Hot Cross Buns with Lemon-Orange Frosting


This seasonal treat is full of citrus flavor. Orange and lemon zest are combined with dried fruits and incorporated into a soft and tender spiced roll. Each bun is topped off with a sweet and smooth frosting made with fresh orange juice and more flavorful lemon zest.


1 hour 45 minutes prep, 20 minutes baking, 30 minutes cooling.

1 cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon Paramount Citrus navel orange zest
1 teaspoon Paramount Citrus lemon zest
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Oil to coat the bowl and grease the baking pan

2 tablespoons fresh Paramount Citrus navel orange juice
Zest of 1 Paramount Citrus lemon
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
Paramount Citrus navel orange zest for garnish


1. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and butter on medium-low heat, until the butter melts. Transfer to a small glass bowl and allow to cool to between 105 to 115 degrees F. Stir 1 tablespoon of sugar and the yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes, until the yeast blooms.

2. Add the flour to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Turn the mixer to low and pour in the yeast. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the beaten egg.

3. Add the orange zest, lemon zest, remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix until the spices are incorporated.

4. Mix in the apricots and cranberries. The dough should come together into a ball and be firm, but still slightly sticky. If the dough is dry add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water 1 teaspoon at a time until the dough comes together and can be easily kneaded by hand.

5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for about 3 minutes, until the exterior is smooth. Roll into a ball. Place in a large bowl lightly coated in oil. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour, or until it has at least doubled in size.

6. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Knead for 1 to 2 minutes and form back into a ball. Use a dough scraper or serrated knife to cut the dough into 12 equal pieces.

7. Roll each piece of dough into a ball. Place them in a greased 8 x 11 inch baking dish. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 30 more minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

8. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the buns are browned and baked through. Let cool completely.

9. To make the frosting, place the orange juice and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Stir in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time to create a smooth, thick frosting. Stir in the salt.

10. Transfer the frosting to a pastry or cake decorating bag with a #48 decorating tube, or to a plastic zipper sealed bag with one bottom corner cut open for piping. Pipe the frosting down the center of each column of buns. Next, pipe the frosting down the center of the buns along each row creating a cross on the top of each bun. Remove the buns from the pan with a spatula and serve.