“What would be your new flavour suggestion for a hot cross bun?”

This month Waitrose have challenged me to create the ultimate Hot Cross Bun and I’ve jumped at the chance.

Fresh from my trip to New York I’m full of ideas to take this easter treat to a whole new level, so here it is, the recipe for the Creme Brûlée Hot Cross Bun, inspired by the world famous Donut Planet located in downtown Manhattan, this hot cross bun is made in the traditional way but then filled by luscious creme patisserie and topped with a hard sugar crust resembling that of a Creme Brûlée. I’ll be honest I love it, but then I would I created it.

Creme Brûlée Hot Cross Bun

But if you think you could do even better then why not enter the Waitrose competition to find the ultimate Hot Cross Bun, they’ll be picking one of the flavours entered into the competition to be turned into a product that will go on shelves next year! Waitrose judges will narrow down the entries into a final three and then it will be put to a vote across our social communities to determine the winner. The winner will be announced by the end of May 2016 and the first prize winner will receive £500 Waitrose vouchers with the two runners up getting £100 Waitrose vouchers each. WOW. Visit Waitrose.com for more information.

As well as the Creme Brûlée Hot Cross Buns I had to have a few of the traditional kind too, toasted with best butter and a brew, there’s nowt like it!!


  • 275ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
  • 50g butter
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 75g sultana
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the cross

  • 75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

For the Creme Patissiere

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 25g plain flour
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 280ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod

For the Caramel Top

  • 100g caster sugar


  1. Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.
  2. Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.
  3. With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the sultanas, mixed peel and cinnamon. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size, again covered by some well-oiled cling film to stop the dough getting a crust.
  4. Divide the dough into 15 even pieces (about 75g per piece). Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.
  5. Heat oven to 200C. Mix the flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.

For the Creme Patisserie

  1. Beat the egg yolks and sugar for a few minutes until pale and slightly thickened.
  2. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the egg and sugar mix.
  3. Whisk in the flours.
  4. Heat the milk in a saucepan until stating to boil.
  5. Whisk the milk into the egg mix.
  6. Put the whole lot back into the pan, stirring all the time until thick and boiling.
  7. Take the pan off the heat – cover with cling-film to prevent a skin from forming.

For the Caramel Top

  1. Heat 100g of sugar in a pan, do not stir just simply leave to melt to form a caramel


  1. Coat the top of the hot cross bun with the caramel
  2. Fill a piping bag with Creme Patisserie and fill the hot cross bun
  3. Sprinkle a little caster sugar on the top and caramelise using a blow torch.

Hot Cross Bun Yorkshire


Recipes adapted from BBC Good Food