Hot Cross Donuts

Hot Cross Donuts | The Sugar Hit


I did it! I finally did it! I couldn’t stand letting another year go by without finding out what would happen if you deep fried a hot cross bun.


You know, I’m really kicking myself for waiting this long.


Hot Cross Donuts | The Sugar Hit


It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that a pillowy soft bun would make a delicious, pillowy soft donut? And what could be better than tossing said bun-donut into a sand-dune of cinnamon sugar and then filling it with tangy raspberry jam?


Nothing. Nothing could be better.


Hot Cross Donuts | The Sugar Hit


These are actually really easy to make, too. One bowl and a wooden spoon did the job just fine for me. The only slightly fraught part is the deep frying. My best advice when working with hot oil it two fold; 1) don’t be scared, and 2) use your common sense.


Of course, if you have a deep frying machine this is the perfect time to use it! If you, like me, are too scared of what might happen if you let an actual deep fryer into your house, then just grab a nice, high sided pan, fill it with a couple of inches of oil, and make sure you use one of the back burners on your stove.


Hot Cross Donuts | The Sugar Hit


If you are going ANYWHERE for Easter – to a brunch, to a breakfast, to a lunch, to your grandma’s – then this is what you should bring with you. It’s traditional enough that people will totally get it, but different enough that they will be totally intrigued.


Plus they’re donuts. When is it ever a bad idea to bring donuts? Happy Easter, all you Easter celebrators out there!


xx Sarah.

Hot Cross Donuts | The Sugar Hit


Hot Cross Donuts
Exactly what you think they are.
Serves: 6
For the dough:
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • ½ cup (125ml) milk, warmed
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp flavourless oil
  • 1 + ¼ cup (185g) plain flour
  • ½ cup mixed dried fruit
  • oil, for frying
For the cross:
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
To Serve:
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup raspberry jam
  1. To make the dough, dissolved the yeast in the warm milk, and then combine all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Stir everything together with a wooden spoon until a stiff dough forms.
  2. Knead the dough briefly, just until it feels springy and firm, and then place the dough back in the bowl, cover it with plastic and leave it to rise for an hour.
  3. Once the dough has risen, knock it down and divide into six donuts, place them on a lined baking tray, and set aside again for an hour.
  4. Meanwhile, make the mix for the crosses by placing the flour in a small bowl, and slowly stirring in enough water to make a thick paste.
  5. Once the donuts are risen, either pipe or spoon over the flour paste to make the crosses on the buns.
  6. Preheat at least 2 + ½ inches of oil in a deep pan to 375F/180C. Carefully fry the donuts one or two at a time (depending on the size of your pan), for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  7. Set the donuts onto a cake rack to drain and cool slightly while you cook the rest.
  8. Place the sugar and cinnamon into a shallow bowl, stir them together, and once the donuts are cool enough to handle, toss them in the sugar to coat them well.
  9. Using a piping bag with a fine tip, fill the donuts with jam. Push the piping tip into the side of each donut and squeeze just until the donut feels slightly heavy.



  1. These look fantastic sarah! I too am afraid of what would happen if i bought a deep fryer. I’m afraid that I would deep fry everything :)

  2. These look incredible! What a great idea to make a donut out of something that already has such a light and airy texture. I have to admit that I’ve never tried making “real” donuts (always stick with the baked variety). But your recipe might be the final push to get me to try deep frying!


    We’re going out for brunch for Easter but I may have to smuggle some of these in my purse as a pre-game and post-game snack.

    • Sounds like a great game plan!

  4. I’ve seen about a thousand recipes for Hot Cross Buns over the last week but this is the first to knock my socks off! I’ve never actually had a hot cross bun…but I’m a sucker for raspberry filling – Perfection!

  5. These are awesome. I’ve never made hot cross buns before but I am always tempted to. I’ve gotta say though making them into donuts makes them sound 100 times more tempting. : )

  6. “Sand dune of cinnamon sugar” <– that is brilliant my friend.
    I went to a deep frying cooking class and I am still terrified…hehe. I should probably get over that seeing as I LOOOOVE doughnuts!

  7. I completely love and get your logic on this one.. It’s genius. Anything that’s a bun must be an amazing doughnut. Gorgeous!

  8. My god why hasn’t this been done before???????? Jesus they look tasty!

    FoodNerd x

  9. I mean…doughnuts are always a yes.

  10. Okay woman you need to get outta here RIGHT NOW. I think I gained 10 pounds just from looking at these. And I don’t mind. You’re a GENIUS.

  11. Brilliant idea! Deep frying scares me to death….. But maybe now is the time to throw caution to the wind?!

  12. these look pretty freaking awesome.
    My nana would love em, too :)

  13. Haha, I am definitely one of those people who shouldn’t have a deep fryer in the house. It’s already enough of a temptation knowing I have vegetable oil nearby, it I had a fryer all bets would be off. Deep fried cold cereal? Don’t mind if I do!

  14. Okay, so i’ve tried the lemon donuts, the brown butter chocolate cookies and the brown butter brioche so far all have been a giant success. I’m really enjoying you site, I hope you don’t take offence when I say I love the simplicity. The photos are clear, the text isn’t too short or too long and then the recipes are super clearly laid out. If all food blogs were this good, i’d be 20 times the weight.

    I’m off to make the donuts for easter weekend, i’m sure they will be a hit.

    • No, Jess no offense at all! In fact, it really meant a lot to me that you said that! Simplicity is totally overrated, and it’s what I’m always aiming for – trying to make life a little tastier and a little easier! Thank you so much for your lovely comment.

  15. These looks super delicious! I came across your recipe after I made hot cross doughnut holes on my site and even though I just ate like 19, I’m going to have to turn around and whip these up! Love the raspberry filling idea.

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