Hot cross bun cupcakes

These cakes have all the fruit and spice of the traditional bun but are quicker to make. Finish with spiced cream cheese frosting crosses

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:20 mins
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 360
  • fat 22g
  • saturates 11g
  • carbs 36g
  • sugars 26g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 6g
  • salt 0.4g


  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 175g light soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 3 large eggs, beaten, at room temperature
  • zest ¾ orange
  • 100g raisins, sultanas or a mix of both
  • 1 medium eating apple, peeled then grated
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam, warmed with a splash of water
  • zest ¼ orange
  • 50g full-fat cream cheese
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 25g butter, softened
  • ¼ tsp mixed spice


Transferring your cake mixture

Use an ice cream scoop to transfer the runny mix to the tin. It’s quicker and easier than using a spoon.


  1. Combine the lemon juice and milk in a large jug, and set aside for 5 mins. Meanwhile, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and melt the butter in a saucepan. Use a little of the butter to grease a 12-hole muffin tin.

  2. Put the flour, baking powder, sugar, spice, almonds and a pinch of salt into a large bowl, then sift through it with your fingers to squash any lumps of sugar. Beat the eggs, zest and melted butter into the thickened milk. Pour this into the dry ingredients, then beat with a balloon whisk until even. Stir in the dried fruit and apple, scoop mix into the tin (the holes will be full; see tip below), then bake for 18-20 mins until golden and well risen. Cool for 10 mins in the tin, then remove to a rack.

  3. When the buns are cold, cut a cross from the top of each one using a serrated knife, then brush the tops with the apricot jam. For the spiced buttercream, beat everything together until creamy and pale. Pipe the buttercream into the crosses. Alternatively, simply glaze the buns and pipe crosses across the tops.

Suggested recipes from this collection...