Move over buns, the hot cross bun cookies are here to stay! They’re moist, moreish and so cute! The perfect Easter bake that you’ll want to make all year round!
I am absolutely obsessed with these cookies!! I’m already planning when I can make them again, and all my taste testers loveddd them too. Including my hard to impress boyfriend! They are soft, chewy and tender. Packed full of spices, sultanas and caramelised white chocolate. And topped with a white chocolate cross to emulate their bun cousin. And honestly, they seriously taste like hot cross buns. I promise you. They even have a butteryness that you only get from toasting a hot cross bun and slathering it in warm butter. I was kinda suprised how hot cross ‘bunny’ they were myself! So lets get making!!!
Key Ingredients You’ll Need
- Spices – You’ll need a mixture of spices to achieve the hot cross bun taste – ground cinnamon, ground mixed spice, ground ginger and ground nutmeg. These are the spices I use in my brioche hot cross bun recipe and they work so well. They give that warming spicy taste that is just so delicious!
- Sultanas – You can’t have a hot cross bun without either raisins, sultanas or currants and these cookies are no exception. I prefer to use sultanas as they’re plump and juicy, which helps give the cookies moisture and sweetness!
- Caramelised White Chocolate – Honestly I think the chocolate is what really makes these cookies taste incredible. The caramelised chocolate pairs so well with spices and sweet sultanas. And though you can make your own, nowadays you can buy it in supermarkets! Sometimes its called blond chocolate or caramilk. I used the M&S golden blonde chocolate bar.
How to make hot cross bun cookies
These cookies are really easy to make and only need a 10 minute chill time. Anddd they taste incredible still slightly warm from the oven, so a great reason to make a batch in the morning for a delicious elevenses treat! The cookies stay soft and moist for at least 3-4 days, but! You can freeze the unbaked cookie dough and bake later when ever you need a cookie fix!
Making the cookie dough
Unlike my usual cookie recipes, we won’t be melting the butter this time, but instead using it at room temperature. Using room temperature butter helps to achieve a thicker cookie as the dough doesn’t spread as much in the oven. And thick cookies are the besttt, am I right?!
So the first step is to cream the butter and both the caster sugar and light brown sugar together. I always use a combination of sugars in my cookies, so your cookies are sweet, full of moisture and packed with flavour. Then the egg and egg yolk can be mixed in – the additional yolk gives your cookies richness and helps to bind the dough without adding too much moisture.
Then we get to the dry ingredients, starting with the plain flour and cornflour. The addition of cornflour in the dough is what makes these cookies so soft and tender. Cornflour is such a pantry staple, but if you can’t get hold of it just replace it with plain flour 1:1. Then the spices, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt should be mixed in until a soft dough forms.
Finally the chocolate and sultanas should be stirred in. As always I reccomend roughly chopping a bar of chocolate, rather than using chocolate chips. The flavour will be soo much better and the different sized chunks of chocolate in your cookies will give a much better texture.
If you want to make your own caramelised white chocolate, get the recipe here from my Caramelised White Chocolate Cupcakes and use 200g instead of 300g white chocolate.
It will be veryyy tempting to eat the cookie dough at this stage, but try to resist! And instead roll it into 12 even balls – it will be around 78g, but you don’t need to be that precise. Then pop them into the fridge for 10 minutes while you pre-heat the oven.
Baking the cookies
Once your cookie dough balls are nicely chilled, place them onto the largest baking tray you have (or multiple if needed) and leave a decent amount of space between each for them to spread. Then bake for about 15 minutes. They will look a little under-done when you take them out, but cookies continue to cook outside the oven! So its vital to take them out at this point so they’re not over-baked and hard.
Decorating the cookies
The final step is to make the cookies look like hot cross buns, and its so simple! Just melted white chocolate piped in a cross shape on top of the cooled cookies. You could use leftover caramelised white chocolate for this if you prefer, but I liked the contrast in colour by using plain white chocolate. So simple, but so effective.
And thats it! The chocolate needs a chance to cool and set, but then you can tuck in! And ohhh boy are they good when they’re still a little warm! The chocolate is gooey, the dough super soft and buttery and the spices add that warming touch. So so good!
Tips & Tricks
I know a lot of people think white chocolate is too sweet, and if you’re in that camp I really urge you to try caramelised white chocolate! It gives the chocolate a deeper flavour that is so delicious, and not overpoweringly sweet.
Absolutely! These cookies can be baked directly from frozen, making them the perfect make-ahead treat! Though as you can only add the white chocolate decoration on post-baking, you do need to factor in that decoration time too!
Yes, you can. I prefer sultanas are they are juicier, but raisins make a great substitute.
Honestly I can’t urge you enough to make these! They are so so good. The combination of spices, juicy sultanas, caramelised white chocolate chunks and the creamy white chocolate cross decoration is just sublime. And they’re so simple, with only 10 minutes of chilling time! The perfect Easter weekend bake! That ACTUALLY taste like a hot cross bun!! Seriously.
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Hot Cross Bun Cookies
- 115 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 110 g caster sugar
- 110 g soft light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 225 g plain flour
- 25 g cornflour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 175 g caramelised white chocolate
- 75 g sultanas
- 50 g white chocolate
- For the cookie dough: Place the butter into a large bowl with both sugars and whisk together using an electric hand whisk until combined and with no lumps. Then add the egg and egg yolk, and whisk again until well combined. Then whisk in the dry ingredients – plain flour, cornflour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, table salt and spices – until a soft dough forms, and no streaks of flour remain. Chop the chocolate roughly, then add to the dough along with the sultanas and mix in with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, until evenly dispersed.
- Scoop and roll the cookie dough into 12 balls, roughly 78g in size. Then place onto a plate or dish, and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 4 and line a large baking tray with baking paper (or multiple smaller trays). Place the chilled cookie dough balls onto the prepared trays, leaving room around each to spread.
- Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Then remove from the oven, rap the tray a few times on a hard surface to deflate the cookies slightly, and leave to cool on the tray for 10 minutes. Then remove the cookies and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- To decorate: Melt the white chocolate either over a bain-marie or in a microwave in 30-second increments. Then leave for a few minutes for the chocolate to cool slightly and thicken up. Then place the melted chocolate into a piping bag, and snip off the end to create a small hole. Pipe crosses onto each cookie, then leave to set.