Easter Earl Grey and Orange Hot Cross Buns

I have a problem, it’s called the Waitrose magazine, it’s worse because when you have one of those snazzy loyalty card thingies, the magazine is free. It’s an Aladdins cave of interesting recipies and helpful foodie facts. It’s one of those magazines where I can spend hours pouring over the recipes and mentally making notes on making them down the line, it’s pretty much the same as hours lost to watching the Food Network. I like food and I like baking, cooking, watching and eating food!

So the March issue of the magazine had a great recipe for Earl Grey and Orange Hot Cross Buns. I have wanted to make them for ages but never got round to it. These sounded like an interesting combination of flavours so as I wanted a chilled Bank Hols, I thought I would spend my weekend baking!

These make your house smell amazing, I’m currently writing this sat next to them and they just smell…phenomenal.

The recipe is by Izy Hossack in the March issue of Waitrose magazine.

To make 12 you will need:

  • 4 earl grey tea bags
  • 7g sachet of easy bake yeast
  • 3 tbsp of granulated sugar
  • 440g of plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp of mixed spice
  • 2 large oranges with zest and 80ml juice
  • 100g raisins
  • 1 large egg
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • vegetable oil for kneading and greasing.


  • 60g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp of milk
  • 3 tbsp of apricot jam

Steep the tea bags in 160ml boiling water for 15 minutes. Squeeze as much liquid as possible and discard the tea bags. When cooled to lukewarm, mix in the yeast until it’s dissolved and beat in the sugar and 60g of plain flour and leave for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix 380g of flour with the salt, mixed spice, orange zest and raisins (I found that it was easier to zest the oranges when waiting for the tea to steep and cool) and melt the butter. Whisk the orange juice and egg into the melted butter. Combine with the tea mixture and the dry ingredients to make a smooth dough.

Knead (or if you have a snazzy machine work the dough through the dough hooks) the dough for about ten minutes and place in a clean, well oiled bowl and leave to rise for an hour.

Divide and shape the dough into 12 balls and line them up on a baking sheet with parchment paper on. Slash a cross into the dough and cover in oiled cling film and leave for half an hour.

Meanwhile, mix the 60g of flour with 70ml of water to make a paste and transfer into a piping bag. once the half an hour is up, brush the buns with the milk and pipe the crosses onto the buns Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and they sound hollow. Heat up the apricot jam and and brush over the warm buns and cool completely on a wire rack.

The smell of these, as I said are amazing and since starting this post, temptation as gotten the best of me and I have shared on, you need to definitely have these as a treat – so smother them in real butter, toasted or untoasted, grab a cuppa (earl grey optional) and enjoy the citrus and tea infused flavours! They turned out a lot better than I thought and taste absolutely bloody wonderful!


Have a great Easter! x

6 Comments Add yours

    1. thank you, they most certainly are!

  1. Mike Evans says:

    Oh! Early Grey, that would be an interesting flavour. I adapted a Paul Hollywood recipe in order to use my sourdough starter. That had orange in it like yours. I did the last bulk ferment overnight in the fridge which meant I could get up and bake them off quickly on Sunday morning and have the house smelling fabulous! Hey Lent is over – it’s OK to pig-out for a day!

    1. Totally Mike! how did that go? I have always wanted to make sourdough, I am obsessed with it!!

      1. Mike Evans says:

        They are great – and stayed fairly soft for two days so I’m planning on one with my coffee this morning. I started my sourdough culture about 7 years ago and it’s been a good friend to me ever since. It’s very rare I use fresh or active dry yeast these days. I’ve done sourdough croissants, baguettes and even challah. I keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks between feeds or baking. It really isn’t as scary as it seems at first.

      2. Sorry it’s been so long! I really should start to culture sourdough.. it’s still daunting to me though!!! The croissants sound amazing though.

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