Seasonal, Sweet Treats, Yummy Recipes

Easter Bun Cupcakes: Because Kneading Dough is a Pain in the Behind

{ Updated version from 2019 with Gluten and Dairy Free Options can be found here }

I spent a large portion of today kneading dough for Hot Cross Buns.  It occurred to me half way through the second painful “waiting for the dough to rise”  period that very few people have this much time on their hands.  I’m very lucky to not need to work outside the home and if baking something is going to take a total of 2 or more hours then I’m probably one of the lucky few that can fit that in on a weekday (if it’s not their profession of course).

I had a light bulb moment as I stood chained to the kitchen.  Ahead of me was 20 minutes of waiting on the rising dough and  30+ minutes of cleaning the flour off  the benches, roof and floor (mess just seems to explode around me).  Wouldn’t a hot cross bun inspired cup cake be way more manageable for not only future me (hello next Easter) but other women (and men) who have their plates full with work and other commitments?  So many people just couldn’t be bothered kneading the heck out of dough for the small reward of 16 measly hot cross buns and who can blame them?

Quick and easy sounds like a win-win to me so instead of tackling the disaster that is my kitchen benches, I decided to experiment with combining the Hot Cross Bun ingredients I had out and my stock standard cupcake recipe.

I am pleased and surprised to report that it totally worked out.  Instead of sharing the Hot Cross Bun recipe I was planning to blog  I have these yummy (and quick) Hot Cross Bun inspired cupcakes to share.

Easter Bun Cupcakes




  • 2 cups of Plain/All Purpose Flour
  • 3 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp of Salt
  • 1/4 cup of Caster Sugar (you can use regular sugar if you don’t have any caster/superfine sugar in the cupboard)
  • 1/2 tsp of Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of Ground Ginger
  • 2 tsp of Ground Mixed Spice
  • 1/2 cup of Butter, softened
  • 1 and a 1/2 cups of Dried Fruit (sultanas, raisins and currants, or alternately dried cranberries, goji berries, blueberries etc work too)
  • 1/4 cup of Milk
  • 3 Eggs

For Frosting Crosses (optional)

  • 1 cup of Icing/Confectioners Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 1-2 dessert spoons of Milk



Pre-heat your oven to 180 C/350 F and either line a muffin tin with cupcake papers or use a non-stick bun tin (the shallow ones used for fruit mince pies and patty cakes, here’s an example).   This recipe makes 18 small buns or 12-15 cupcakes

1/ In a large bowl beat the softened butter and caster (super-fine) sugar until smooth

2/ Add the eggs and beat until combined

3/ Sift into the butter mixture; the self-raising flour, baking powder, salt, spices and the dried fruit.  Fold in until combined

4/ Stir in the 1/4 cup of milk

 5/ Fill your bun tins almost to the top (about an ice cream scoop’s worth) or the cupcake papers 2/3rd’s full

6/ Bake for 10-15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean

Leave to cool on a wire rack and prepare the frosting if you’re planning to use it

The easiest way to make you’re crosses is to prepare your frosting/icing in a  tall ziplock bag (or divide between two smaller bags).  Place the cup of icing (confectioners) sugar, 1/2 tsp of vanilla and 1-2 dessert spoons of milk in the bag , force out most of the air and seal.  Gently knead until combined and you’re left with a thick paste like frosting.  Push the frosting toward one corner so you can use your baggy as a piping bag

Snip the corner of the ziplock bag and test the consistency on a plate before piping the crosses onto your cooled cakes

You could add food colouring to your icing to pretty it up.  I think this frosting is cheap and easy enough that you could make a few batches in different colours or flavours.  Yum!


I’ll start my Hot Cross Buns post now so stay tuned if you’d like to give them a go.  They’re not difficult to make just time consuming (eek!).

11 thoughts on “Easter Bun Cupcakes: Because Kneading Dough is a Pain in the Behind”

    1. Thanks Lucy. We may have snuck in a few “tastings” before Good Friday…just to be sure they passed the kid and grown up test and in the interest of quality blogging, I swears 😉

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment!


    1. lol, thanks Kim. Glad to have wafted some fruity deliciousness over to your side of the pond! nom nom nom! Now I just need to stop eating them or the kids are going to be pissed when they get up in the morning to discover a bare plate of crumbs.


  1. Amazing Jen!! I would have never thought of doing this! They look even better than yeast dough buns! I’ve been purchasing them from the grocery store. Homemade is so much better!


    1. Thanks hun 🙂 Grocery store is so much easier though! You’re right home made is always special and the smell whilst your baking just can’t be done without doing the actual baking (dangit!).


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