Treat me: Easy Easter Brioche

Do you dream of waking up on Good Friday to a trayful of freshly made hot cross buns? Me too. Over the years I’ve tried many ways of achieving this, ranging from buying them in the day before, to getting up at the crack of dawn. Neither one is particularly good – especially if you already get up at the crack of dawn and everyone in your household is ravenous at breakfast time. The first hot cross bun of the day is like the first cup of tea; you shouldn’t have to wait for it.

But this way – using a clever, no-knead, no stress method – is perfect. All you do is make up a batter-like dough the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight. Then all you have to do in the morning is wait for the oven to heat up, then these lovely, light, buttery buns are ready to eat 15 minutes later. If that’s not an Easter miracle, I don’t know what is.

Easy Easter Brioche Buns Recipe And Photo: Lucy Corry/The Kitchenmaid

Easy Easter Brioche
If you’ve had hot cross bun disasters in the past or are a novice yeast baker, this is the recipe for you. There’s no kneading, just a bit of energetic stirring with a wooden spoon. If you don’t have a muffin tin you can make a giant loaf in a 23cm cake tin – it will take more like 25-30 minutes to cook.

200g raisins or sultanas
50g mixed peel (or finely chopped crystallised ginger, or other tangy dried fruit)
150ml milk
250g strong or high grade flour
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp dried yeast
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
grated zest of one orange
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs, lightly beaten
140g unsalted butter, softened but NOT melted, and cut into little pieces

Put the dried fruit in a small heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water from the kettle. Leave to steep while you get everything else organised.
Put the milk in a small pan and bring to nearly simmering point, then remove from the heat and let cool to lukewarm.
Put the flour, sugar, yeast, spices and salt in a large bowl and stir well. Drain the dried fruit and set aside.
Pour in the milk, the orange zest, the vanilla, the eggs and the dried fruit. Beat well until you have a smooth batter. Set aside in a warm place until doubled – this will take about an hour.
Beat the risen batter until it deflates, then add half the butter and beat well with a wooden spoon until it is all mixed in and there are no lumps. Repeat with the remaining butter and beat until the batter is smooth.
Grease the holes of a 12-cup muffin pan with a little butter or oil, and divide the mixture between them.
Cover the tin with a plastic bag and put it in the fridge.
In the morning, turn the oven to 170C and take the tin out of the fridge. When the oven has reached temperature and the buns have lost their chill (about 35 minutes, in my house) put them in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until risen and golden brown.
Leave them in the tin for five minutes, then gently ease out with a spatula. Makes 12.

Have a wonderful Easter, everyone x



  1. April 17, 2014 / 12:46 am

    I've been secretly dreading having yet another hot cross bun disaster this Easter, so I'm switching to brioche. Sounds like a fab recipe. If anyone out there does end up with stodgy hot cross buns, make Easter bread pudding out of them — there's salvation for everything!

    • April 17, 2014 / 8:58 am

      … and salvation is so on-trend at this time of year (well, in theory at least!) Hope you have a lovely Easter x

  2. April 17, 2014 / 1:05 am

    So delicious – I can just smell them cooking!!
    Mary x

  3. April 17, 2014 / 6:55 am

    Yum these look fab. I love brioche but my last attempt was a total disaster. I love the look of these for a yummy easter treat.

  4. April 17, 2014 / 11:42 am

    My hot cross buns didn't work last year because I forgot to leave them overnight 🙂 but have had some success this year and have another batch on the go – your brioches look lovely – can you put crosses on them?

    • April 18, 2014 / 9:30 pm

      Am intrigued about your overnight method, can you post about that next year please? Hope you have a lovely Easter x

  5. April 17, 2014 / 12:08 pm

    Yummo! If only we weren't heading off camping in the morning I'd be making these for sure! P.S. Easter guest posts got a little crazy on my blog this week, but I've popped a link to your last two delicious easter recipes on tomorrows post. thank you xo Enjoy your Easter!!

    • April 18, 2014 / 9:33 pm

      Thanks for the link love – and I made your Easter egg garland yesterday! Will send a pic. Hope the camping trip is fun x

  6. April 17, 2014 / 10:43 pm

    A brilliant brilliant idea. I was looking for inspiration for something tomorrow. I'm loving this. Thank you. Wishing you a lovely long weekend x

  7. April 18, 2014 / 12:04 am

    Bugger me – I thought I had the hot cross bun thing nailed when I saw your Chocolate Pani Poppo a couple of weeks back, and now your spring something possibly even better on me!! As it turned out I'm away for the weekend and did no baking, succumbing instead to some very ordinary store bought hot cross buns. I'm so blown away by these though, that I'm thinking I will have to celebrate Easter all over again next weekend when I'm at home in my own kitchen. Thanks for sharing these and hope you're having a great weekend xo

  8. April 20, 2014 / 7:20 pm

    Oh the memories of brioche, hot cross buns and all sorts of other wheat laden goodies. These look delicious. I can wallow in my imagination at least :o)

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