • Yield: 18 buns
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty:
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 11+
  • Origin:

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In the sixth century, Pope Gregory ordained that only bread, salt, and vegetables should be eaten on Good Friday. Loaves of bread were marked with a cross before they were baked, to indicate that they might be eaten on this day. These marked loaves were the ancestors of the hot cross buns we like so much at this season.

Nowadays, these fragrant, raisin-studded buns are served often all through Lent, but always on Good Friday. With the cross on top of the buns, this is also a good recipe to serve on September 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. Here is a quicker version well worth trying.


Combine biscuit mix, raisins, citron, cinnamon, and sugar. Add enough milk to make a soft dough, mixing with fork. Knead several minutes, until dough is elastic. Form into balls and place close together on greased baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven. Whip cream with fork; add remaining sugar. Brush over tops of biscuits. Run under broiler to glaze. If desired, cool buns, then decorate with crosses of Confectioners' Sugar Icing (see recipe). Makes 18 buns 2-1/2 inches in diameter.

Recipe Source: Cook's Blessings, The by Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965
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