These lovely spiced buns are easy to make in just a few hours.

Traditionally served on Good Friday in the UK, they are a spring treat that will fill you kitchen with yeasty, spicey aromas and are wonderful with a large pat of butter, just out of the oven.

Makes 12


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • 1/4 water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
A mixer makes this recipe easy but it can be done by hand also.


  1. Proof the yeast in two tablespoons of warm water.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, the proofed yeast, orange zest, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom at low speed until combined.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter over medium heat until a food thermometer registers 120 to 130 degrees or until the butter is melted and the milk begins to froth. With mixer at low speed, add milk mixture to flour mixture. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes. Add egg and egg yolk; beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Gradually add remaining 2 1/2 cups flour, beating until a soft dough forms.
  4. Using the dough hook attachment, beat at medium-low speed until dough is smooth but sticky… about 8 minutes.
  5. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes.
Before rise
After rise

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch dough down; turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 12 pieces. Shape each into a ball and place 2 inches apart of prepared pan.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To make the crosses

For topping, in a small bowl, whisk together flour, 1/4 cup water and oil until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small round pastry tip. Pipe a cross over each bun.

Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. While baking prepare the glaze.

Mix 1/4 water and 1/4 sugar in a small pan until just boiling. Brush the glaze on the buns. Serve warm!