Recipe: A hot cross bun with a difference

hot cross buns

Try this interesting twist on hot cross buns - Credit:

Somerset chef Steve James has come up with a simple twist on a classic spring treat

Hot cross blondies

Makes 9


  • 250g cold unsalted butter, cut into 6–8 pieces
  • 275g light soft brown sugar
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 300g plain flour
  • Zest 1 orange
  • 2tsps mixed spice
  • 50g mixed dried fruit soaked in 3tbsp of brandy or apple juice overnight

SUBSCRIBE to Somerset Life for the best food news and recipes from across the county


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C fan and grease and line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Stir in the sugar and cook for a couple of minutes until smooth and glossy. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Beat the eggs, vanilla and salt together in a large bowl. Then whisk in the butter and sugar mixture and the flour, orange zest and mixed spice until smooth.
  4. Fold through the soaked, mixed dried fruit and pour the batter into the prepared tin.
  5. Mix together the flour and water for the cross until smooth. Pour into a piping bag, or use a spoon, and pipe three lines, evenly spaced horizontally and vertically so you when you cut the blondies you get a cross in each one.
  6. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. It should be set but with a slight wobble in the middle.
  7. Remove the blondies from the oven and cool completely, preferably overnight.
  8. Slice into nine squares and serve.

Steve James is a personal chef and owner of