RECIPE: Quick And Easy Hot Cross Buns With Apricot Glaze


The Easter weekend is behind us but hey they say better late than never….

Anyway, Easter is mostly known as a time for hot cross buns, easter eggs and bunnies, picked fish etc.  The cross ardoning the top of the hot buns symbolizes the crucifixion of Christ.  Traditionally, hot cross buns are prepared on Good Friday and there are some superstitions surrounding these little spicy buns.

In England, it was believed that the hot cross buns prepared specifically on Good Friday could last for longer periods up to a year.  They also believed in the powdered form where grated hot cross buns are mixed with a bit of water and fed to a sick person to heal them.  These believers would also put hot cross buns on a string and hang them inside their houses to chase away bad spirits.

Ah well, we also have our own beliefs and superstitions here in Mzansi.  I visited my family in the Eastern Cape and spoiled them with meals cooked outside on fire.  The next day I was sick with flu and I couldn’t even get out of bed.   How did you spend your Easter weekend?  Did you go to church?  Did you visit family?

I thought I would share an easy hot cross bun recipe with you.  By the way, I demonstrated the recipe to over 50 ladies at Eziko Restaurant in Langa Township.  They all loved it and wanted more but I only prepared one hot cross bun for each lady 🙁

Hope you enjoy the recipe!  Happy Baking!


Hot Cross Buns


Hot Cross Buns Recipe

(Recipe adapted from a Safari promotional brochure)

Makes: 24

850g cake flour

200g 1½ cups) icing sugar

150g (170ml) margarine / butter

30ml (2Tbsp) baking powder

10ml (2tsp) bicarbonate of soda

1 egg

200g safari cake mix / bakers mix

10 ml (2tsp) mixed spice

500 ml milk


50 ml apricot jam

100 ml water


250ml (1 cup) flour

15ml (1Tbsp) margarine / butter

180ml water


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Sift the dry ingredients together (excluding Bicarbonate of Soda).
  2. Beat the eggs and milk together.  Add the Cake Mix and Bicarbonate of Soda to the liquid.
  3. Add the margarine to the dry ingredients and rub in until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  4.  Add the liquid to the dry ingredients bit by bit.  Do not over-mix the dough (the dough must have a soft texture but still workable).
  5. Press the soft dough to a thickness of ± 4 cm and cut buns out with a cutter.  Place the buns relatively close to one another on a greased baking sheet.

 For the cross:

  1. Sift the flour and add the margarine.  Rub in until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  2. Add the water bit by bit until the dough is sloppy.  Mix well to a smooth dough.
  3. Using a piping bag, squeeze horizontal and vertical lines on top of the buns.
  4. Bake at 180C for ± 30 minutes until golden brown.

 For the Glaze:

  1. Heat the apricot jam and water together until well mixed.
  2. Spread the syrup over the hot buns.  Serve warm.

Thuli’s Tip:

Ever thought of making a pudding using Hot Cross Buns?  Try this recipe.  


About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

Comments ( 2 )

  • It looks yummy – will bookmark the recipe for next easter! 🙂

    • While I was baking the buns at home my cousin came back from work with a visitor. They smelt the aroma and couldn’t wait for the hot cross buns to get out of the oven. Lol! The visitor enjoyed them so much she called her boyfriend telling him that she was having homemade hot cross buns and how great they tasted. I gave her some padkos for the boyfriend to taste. They loved them. It was funny! Hope you enjoy the recipe it is very easy to prepare! Thanks! 🙂

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