Hot Cross Cinnamon Rolls

Flavour of the moment: Easter! Of course! It is totally a flavour; a mixture of cinnamon, marzipan and egg shaped chocolate.

These are my “twist” (get it?!) on hot cross buns, whilst I really do adore hot cross buns, I also really really love cinnamon, as does my man James and these babies are the best of both worlds. This recipe is a prove-overnight-in-the-fridge recipe so that they are ready to be baked in the morning, fresh and warm for the prefect Easter breakfast but I’ll add the steps for making them the same day too.

hot cross rolls

I used a Paul Hollywood recipe to get the hot cross part of this and adapted it for the cinnamon roll side of things.

Ingredients: (Makes 12)

  • 300ml of full fat milk (plus more for glazing)
  • 50g of butter
  • 500g of strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 75g of caster sugar
  • 7g of fast-action yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 75g of sultanas
  • 50g of mixed peel
  • Zest of an orange
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and finely sliced
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • Oil, for oiling the bowl

for the filling:

  • 25g of butter, melted
  • 1.5 tsp of cinnamon
  • 55g of brown sugar
  • 25g of caster sugar


  1. In a saucepan, bring the milk to boil and then remove from the heat. Stir in the butter and leave it to cool to around room temperature.
  2. In the meantime, in a large bowl add the flour, salt, yeast (salt and yeast on separate sides of the bowl) and sugar. In a small bowl add the sultanas, mixed peel, zest, apple and cinnamon, cover and set aside.
  3. When the milk mixture has cooled, add it to the large bowl of flour etc (make a well in the centre of the flour), followed by the egg and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a sticky dough.
  4. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. This is a very sticky process but bear with it, the dough will get smooth and elastic but probably still a tad sticky in my experience.
  5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm, leave it to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
  6. Once risen, pour the peel mixture from the small bowl into the dough and knead it until combined, then tip the dough out and knead until the fruit is well distributed (If doing the same day version, place the dough back into an oiled bowl for another hour to prove, then proceed with the rest of the recipe).
  7. In a small bowl mix the melted butter, cinnamon and sugars.
  8. Line the bottom of two cake tins with baking paper and grease the sides.
  9. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle, with the dough about 1.5-2cm thick and spread the cinnamon mixture over the dough, ensuring it is covered right to the edge. Roll the rectangle from the long side into a long sausage shape.
  10. Straighten up the end by trimming with a knife but try to lose as little dough as possible, then cut the roll into 12 ‘rolls/discs’.
  11. Divide the rolls between the two tins, laying them on one of their circular sides with about and inch between them, to allow for expansion. Cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge over night. (If doing the same day version do not put in the fridge but leave them to prove for a further hour and then proceed to step 13).
  12. In the morning get the rolls out of the fridge and leave them for an hour or so to come to room temperature, then preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan).
  13. Once the oven has reached temperature, remove the cling film and glaze the rolls with whole milk (or an egg wash) and put them in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
  14. Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly and then enjoy the perfect Easter breakfast!


One thought on “Hot Cross Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Pingback: Easter Simnel Cake | Noisette

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