Cranberry and Apricot Hot Cross Buns

Enjoy a more natural update to these traditional Easter buns with sweet dried cranberries, apricots, raisins, and fresh citrus flavor—instead of the typical candied fruit peels.


90 minutes


15 minutes






  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup sugar, divided
  • 1 package (¼ ounce) active dry yeast
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup (1 stick) Challenge Unsalted Butter
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 – 4½ cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk (reserve white for egg wash)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
  • egg wash (1 egg white beaten with 1 Tablespoon water)


  • 1

    In large mixing bowl combine 1 Tablespoon of the sugar with water and sprinkle in yeast; allow mixture to stand 10 minutes until bubbles form on the top.

  • 2

    Heat milk and pour over butter and remaining sugar and stir to dissolve; let cool to lukewarm.

  • 3

    Add 1 cup of flour, egg, egg yolk, and the milk mixture to the dissolved yeast and beat to blend well. Stir in dried fruit, orange zest, cinnamon and salt.

  • 4

    Gradually stir 3 cups more of flour, adding more flour if necessary to make a soft dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl. Knead thoroughly until smooth and no longer sticky.

  • 5

    Place dough into a lightly buttered bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled. Punch the dough down and turn it out on to a lightly floured board.

  • 6

    Shape the dough into 24 buns and place on buttered baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

  • 7

    With the back of a knife carefully press a cross into each bun; then brush the buns with egg wash.

  • 8

    Heat oven to 375°F and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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