Lemon Hot Cross Buns

Traditional sweet Easter bread gets an update!

Lemon Hot Cross Buns have a punch of citrus flavor and are slightly sweetened with honey.

Each sweet little bun has a delicate lemon icing cross on top!

Lemon Hot Cross Buns | lemonsforlulu.com

Little lemon buns sweetened with honey and topped with lemon icing.


Isn’t it funny where life takes you?   I graduated from college with a B.A. in English.  I spent years afterwards working in the financial industry and hating every minute of it.  I never imagined that I’d go back to my roots, if you will, and rediscover my love of writing!  I never imagined that the time I spent as a kid, watching my mom in the kitchen make everything from scratch, would develop into my own passion for cooking and baking.  I never in my wildest dreams imagined I’d combine those two loves and start my own food blog!

I started this blog one year ago.  At the time, I had 5 followers.  Myself, 3 family members and one friend.  I’m so grateful for their loyalty, their support and their encouragement.   While my blog has grown over the year, I still write as though only my family is going to read this.  I still can’t believe people are actually interested in what I have to say and what recipes I have to share!  It’s all so humbling and so rewarding.

Lemon Hot Cross Buns | lemonsforlulu.com

Citrus infused sweet buns.

Lemon Hot Cross Buns 3


I’m thrilled and honored when a reader reaches out to me to talk about a recipe or share a story or ask questions.  It reminds me of the awesome ability of the written word.  To think, simply by writing about my life and sharing stories and insights, I can connect to people all around the word.  It’s mind-blowing really.  Food is the greatest unifier.  It not only nourishes us all, but it teaches us and connects us.

Lemon Hot Cross Buns | lemonsforlulu.com

Citrusy sweet lemon buns.

I’m not out to get rich from blogging, I may not ever make a dime.  But I feel rich nonetheless.   I’m rich with the encouragement  that blogging brings.   I’m rich with the support that blogging brings.  I’m rich with all the learning that blogging brings.     When I think of my second year of blogging,   I know it will bring more sweets,  I know it will bring new flavors, I know it will bring more stories.  But even if it doesn’t bring more followers, I know I will be doing what I love.   How often do we get to spend our days doing that?

The lemon pull apart bread below is the very first recipe I posted.  I’ve come a long way since then.   I’ve come a long way in terms of recipe development and photography since then too!  But that’s what I love about blogging, the learning never stops!  I made lemon hot cross buns for this anniversary.  It seemed appropriate to celebrate my anniversary with another lemon bread recipe.  These little buns are fluffy little sweet breads.  Traditional hot cross buns are made with raisins or currants.   I do not like either of those, so I chose to leave those out and instead, I sweetened the dough with honey.  I love using lemons in baked goods like these cookies and these donuts so it was only natural to infuse the dough with lemon juice and lemon zest.  The icing will make you pucker, in a good way!  It’s sweet and citrusy and it  took these sweet rolls from ordinary to extraordinary.  These lemon hot cross buns are perfect for Easter, and perfect for spring.

 THANK YOU, thank you for reading my blog!


You might enjoy these too:

Lemon Pull Apart Bread | lemonsforlulu.com

Sweet and lemony pull apart bread.

Lemon Pull Apart Bread


Lemon Monkey Bread | lemonsforlulu.com

Soft, buttery monkey bread flavored with sugar and lemon zest.

Lemon Monkey Bread


Want more Lulu?  Please subscribe via email | Facebook | Twitter | Google + | Bloglovin.

Lemon Hot Cross Buns
For the buns
  • 4 ½ cups flour
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 .75oz envelope quick rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 T honey
  • 2 T water
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 2 lemons zested
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable spray
  • 1 egg white lightly beaten
For the glaze
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 4 T milk
  • 1 t vanilla
  1. Combine 2 ½ cups flour, sugar, yeast, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat milk, honey, lemon juice, water, lemon zest and butter cubes. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until butter has melted. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.
  3. Pour milk into flour mixture. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes or until moistened. Increase speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and gently beat in remaining flour until dough is soft and holds together. Dough will be sticky. Continue beating at medium speed for 5 more minutes.
  4. Scrape dough from bowl and place in a well-oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled.
  5. When dough has doubled, punch down and turn onto a floured surface. Knead for only a minute. Separate down into 20 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and set onto a jellyroll pan lined with parchment paper. Cover and let buns rise for another hour. Brush buns with egg white when ready.
  6. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until buns are golden brown on top. Remove and let cool on a rack for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile prepare glaze. You may have to adjust milk to get a good piping consistency. Pour glaze into a zip top with a corner snip or into a piping bag. Pipe an "x" over slightly warm buns.

I’ll be sharing this recipe with these sites as well as with Jam Hands, Back for Seconds and


Follow me On Pinterest!

28 Responses

  1. Lovely post Tanya.
    As a blogger I certainly understand your feelings :)
    My blog is ads-free! Nothing to do with money :) It’s all about SHARING

    I love your lemon buns. Something I need to try soon.
    We are celebrating Passover now, and you have Easter – so happy holiday!!

    • Thank you so much Winnie! Happy Holidays to you too!

  2. Congrats on one year! You have an amazing blog! :)

    Love this twist to traditional hot cross buns!

    • Thank you so much Jessica! Can’t believe it’s been a year!

  3. Congratulations on your first year, Tanya. May there be many more. We shared many of the same thoughts when we started our blogs. I never would have thought anyone other than family and friends would ever read mine. Zia and I often speak of it. And who knew there would be such a warm, welcoming community out here in the blogosphere?
    Again, congratulations. Can’t wait to see what you’ll be doing in Year Number Two.

    • Thank you so much John! Thank your for coming to read this little blog and commenting each time! It means the world to me John!

  4. Tanya, your brother-in-law may have told you that I hate to cook, and I do, but I love to read your recipes and print them out for Karl to make, or forward them to Sarah or one of my daughters-in-law. I consider you a family treasure, and if Steven didn’t already tell you, I have my old Tupperware deviled egg holder with the two trays laid aside to send along to you the next time I see him. Congratulations on your year of blogging. I admire your writing as well as your cooking skills. Happy blogging, Sally

  5. Congrats on your blogging milestones, Tanya! You should be SO proud of how far you’ve come — and how far you’ll inevitably go! I’m so glad to have met you in this huge, sugar-crazy world of blogging :) you’re an awesome friend who makes AMAZING recipes (like these hot cross buns–OHMAHGOSH), and you never cease to make me smile! And I promise I’m not just saying this because I want some lemon buns, hehe.

    • Awe, thanks Hayley! It’s been a fun year! I feel pretty honored to have met you too. Some day I have to actually meet you in person!

    • Loved the lemon! But I like lemon in anything!

  6. These sound SO yummy! Perfect for Easter! Thanks so much for partying with us at Time to Sparkle!


  7. Looks so good, I LOVE lemon! Thanks for posting the recipe!

  8. Amy

    Hi Tanya! I just made these buns in the UK and they are great but I had a hard time with the yeast conversion. We don’t have the same packets here as they do in the US. Online I found that 1 packet was 1/2 an oz or 2 1/2 tsp. That is what I used but your recipe called for a 1.75 oz packet which would be 7 packets or over 20 tsp? That does not seem right. Can you help me out with how many tsp of yeast you used? The flavor turned out great but they did not rise as much as I would have liked. Thanks so much for the great recipe!

  9. I love how you tied in the Lemon theme with your first post. Congratulations on your blogiversary. I know exactly how you feel. Thanks so much for sharing on Thursdays Treasures.

  10. Wow a year! Woo HOO! It is so crazy to see what changes in a year!I love blogging partly because it’s like a scrapbook of all the amazing things we bake! Congratulations and those lemon hot cross buns…yummo!!!

    • Thats a great way to put it Liz, just like a scrapbook! It’s fun to see how far we’ve come! Thanks Liz.

  11. These look lovely!!

  12. It is so interesting to hear people’s back stories…I also have a BA in English and taught for a few years, then worked in high school Campus Ministry until becoming a stay at home mom and finding my way into the world of blogging! So glad you found your way here too!! :)

    • I love hearing where people started, it’s almost never where you imagined! I love that your were an English major also-that’s why I love reading your stuff! Thanks Cathy!


Add your Response

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: