by Gordon Neale, Chef at Audleys Wood Hotel

I am Gordon Neale, Chef at Audleys Wood Hotel. With Easter just around the corner, the usual traditions are around. I love hot cross buns and sometimes it is good to change things up a little, which is why I created this new recipe of Apple and Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns.

I hope you enjoy creating this recipe to impress your family and friends this Easter!


Makes 12 large buns


For the buns

  • 1 tbsp dried yeast, active
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 125ml  water, warm
  • 350g strong white flour
  • 100g strong wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 150g semi-dried apple (diced)
  • 125ml milk, warm
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the cross paste

  • 4 tbsp flour, white but unbleached
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2tbsp water, cold

For the glaze

  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp milk to make an egg wash
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water 


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Combine the dried yeast and sugar in a bowl, then whisk in the warm water. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for approximately 10-15 minutes, until frothy. 
  3. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl, and then mix in salt, sugar, cinnamon and apple.
  4. Create a well in the middle of the ingredients and use your hands to mix in the frothy yeast mixture. Mix well to form a sticky dough.
  5. Grease a bowl with a little oil and add the ball of dough, top the bowl with cling film and allow to prove in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. 
  6. Again, lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Knead gently, then roll into a long sausage-shape. Split into 12 even pieces, using a scale for accuracy. Roll each piece of dough into a ball. 
  7. Arrange the balls on a lined baking tray, spacing out so they are close but not touching. Set aside until doubled in size for 45 minutes in a warm place. 
  8. For the paste, simply mix together the water, flour and sugar until smooth. Add to a piping bag with a thin, plain nozzle. 
  9. To make the egg wash, beat together the milk and egg yolk. 
  10. When the buns have finished proving, use a blunt knife to make a cross-shaped indentation on each one. Use a pastry brush to coat with egg wash, then pipe the crosses into the indentations. 
  11. Bake the buns for 20 mins until they are nicely golden and sound hollow when tapped. 
  12. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Add the sugar and water to a pan and dissolve over a low heat. As soon as the buns are ready, remove from the oven and brush over the glaze. Allow to cool on a wire rack before eating.