Go Back
+ servings

Orange Cranberry Hot Cross Buns

If you are not a big fan of raisins in traditional hot cross buns recipes, then these Orange Cranberry Hot Cross Buns are going to put a smile on your face. These slightly sweet buns are extremely soft, flavored with orange zest and loaded with dried cranberries.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Resting Time3 hrs
Total Time40 mins
Course: Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 buns
Calories: 242kcal
Author: Trang


  • 9" x 13" Baking Pan



  • 1 cup whole milk 240 g
  • 3 oz unsalted butter 85 g
  • ¼ cup warm water no hotter than 110°F
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar 45 g
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 3 cup all-purpose flour 390 g
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries 83 g
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Extra flour for rolling
  • Oil or butter for bowl and baking pan


  • ½ cup all-purpose flour 65 g
  • 5 - 6 tablespoon orange juice

Egg wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk


  • Zest the orange and set aside. The juice the orange and add the dried cranberries to the orange juice to rehydrate.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat, stirring frequently until simmering. Turn off the heat and add butter to the hot milk, stir until completely dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool.
  • In the meantime, combine warm water, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast in a small bowl and let the yeast bloom for 5 - 10 minutes.
  • Add the orange zest and sugar to the stand mixer bowl and stir to release the essential oil. Sift in the flour and then stir in the salt, mix to distribute evenly.
  • When the milk mixture is cooled to below 110°F and the yeast is bubbly, add them to the flour mixture. Strain the dried cranberries, reserve the orange juice for later use and add the rehydrated cranberries to the mixture. Knead with the dough hook for just a few minutes until the dough forms.
  • Scrape the dough out onto a floured countertop and shape it into a ball. The dough will be soft and somewhat sticky, try not to add too much extra flour, just enough to keep it from sticking to your hands and the counter. Place the dough ball into an oiled glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 2 hours, until at least double in size.
  • Oil or butter a 9”x13” baking dish and set aside.
  • When the dough is ready, dump it out onto a floured countertop and divide it into 12 equal portions. Knead and shape each portion into a small ball, place dough balls into the prepared baking pan, and allow to rise the second time for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Beat an egg with a tablespoon of whole milk to make egg wash. Brush egg wash on top of the risen buns generously.
  • Mix flour and 5 - 6 tablespoon of orange juice in a small bowl until a soft pipeable paste forms. Add the paste to a piping bag or a zip top bag and snip the corner to create a small hole. Pipe the flour paste on top of the buns in a cross pattern.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool to the touch on a wire rack. Best served slightly warm.


You can reserve the orange juice that you use to rehydrate the dried cranberries to make the flour paste for the cross. You can also juice another orange or just use water.


Serving: 89g | Calories: 242kcal