This easy extra spiced Fruit Bun recipe is made with an enriched yeasted dough that is studded with raisins, currents and mixed citrus peel. It is ideal for making hot cross buns or as is, and served for breakfast or morning tea.
For Capetonians a traditional hot cross buns recipe goes hand in hand with Cape Malay Pickled Fish, and are a staple on every table over the Easter weekend.
Easter was a time for family bonding when my parents and maternal aunts were alive. On Good Friday, Mummy Rachel always made sure that there was a selection of the best hot cross fruit buns from supermarket bakeries around the southern suburbs, because she knew how much I loved them.
My pet peeve growing up was that it was an Easter traditional bake and usually not available after Easter Monday. Nowadays there are so many varieties on supermarket shelves, and in some stores available throughout the year.
From salted caramel or chocolate to sourdough to fruit buns without raisins. Forgive my incredulity, but to me hot cross buns without raisins are nothing more than spiced bread rolls. I could however be tempted with date and ginger hot cross buns.
An important component of any fruit bun recipe is the fruit bun spice mix. Some commercial buns are very under spiced and under seasoned and I tend to like my buns extra spicy with cinnamon and mixed spice. What I love about homemade fruit buns is that it contains no preservatives, palm oil, flour improvers or flavor enhancers that are often used in commercial bakeries.
I took Cape Malay Potato Koesister recipe (Spiced doughnuts) to work one Sunday morning and one of my colleagues mentioned how the taste reminded her of hot cross buns. I tweaked the recipe slightly and added the dried fruits to make these Spiced Fruit buns. I have not tried it yet but I’m sure it would make a delicious fruit loaf as well.
How to make this extra spiced homemade fruit bun recipe
There are a few ways to make the yeasted dough for the spicy fruit bun recipe using the same ingredients. The easiest and least messy method is the first one and the one I prefer when I am impatient to break one open hot from the oven.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and knead then allow to rise.
- Mix like a brioche dough and add the soft butter after the other wet ingredients are mixed into the dry ingredients, then knead and allow to rise.
- Mix like a scone dough and rub the butter into the dry ingredients then add the wet ingredients and knead then allow to rise.
How to eat and serve fruit buns
If you are wondering how to eat these delicious buns there are quite a few options.
- In Cape Town they are traditionally eaten with the variety of fish Easter meals on Good Friday. This includes Cape Malay Pickled Fish, Fish Frikkadel (fish cakes), Fish pie or Tuna tart.
- They are best warm or at room temperature if they are fresh, with lashings of butter.
- If they are day old or older, then serve them toasted with butter and cheese or marmalade.
- The spicy fruity buns make delicious burger buns for leftover fish frikkadel with spicy chutney.
For other bread recipes check out the links below:
- Gluten Free Keto Almond Coconut bread
- Scrumptious Banana bread with self rising flour
- Easy Moist Banana Walnut bread
- Homemade Farmhouse White Bread recipe
Extra Spiced Fruit Bun recipe
- 560 grams cake flour or fine sponge flour approximately 1000 ml or 4 cups
- 10 ml cinnamon powder approximately 2 teaspoons
- 10 ml mixed spice powder approximately 2 teaspoons
- 5 ml ginger powder approximately 1 teaspoon
- 5 ml ground cardamom approximately 1 teaspoon
- 5 ml salt approximately 1 teaspoon
- 10 grams instant yeast approximately
- 60 grams fine granulated sugar approximately 80 ml or 1/3 cup
- 30 ml orange zest approximately 1 orange zest
- 60 grams butter, melted approximately 1/2 stick or 4 tablespoons
- 300 ml warm milk approximately 1 1/5 cup
- 1 egg, large
- 250 grams dried mixed fruit with citrus peel approximately 310 ml or 1 1/4 cups
- 25 grams sugar approximately 12.5 ml or 2 1/2 teaspoons
- 20 ml water approximately 4 teaspoons
Optional - Crosses (for hot cross buns)
- 90 grams cake flour approximately 160 ml or 2/3 cup
- 60 ml water approximately 1/4 cup
- 40 grams confectioners sugar approximately 2 tsp?
- Put the flour, cinnamon powder, mixed spice powder, ginger powder, cardamom powder, salt and instant yeast into a large bowl and mix with a whisk to distribute the spices.
- In another bowl or jug rub the sugar into the orange zest for a minute until it becomes fragrant and releases it's oils.
- Add the milk, egg and cooled melted butter to a jug and whisk together lightly to amalgamate.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until it forms a dough.
- Scrap down the sides to get all the dry ingredients in and add the dried fruit mix.
- Mix again until the dough comes free from the sides.
- Put the dough into a greased mixing bowl and brush the top with oil then cover and let rise in a warm draught free place for 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Portion into 12 balls and roll the balls until smooth then place in a deep baking tin that has been oiled. The tin should be 30x20x5 cm dimension. Leave to prove again for about an hour.
- Cover with a sheet of oiled cling wrap to prevent it drying while proving. You can use sunflower oil or cooking spray
Baking and glazing
- When the buns are about 10 minutes from the end of the second proving, heat the oven to 190 celcius (170 fan) / 375 F / gas mark 5.
- Place the buns in the hot oven and bake for 15 minutes then remove and let it cool a bit.
- While the buns are baking, mix the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and brush over the buns when they come out of the oven.
- Serve with fresh butter.
Optional - Crosses (for hot cross buns)
- Mix the flour, sugar and water for the crosses until smooth. It needs to have a dropping consistency that is soft enough to be piped.
- Put the mixture into a piping bag with a small tip and pipe across the buns.
- Pipe crosses over the buns after the second proving and before baking.
- You can mix this in a stand mixer with dough hook or by hand.
- The mixed dried fruit I use consists of raisins, currants and mixed citrus peel because I love the hit of citrus when I bite on it.
- If you prefer it less spicy use half the amount of cinnamon and mixed spice specified in the recipe.
- If you want to leave out the sugar glaze then brush the buns with a beaten egg before putting on the crosses and baking.
- The crosses are optional and leaving them off will not affect the taste of the buns.
Disclaimer: Nutritional information for the recipe is an approximation and varies according to the ingredients and products used.
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