An easy hot cross buns recipe for the fluffiest, soft hot cross buns. Filled with spices and fruit, these hot cross buns can be made by hand or in a mixer.

In a saucepan warm the orange juice until simmering. Take it off the heat and add in the raisins. Leave them to sit and hydrate while the dough is mixed.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add yeast, sugar, flour, salt, spices, milk and egg. 

Turn the mixer on low and combine until it forms a thick but slightly sticky dough. Add in the room temperature butter and keep mixing until the butter has been incorporated.

Turn the mixer on medium speed and keep it mixing until the sticky dough starts to strengthen and come together and pull away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. This can take around 15 minutes.

Drain the raisins and add them to the dough along with the fruit zest. Mix it together to incorporate the raisins. 

Pull the dough out of the bowl onto a bench and form it into a ball.

Place the dough ball into a clean bowl and cover it with a lid or plate, or a damp tea towel and let it proof in a warm spot for 1.5- 2 hours until doubled in size.

Pull the dough onto a clean bench and cut it into 9 even pieces (use a scale for exact measurements).

Use your hands to form each piece into a tight ball. Line a 10 x 10-inch square baking dish with parchment paper.

Place each ball into the baking tray, then cover with a damp tea towel and let them rise until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 356°F/ 180°C fan-bake or 392°F/ 200°C  standard oven.

Mix together the ingredients for the crosses, then pipe the crosses onto the buns.

Bake the buns until golden brown. While the buns are baking, mix together the glaze ingredients. Brush the hot baked buns with glaze the moment they come from the oven. 

Leave the buns to cool for about 20 minutes before eating.