What is it about raisins? You either love ’em or you hate ’em. Some people love them baked, others only like them raw… but some recipes they just belong in, you know? This is one of them! A traditional Hot Cross Bun recipe with an adorable twist!
Yes. I know they look more like hamsters than bunnies.
Did they look like bunnies before I put them in the oven?
Yes. Look at his little adorable face! Sweet little thing! He even has a raisin for a nose! It’s so cute I just wanna nibble on it.
Diiiid I forget that these babies double in size, thus turning my bunnies into hamsters? You bet I did.
Are they frickin’ delicious? YES. These were a hit at the office. I must have brought in 20 of them and they were all gone by closing time. The microwave was going all day in 20 second bursts as people reheated them, the heavenly smell of cinnamon wafting through the air.
Okay, first step in this recipe is to scald your milk. Don’t be afraid if you’ve never done this step before! All you need to do is pour the milk in a pot and heat until it’s allllmost boiling. (Or toss it in the microwave in 30 second increments for about 2 minutes total) You’ll see steam rising from it. Scalded milk is very common in baking recipes that have spices like cinnamon, because it really helps release the flavour even before it goes in the oven.
Mix everything together, starting with all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the wet ones in another. I used the dough hook on my mixer and slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet. It should come together very easily.
It may get to a point where you have to take it out and knead it a couple of times to get it nice and smooth and elastic, but it shouldn’t need too much handling at all.
Now the fun part! Take a piece of dough about the size of the palm of your hand (you can make them smaller if you want, they’ll just need a little less time to bake). Shape it into kind of an oval for the bunny’s body. Try to make the top as smooth as possible, pulling the dough and tucking it in at the bottom.
Take your kitchen scissors, and start your cut about an inch from the front. Do not close those scissors all the way! Just pinch them until you’ve got a nice ‘ear’. This may take a little trial and error depending on your scissors. And patience. And fine motor skills.
I got this idea from a post on Pinterest that pops up now and again. I haven’t had much luck finding the original source of the recipe, since every pin takes me to a different site with the same photos! If anyone knows the ORIGINAL, I would love to give credit where it is due! Such a cute idea.
Once you’ve got your ears cut out, shape them a bit and give them a rounded tip, otherwise you’ll end up with scary-possessed looking bunnies and nooooobody wants that!
Poke those eyes in with a toothpick. Seriously, give ‘er. This dough will puff out like a dragon that lives by the sea, so make sure those are really deep.
This one was my favourite. He looks like a grumpy old man.
Set them on a baking tray with lots of room. They are going to double in size so make sure they can do that without bumping into each other.
Bake! Once they’re done, glaze them with the egg and water mixture to give them that shiny coat while they’re still warm.
And there you have it! Hot Cross Bunnies!
They turn out pretty dang adorable.
Make sure you eat the head first, like all animal-shaped food should responsibly be eaten.
- 2 cups scalded milk (soy or almond also work!)
- ½ cup sugar
- 6 Tbsp shortening
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 pkg yeast (4½ Tbsp) in ¼ cup warm water
- 6 cups flour
- 8 tsp cinnamon
- 1½ cup raisins
- ½ tsp cloves
- 1 egg mixed thoroughly with 1 Tbsp water
- Scald your milk by heating it to almost boiling, but not quite! It should be steamy. This can be done either in a pot on the stove, or in the microwave in 20 second increments for a total of about 2 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Cream the sugar and shortening in the mixing bowl with a dough hook attached.
- Mix all your wet ingredients in a mixing bowl, and all your dry ingredients in another.
- While stirring, slowly add the mixed dry ingredients in to the wet. It should come together very easily. If necessary, take the dough out and knead a couple of times to help it smooth out and become elastic.
- To make your bunnies, create oval-shaped rolls one at a time from your dough. Try to smooth them and stretch them out so that the top is flat, and any creases are hidden on the bottom.
- With a pair of scissors, start cutting the ears about an inch from one end of the roll, and keep cutting them until you get an ear shape. Do not cut all the way through to the end! Please refer to the pictures above.
- With a toothpick, poke two very deep eyes in the 'face' of your bunnies. The dough will expand, so make sure you press deeply if you want them to stay!
- Set them out on a lightly greased baking sheet. Give them lots of room, because they will double in size!
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until they're a beautiful golden brown.
- Glaze them with the egg wash to give them that beautiful shine!