Hot Cross Bun And Nutmeg Tray Bake

by | Mar 24, 2015 | 19 comments

Hot Cross Bun And Nutmeg Tray Bake - Cook Republic

My boys once averse to Hot Cross Buns have only just started eating them this year (they are 11 and 7 and can be overtly fussy when it comes to sweet things!). As a result, in the past few weeks, I have been making regular trips to my local Bakers Delight for their Hot Cross Buns. Hot Cross Buns are as synonymous with Easter as chocolate eggs. Their history suggests that they were originally fruit and spice buns made without dairy (which was forbidden during Lent) and eaten hot on Good Friday. Marked with the instantly recognisable cross (made of flour and water) on top, Hot Cross Buns have since spawned more than a dozen variations, folklores, songs, flavours, forms and events. With buns arriving on bakery shelves nearly four months ahead of Easter, the Hot Cross Bun eating experience is not only prolongated but also made creative by using the buns to make baked desserts, battered breakfast toasts and even an ingenious stuffing for your Easter weekend roast.

Baker's Delight Hot Cross Buns - Cook Republic

Baker's Delight Hot Cross Buns - Cook Republic

A few weeks ago, I was invited into the Bakers Delight kitchen at Cherrybrook one early morning to see and learn first-hand how they bake their delicious Hot Cross Buns. Owner David explained the nitty-gritty of running a bakery and the semantics of churning out a variety of hot, fresh bread mixed, proved and baked on the premises. Bakers Delight have a philosophy of sourcing the freshest ingredients, a majority of them local. They also have a zero tolerance policy towards the use of preservatives. Their Hot Cross Buns for example had on average more fruit than most traditional Hot Cross Buns on the market. It was also very refreshing to hear David talk about the bakery being seriously embedded in the community and supporting everything from school events to weekend games and Scout clubs. Bakers Delight have been baking their Hot Cross Buns for over 35 years and this year they are expected to bake 17 million buns in the lead up to Easter. They also proudly run a Bundraiser every year where $1 is donated to charity for every pack of Hot Cross Buns you buy.

Hot Cross Buns - Cook Republic

With a warm fuzzy feeling of connecting with honest to good artisans and people who cared about the food they created and the community that grew them, I returned home that morning with an even warmer bag of Hot Cross Buns baked freshly for me. I froze a big batch (like I always do! Because hot cross bun cravings can also strike post-Easter) and with the rest, I created this beautiful Nutmeg Tray Bake.

Hot Cross Buns - Cook Republic

A bread and butter pudding has been my go-to dessert from the time I lived in Singapore. It was something I always baked, chilled and brought to potlucks the next day. Chilled, because it was so dang hot in Singapore and a chilled pudding was akin to having frozen cookie-dough swirled ice cream. Delicious! With autumn settling firmly in Sydney, cooler nights call for warming treats. I love soaking Hot Cross Buns in homemade nutmeg custard, then soaking them some more and baking them in a tray covered with foil. The top remains the bun while the bottom half is transformed into pudding. Served with a dollop of Crème Anglaise and a grating of fresh nutmeg, it is absolutely divine. Tastes sensational on the second day and out of the world on the third.

Hot Cross Bun And Nutmeg Pudding - Cook Republic

Hot Cross Bun And Nutmeg Pudding - Cook Republic


Nutmeg - Cook Republic

Hot Cross Bun And Nutmeg Tray Bake - Cook Republic

Hot Cross Bun And Nutmeg Tray Bake - Cook Republic

Hot Cross Bun And Nutmeg Tray Bake - Cook Republic

Hot Cross Bun And Nutmeg Tray Bake - Cook Republic

Hot Cross Bun And Nutmeg Tray Bake - Cook Republic

Hot Cross Bun And Nutmeg Tray Bake - Cook Republic

Hot Cross Bun And Nutmeg Tray Bake - Cook Republic




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A warming and luscious pudding baked with leftover Hot Cross Buns and fresh nutmeg.
Print Recipe Rate / Comment
Author: Sneh
Course // Baking, Dessert
Cuisine // Easter
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 -10


  • melted butter for brushing
  • 12 traditional Hot Cross Buns from Bakers Delight
  • 800 ml milk
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • ½ cup white chocolate buttons
  • 4 large eggs
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 whole nutmeg, freshly grated (or 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg)
  • handful of pecan nuts, to serve
  • crème anglaise, to serve


  • Preheat oven to 180C. Brush a shallow (5cm deep and 28cm X 24cm base measurements) tray with melted butter.
  • Place Hot Cross Buns snugly in the buttered tray and set aside.
  • Heat milk in a heavy bottomed saucepan on medium heat. Add sugar and white chocolate. Heat until just bubbles appear along the periphery, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring gently. Crack eggs in a bowl and whisk lightly. Add the whisked eggs to the milk mixture, beating gently with a balloon whisk to ensure that the custard remains smooth. In a few minutes when the custard starts thickening and coats the whisk, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Sprinkle a teaspoon of grated nutmeg and the salt in the custard and mix well.
  • Gently pour half of the custard over the Hot Cross Buns and allow to soak for 10 minutes, pressing down gently on the buns with your fingertips. Pour the remaining custard and scatter the remaining nutmeg. Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 10-15 minutes until the custard is just set. If you feel the Hot Cross Buns start to brown too quickly, cover them with a foil.
  • Remove from the oven. Serve warm with pecan nuts and crème anglaise. Will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.


The Bakers Delight buns do have a very generous amount of fruit in their traditional buns. If your buns don't have enough fruit, feel free to scatter half a handful of sultanas or cranberries in the milk mixture before baking.
Did you make my recipe?I'd love to hear how you went! Tag me on Instagram @cookrepublic


Note - This post was sponsored by Bakers Delight. Thoughts on Hot Cross Buns, opinion, words and recipe are my own.




I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!


  1. Martyna @ Wholesome Cook

    Hi Sneh, they look and sound amazingly indulgent! Zac is a big fan of hot cross buns in this family (fruit toast in general - though he's fussy and 'll only eat Brasserie Bread's)... Something like this might be a nice treat over the Easter break. By the way... are these the bowls you've been making at your pottery classes? I am very envious. One day I'll find time. Wishing you and family a very Happy Easter!

  2. Camilla

    This looks SO delicious!!! loving all these shots. Can't wait to visit on Friday 😉

  3. Rosa

    Those hot cross buns look amazing! A fabulous Easter treat.



  4. Kulsum

    This sounds amazing! I love how you baked these, should work with different types of buns too!

  5. Vickie

    Yum, that looks amazing!

    Just baked a batch of hot cross buns today, but we love the baker's delight ones too 🙂

  6. Coco in the Kitchen

    Bread pudding made w fresh hot cross buns....
    oh, my, my, my, my....Easter can't come fast enough!

  7. Zoe

    Oh! Hot cross bun-and-butter pudding! My mum cuts the buns in half and spreads them with marmalade before putting the custard in 🙂 Sooo good! I've only just finished the last of my frozen hot cross buns, I always stockpile enough to get through the rest of the year 😉 And always Baker's Delight ones - more flavour, and no preservatives! Yum.

  8. Erin

    I made a Big Batch of Chai Hot Cross buns and froze half with the intention to make a hot cross bun pudding. I am going to do this one! YUM xx

  9. Kath

    Love this recipe Sneh! And the styling and photography are just amazing.

  10. Suné Moolman

    These flavours sound gorgeous and your photos are amazing as usual.
    How I would love a Bakers Delight in our town!

  11. Belinda @themoonblushbaker

    Bread and butter puddings are one of my go desserts for a crowd. The use hot cross buns means I have an excuse to make more this Easter. One for me and for the pudding :). Stunning!

  12. Abby | Lace & Lilacs

    Oh, these photographs are perfection, Sneh! I adore this post. xx

  13. Sandrine

    Hello Sneh, Nice photos. I have to say I have never been a big fan of Hot Cross Buns but your recipe is tempting. I will see what I can find over here in London. Beautiful photos as usual! Have a nice weekend Sandrine x

  14. Gourmet Getaways

    Wow, we see great work put into these buns! From start to end. For sure these taste superb 🙂

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  15. Fiona Carter

    Yum Sneh, this looks delicious. I usually make hot cross bun bread and butter pudding at Easter time. This year I'm going to leave the buns whole like you have. Love your images. Hope you have a happy and relaxing Easter.

  16. Alison @liaisonwithalison

    Love your pics, Sneh! Can almost smell the nutmeg. Love your idea of baking a bread pudding out of leftover hot x buns. I sometimes make French Toast using Sultana bread.

  17. Levan @

    Hey Sneh, my wife and I send you love from Melbourne to Sydney! It's great to connect with a fellow Australian blogger. 🙂
    My wife is a huge, huge, HUGE fan of hot cross buns -- and might I add, these buns look absolutely drool-worthy. Seriously, I know you are a pro photographer and all, but THESE PHOTOS look crazy professional, in a good way. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. DEFINITELY worth trying out!


  18. Amanda @ Gourmanda

    I did a bit of a hot cross bun tasting this year, and Bakers Delight hot cross buns were definitely the pick of the bunch! Beautifully fluffy and just chock full of fruit.

  19. Spice Island Bites

    What a great way to consume an Easter classic!


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