Hot Cross Buns: more than a recorder song


“Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns! One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns!”

Now that you have a slightly off-key whistle stuck in your head, let’s take the time to consider that hot cross buns are an actual thing and not just some rando lyrics made up by your 4th grade music teacher.

Why have you maybe never seen them in a shop? Probably because they’re only around right before Easter and also maybe you don’t celebrate Easter. But if you’re reading this blog, you probably do celebrate sweet bread items that are best enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea, so religion aside, here’s the deal:

Hot cross buns are a traditional English spiced sweet bun made with dried fruit and marked with a cross on top to signify Good Friday/the end of Lent. The cross is meant to symbolize the crucifixtion and the spices are meant to symbolize the embalming spices used at burial. Yummmmmm.

But really we’re talking about a nutmeggy cinnamonny brioche dotted with currants or raisins or orange peel (or whatever tastes festive) and then decorated with a quick sweet X on top. Sounding much better. And more sensible for Easter breakfast than a green-dyed coconut nest with some ol jelly bean eggs.

Where can you get your HCBs if you don’t feel like baking?

Oak Mill Bakery in Chicago
Pekara Bakery in Champaign
Clementine in LA
just Google something if you’re in NYC

Call ahead to all of these spots since the buns sell out quick and then you’ll just have to wait until next year/see if you have embalming spices in your pantry and start pre-heating your oven now. And in case you couldn’t remember the tune/it isn’t stuck in your head yet, here you go:


You’re welcome!!!

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