Molasses Hot Cross Buns

Servings: 12 serving(s)

Prep time: 100 minutes

Total time: 135 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Take me to the recipe

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 I can remember and they’re the bun I look forward to more than any other seasonal bread.  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 me anyway.

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

molasses hot cross buns

Everyone has their favourite Hot Cross Bun recipe I suppose, but I have a couple of favourites so this year I combined them into one with the help of a third recipe to create a new recipe for molasses hot cross buns.

(All that to say, there is no shortage of recipes for hot Cross Buns out there.)

The recipe that I grew up with is from The Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook

It’s the spicing in that recipe that I love so much.

molasses hot cross buns

I’m partial to molasses in my Hot Cross Buns too. Molasses adds lovely flavour, helps to keep the buns moist and is perfect with the spicing. We have a delicious molasses Hot Cross Bun recipe on this site, but I was in search of a bun with a little lighter texture then my other recipes and one that made a full dozen buns.

For that I turned to Rock Recipes and the ever reliable Barry Parsons for some inspiration. He has an excellent Hot Cross Bun recipe on his site.

From these three trusty sources comes this recipe for wholesome Molasses Hot Cross Buns

Always best eaten on the day they’re made.

molasses hot cross buns

Molasses Hot Cross Bun Recipe

Makes 12 buns


  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 pkg. dry yeast (1 Tbsp.)
  • 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. 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 cup icing sugar
  • 1 ½-2 Tbsp. milk

Beat together and pipe on cooled buns in a cross.

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12 thoughts on “Molasses Hot Cross Buns

  1. Nora Findlay says:

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Lynda says:

    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.

    1. Hi Lynda, Lucky you to have a hard back copy of the Laura Secord cookbook. I have lost both the front and back covers off of my spiral bound copy. It is still the most-used cookbook on my shelf.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    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.

  5. Norma Ross says:

    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

  6. Coleen says:

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

    1. Ruth says:

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

  7. Helen Boyd says:

    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”!!

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      That’s hilarious! They really do turn out that lovely, by the way.

  8. 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.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      I bet you and your family are eating well these days! Your site is such a terrific source of recipes, especially molasses recipes. Makes it so easy to share your stuff.

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