These hot cross biscuits are made with spices, orange peel and raisins and are a lot like the traditional buns, but so much easier!
I have a few Easter traditions with my family, but unfortunately hot cross buns have never been one of them. It’s too bad be cause they’re sooo good! But 1) I didn’t grow up with hot cross buns and 2) they just seem like a lot of work. Since the traditional recipe uses yeast, it can take a while to make and I just haven’t taken the time.
So instead, this year I’ve made us all hot cross BISCUITS. All the flavor, with a fraction of the time. You’re welcome!
These hot cross buns are tender and flaky, with so much flavor from the cinnamon, allspice, and orange peel combo. Plus, they’re done in just 30 minutes start to finish! Which makes them ideal for Easter morning, or any morning really.
The signature cross of icing across the tops of the biscuits gives them away as an Easter treat, but if you’d like to skip it or thin the glaze out and drizzle it over the whole thing then these really would be perfect anytime!
baking tip:What's the difference between biscuits and scones
While scones and biscuits have many similarities and the line between the two is somewhat blurred, there are a few differences I have noticed.
Scones are typically richer, often made with eggs and/or heavy cream. And because of the extra liquid in the dough, scones can be denser and more cake-like, while biscuits are known for being soft and flaky. Both can be either sweet or savory, though biscuits are most known for being savory while scones are sweet.
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Hot Cross Biscuits
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (360 grams)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick, 113 grams), cold and cubed
- 1/2 cup raisins or dried currants (75 grams)
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup cold buttermilk (180 ml)
- 1 cup powdered sugar (113 grams), sifted
- 1 tablespoon milk or cream
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice.
- Add butter and cut into dry ingredients with a pastry blender or knife until butter is the size of small peas. Stir in raisins.
- Combine egg and buttermilk and pour over the cut butter mixture. Use a spatula or spoon to combine mixture, then dump out on to a clean surface and use your hands to bring it completely into a ball. It's okay if it's a little craggy.
- Roll or pat to about 1 inch thick and cut with a 2 or 3-inch glass or biscuit cutter.
- Place on the prepared sheet pan and bake until tops and bottoms are golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool while you make the icing.
- Combine powdered sugar and milk or cream to make a thick icing. It should be thick enough to hold it's shape.
- Using a spoon or pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, drop icing over the biscuits in the shape of a cross. Let icing set up before serving.