Easy Hot Cross Bun Bread and Butter Pudding: Perfect for Easter

Spicy and fruity hot cross buns are given a new twist when used used to make a scrumptious bread and butter pudding recipe

Hot cross bun bread and butter pudding recipe

by Liz O'Keefe |
Updated on

Traditionally eaten over Easter, hot cross buns are a baked, sweet, spiced bread containing raisins. Associated with Good Friday, the cross is a reference to the crucifixion of Christ before his resurrection on Easter Sunday, while the spices represent the spices he was wrapped in, in the tomb.

Who invented the hot cross bun?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first written reference to ‘hot cross buns’ comes from Poor Robin’s Almanac, in 1733: ‘Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs. With one or two a penny hot cross buns.’

However, it is thought that the contemporary hot cross bun of Christianity originates from St Albans, where Brother Thomas Rocliffe made the first 'Alban Bun' with flour, eggs, yeast, currants and spice, in 1361. This was distributed to the poor at the gates of St Alban's Abbey. St Alban's Cathedral still makes Alban Buns each year.

Today sees many different variations on the traditional hot cross bun recipe.

How to make hot cross bun bread and butter pudding

This scrumptious recipe, exclusive to LandScape magazine, is a new twist on the traditional hot cross bun, making for a delicious dessert, perfect for sharing.

Serves 8

11 hot cross buns

120g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

4 eggs

100g caster sugar

1 tbsp cornflour

2 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

250ml whole milk

zest of 1 orange

zest of 1 lemon

100g raisins

2 tbsp apricot jam

15 x 25cm rectangular oven dish

Grease the oven dish. Slice 6 hot cross buns in half horizontally and set aside the crossed tops. Slice the remaining hot cross buns into three horizontally.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, cornflour, mixed spice and cinnamon, using an electric whisk, for 2-3 mins until thick and creamy. Slowly whisk in the milk until fully incorporated, then add the orange and lemon zest.

Spread both sides of the bun slices, apart from the reserved tops, with butter and line the bottom of the prepared dish with half of the slices. Scatter with half of the raisins, then layer with the remaining halves, followed by the remaining raisins. Top with the reserved slices, crosses facing up. Pour slowly over the custard mixture so that it seeps into all of the bread layers. Leave to stand for 1 hr.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Cover just the top of the pudding with tin foil and bake for 40 mins until golden. In a small pot, mix the jam with 1 tbsp of boiling water and brush the top of the pudding with it. Allow to cool for 5 mins, then serve.

“Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs. 
With one or two a penny hot cross buns”

Poor Robin’s Almanac, 1733

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