My Hot Cross Scones recipe is a fun, tasty variation on the classic hot cross bun. Perfect for Easter morning, they whip up in far less time than buns!
Today I’m here with another festive recipe to celebrate the season - hot cross scones!
After the wild success of my Hot Cross Bagels, I thought I’d take things a step further, with another delicious twist on traditional hot cross buns!
Every wonder what would happen if you took the spicy, citrus flavors of the traditional bun, and crossed it (HAH!) with the concept of a traditional British scone?
I did, and the delicious answer blew our socks off!
As I’d mentioned in the bagel post, I grew up thinking that I hated hot cross buns.
I don’t know if recipes changed over the years, or if I had tried ones that were outliers. Candied fruit and jellied orange peel are no-gos in my book, and the first hot cross buns I tried were *loaded* with them.
This sweet bun is not only worthy of being served as part of Good Friday observation, but also as part of seasonal afternoon teas, breakfasts, or just as the perfect snack with a tall glass of milk.
You can whip these up in just a fraction of the time that hot cross bun recipes require!
This recipe uses really simple ingredients that can be found in pretty much any grocery store. It’s a bit long of a list, but half og the ingredients are just flavouring agents - spices, etc.
It’s just what you need to get theamazing flavours of the traditional easter hot cross bun, though - totally worth it!
Anyway, you’ll need:
An orange (both for orange juice and orange zest).
Dairy: Unsalted butter, milk.
Raisins and/or dried currents (I use them both, 50/50).
1. You can swap a lemon in - lemon juice and lemon zest - for the orange, if you prefer.
2. You can use plant based milk and either lard or shortening, to make these dairy free. I actually use unsweetened almond milk.
3. If you have some apricot jam on hand, you can swap that in for the final bit of milk that gets brushed on the tops of the scones.
This recipe uses really basic equipment, as well - a baking pan, parchment paper, a piping bag, and a round cookie cutter.
The one I tend to use is about 3", or about a 7.5 cm cutter.
How to Make Hot Cross Scones
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post; here is a pictorial walk through with some additional tips and info.
Make the Scones
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, orange zest, baking powder, spices, and salt.
Chop cold unsalted butter into small pieces.
Note: the desired consistency you’re looking for is kind of a coarse sand with pea-sized pieces throughout.
Add raisins and/or currants, stir to combine.
Add milk and vanilla extract to the bowl of dry ingredients, stir JUST until combined - mixture will be a little sticky.
Gently knead for a few seconds, then gather dough up into a loosely formed ball of dough.
Gently press or roll dough in to a 1" thick disk, use a round cutter (I used a 3 inch biscuit cutter) to cut into rounds or squares.
Gather up scrap dough, gently knead into a ball, re-roll, and cut as necessary.
Transfer scones to the prepared baking tray. Brush the top and sides of each scone with milk or with melted apricot jam.
You want them warm, just not warm enough to make a mess of the icing!
Make the Orange Icing
Set up your icing bag. I used a disposable pastry bag fit with a flat tip, to get nice flat strips.
That said, you can use a ziplock bag if you need to!
Add about the powdered sugar, a little at a time, whisking until smooth. You want it VERY thick, but you can add extra orange juice if you need.
Spoon the frosting into your prepared bag. If you’re using a plastic bag, cut the corner of the bag off just before you pipe with it.
Pipe thin strips of frosting in a cross shape across the top of each scone, serve warm!
Cooled scones can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for a few days, or in the fridge for up to a week.
Best served reheated - we’ll heat for 20 seconds or so in the microwave to get the chill off it, then toss them in the air fryer for a minute to crisp them up a bit.
More Easter Content!
Looking for more fun / tasty ways to observe Easter? Here are a few of my favourite recipes:
4 Layer Easter Creme Egg Brownies
Chocolate Zombie Easter Bunnies
Easter No-Bake Chocolate Pie with Mini Eggs.
Mini Egg Easter Pavlovas
Easy Pysanky [Epic Easter Eggs]
Gluten-Free Paska [Easter Bread]
Easter Deviled Eggs
Homemade Marshmallow Peeps
Hot Cross Bagels
Paska - Ukrainian Easter Bread
Southern Comfort Glazed Ham
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Hot Cross Scones
- 2 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
- ¼ cup Dark brown sugar packed
- Zest of 1 orange
- 3 teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Allspice
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Cloves
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- 8 tablespoon Unsalted butter chilled
- ¾ cups Raisins and/or Dried Currants I used about 50/50
- 1 cup Milk
- ½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 tablespoon Milk or melted Apricot Jam
- 2 teaspoon Orange Juice
- pinch Salt
- ½ cup Confectioners / Icing / Powdered Sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, orange zest, baking powder, spices, and salt.
- Chop chilled butter into small cubes. Cut butter into dry ingredients using a fork (or two!) or a pastry blender / cutter until mixture is distributed throughout, and mixture forms coarse crumbs - it'll resemble gravel.
- Add raisins and/or currants, stir to combine.
- Add milk and vanilla extract to the bowl of dry ingredients, stir JUST until combined - mixture will be a little sticky.
- Place dough onto a lightly floured work surface, sprinkling some flour on top. Gently knead for a few seconds, then gather dough up into a ball.
- Press down to a disk that’s an even 1" thickness, use a cookie cutter to cut into rounds or squares. Gather up scrap dough, gently knead into a ball, re-roll, and cut as necessary.
- Transfer scones to the lined baking sheet. Brush the top of each scone with milk or with melted apricot jam.
- Bake for about 20-22 minutes or until golden brown.
- Whisk together the orange juice and salt.
- Add about the powdered sugar, a little at a time, whisking until smooth. You want it VERY thick, but you can add extra orange juice if you need.
- Drizzle scones with glaze in the shape of a cross, and serve warm!