molasses hot cross buns

Molasses Hot Cross Buns

Molasses adds a lovely flavour to hot cross buns. It helps to keep the buns moist & is the perfect complement to cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves, the traditional spices for this seasonal treat. 

Hot Cross Buns have been a Good Friday treat for as long as we can remember. The dough and spicing are delicious but like all great seasonal food, the pleasure is as much in the tradition as the taste.

That’s the magic, for us anyway.

We eat them fresh, on the day they’re made, and that’s it for another year.

molasses hot cross buns

Molasses Hot Cross Buns

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Molasses hot cross buns are beautifully spiced, get sweet flavour from the molasses and are lovely and light.

  • Author: Crosby’s Molasses
  • Yield: Makes 12 buns 1x


  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup. soft butter
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp. water


  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 ½2 Tbsp. milk


  1. Heat milk to lukewarm in a saucepan, remove from heat, pour into a large bowl and add 1 tsp. sugar & yeast.
  2. In another bowl combine the flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, salt and spices.
  3. Add butter to milk mixture then molasses. Whisk in egg and egg white.
  4. Add about ¾ of flour mixture to milk mixture and stir until combined.
  5. Scrape dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead in remaining flour mixture then currants. Knead for 5-10 minutes, adding additional flour as required. (Take care not to add too much extra flour).
  6. Place dough in an oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with a clean dish towel and let rise until double (about 1 1/2 hours).
  7. Punch down, let rest for 5 minutes then divide dough into 12 balls. (pull the top of each ball down and pinch to seal.)
  8. Line a 9”x13” pan with parchment paper and arrange dough balls in the pan so they’re evenly spaced.
  9. Cover and let rise until double.
  10. Preheat oven to 350 F
  11. Just before baking whisk egg yolk and water and gently brush on tops of buns.
  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes.


  1. Beat together and pipe on cooled buns in a cross.


Slightly adapted from The Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook

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molasses hot cross buns



  • March 28, 2022

    Laura lee labour

    Is this one package of yeast plus 1 tbsp ?

    • March 28, 2022

      Crosby Molasses

      Hello Laura, looks like we need to fix the ingredient list on that recipe. Thanks for pointing it out. I recommend you use 1 tablespoon active dry yeast. -Marie at Crosby’s Kitchen

    • March 31, 2023


      It says I tbsp, it equals I pk

  • March 29, 2021


    This is a great recipe. Whatever you do, don’t replace the flour with gluten free flour or you will end up with very dry rocks! Second time using the recipe I used regular flour and they turned out great!

  • March 25, 2021


    I’d like a recipe for the hot cross buns to serve 6…..just my hubby and I, both seniors. To many for us to eat in one day……lol…..

  • April 10, 2020

    Thanks for the shout out Bridget! I will try the addition of molasses as well. Sounds delicious.
    All the best to you and yours this Easter. All the best and stay well, Barry.

  • April 6, 2020

    Helen Boyd

    Did you buy them at the Superstore and take a picture and post it? Or do they really look like that? I am going to try them for sure. My nephew called them “Jesus Christ Buns” when he was young. He knew it had something to do with Easter but that was all he could come up with. To this day his mom, my sister still calls them “Jesus Christ Buns”!!

  • March 26, 2018


    Yumm, I haven’t made Hot Cross buns in many years. I love them so they are dangerous to have in my house. I wonder if I can make them and give them away or at least most of them. ;)
    Thank you for the wonderful recipes; they appeal to the heartiness of the Maritimes.

  • April 5, 2017


    Will the recipe still work if doubled? Need to make enough to feed a large family!!!

    • April 15, 2017


      I just doubled it and it worked just fine! My daughter loathes currants and raisins so I used candied peel instead. Yummmmm?

  • March 23, 2016

    Norma Ross

    Bridget, Just wanted to tell you that I really appreciate you sending me such delicious recipes. Can’t wait to bake the Molasses Hot Cross Buns.

    Best Regards, Norma Ross

  • March 23, 2016


    I have an old Crosby’s Cookbook that belonged to my mother. It’s battered with age and the pages have turned brown, but I use it constantly. Also love your recipes and look forward to new ones to try. Just copied the Molasses Hot Cross Buns for Good Friday and I know they will be a big hit.

  • April 1, 2015


    I own a hard back copy of “The Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook”. I have used many recipes from this cookbook. It belonged to my Mom. It as seen better days. I first used it back in high school, maybe 1981.(but my Mom use it before that) I had to come up with a meal for my Home Ec. Class. A full meal with guests. All of the recipes came from this cook book.

    I love hot cross buns and will add your recipe to my own binder book of recipes.
    I also take favourite recipes two or three or even 4 and use the best part of them to make my new favourite.

    I use Molasses. It is a staple in my cupboard.

  • March 25, 2015

    These remind me of my mother! Hot cross buns are one of her most favourite treats. I have strong aversion to currants (my mother loves them), and though I don’t normally like raisins, I don’t mind them in hot cross buns, so that’s how she makes ’em when I’m coming over. That’s love, I say. True love gives up currants.

  • March 24, 2015

    Nora Findlay

    They look lovely and will probably taste delicious but I printed the recipe and go t”6: pages instead of just the recipe.
    The top of each page was doubled with other parts on the page so I guess I will just have to copy down the recipe by hand. This has happened before when trying to copy your recipes. It does not happen on other sites.

    • February 14, 2021

      I had like problems with printing.
      It took too much time and I gave up.
      Crosbys’ you need to re-design your website.
      I want a hugh print button to the right side.
      I am 65 years old and doing virtual school with my twin grandchildren. They fight sometimes. I thought we would make the buns and I would tell them my mother made these for me when I was a young child.
      I need the option of making the print bigger because my reading glasses get sticky.

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