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May 30, 2022

Hot Cross Bun Muffins

These Hot Cross Bun Muffins are an easy way to enjoy the flavor of hot cross buns without the time it takes to make the yeasted variety. 

Muffins on a cake stand.

These muffins are flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice and filled with rum-soaked raisins and dried cranberries. They are piped with a creamy vanilla frosting on top in the same shape that you would top a traditional yeasted hot cross bun

You can change the dried fruit you use in these muffins too, and include candied citron or mixed candied fruit along with the raisins. You can also use golden raisins if you prefer them. 

These muffins are slightly sweet, but not too much. There is only 1/3 cup of sugar in 15 muffins (not counting the frosting). 

Hot Cross Bun Muffins on plates.

Ingredients you will need for these muffins:

You will probably have everything on hand to make these hot cross muffins. 

The dry ingredients include flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. 

For the fruit filling, I used raisins and dried cranberries and soaked them in a small amount of dark rum. If you don't have rum, you can soak the dried fruit in water instead. 

For the wet ingredients, you will need eggs, milk (whole or low fat), and melted butter. 

For the frosting, you will need some butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk or cream (you will probably end up with extra frosting).

Hot Cross Bun Muffins on a cooling rack.

Equipment you will need:

This recipe makes 15 muffins, so I needed to use two standard muffin pans to bake them all at the same time. If you only have one muffin pan, you can bake the muffins in two stages. 

I used paper liners, but you can just grease the cavities of the muffin pan and skip the paper liners if you prefer. 

To draw the cross over the top of the muffins with the frosting, I used a piping bag fitted with a piping tip. I probably should have just used the corner of a zipper storage bag because my piping tip was too small and I didn't have one that was the right size... or, I could have just cut the right-sized hole in the piping bag. Next time (or a trip to the craft store)! 

I used a large bowl to mix the dry ingredients, a medium bowl to mix the wet ingredients, a glass measuring cup to soak the dried fruit, and a smallish bowl to mix the frosting. 

While you can mix the frosting by hand, a hand mixer makes fast work of it. 

Individual Hot Cross Bun Muffins on a black plate.

These muffins take about 30 minutes to assemble and about 25 minutes to bake. Just follow the "muffin method." Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients along with the soaked fruit, and stir. Scoop the batter into the muffin pans and bake! 

Once the muffins have cooled, mix the frosting ingredients and pipe on top. 

These muffins will keep in an airtight container for about 3 days. You can also freeze them (without the frosting) for later. 

Interior of a Hot Cross Bun Muffin.

These muffins are perfect for breakfast or a quick mid morning snack. 

Enjoy them with coffee, tea, or juice along with sliced fruit or a bowl of berries. 

Muffin Monday logo.

More Muffin Recipes for Muffin Monday: 

Hot Cross Bun Muffins on a cake stand.

Hot Cross Bun Muffins

Hot Cross Bun Muffins
Yield: 15 muffins
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 45 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 1 H & 10 M
These Hot Cross Bun Muffins are an easy way to enjoy the flavor of hot cross buns without the time it takes to make the yeasted variety.


For the Muffins
  • 1 cup (5 1/2 ounces) raisins
  • 1/2 cup (2 3/4 ounces) dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons rum or water
  • 12 3/4 ounces (3 cups) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 1/4 ounces (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the Frosting
  • 5 ounces (1 1/4 cups) confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk or cream


  1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a muffin pan with paper liners or grease the cavities.
  2. In a medium bowl or 2 cup measuring cup place the raisins and cranberries and stir in the rum. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, mil, and melted butter.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and then add the fruit mixture. Stir everything together until just combined and the fruit is distributed evenly.
  6. Scoop the batter into the muffin tin, 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
  8. Combine the frosting ingredients in a small bowl with a hand mixer and pipe in a cross pattern on top of the muffins.

Nutrition Facts



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Did you make this recipe?
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This recipe was adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion  There is an updated version of the book and it's called The King Arthur Baking Company's Baker's Companion

Would you like to comment?

  1. Raisins, cranberries and rum? Yes, please! And I'll take any excuse to go to the craft store ;)

  2. Love this Hot cross buns, I will try to make them for Easter. Sounds like great idea.


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