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Apricot Hot Cross Buns Loaf

Apricot Hot Cross Buns Loaf made with orange zest, cinnamon, cardamom, and dried apricots. Delicious Easter Bread Recipe twist on a classic!
Course Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine British
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rising Time 2 hours
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Author Jenn



  • 1 Cup (128 g) All Purpose Flour
  • 1 ¼ Cups (160 g) Bread Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Orange Zest
  • ¼ Cup (50 g) Light Brown Sugar lightly packed
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground Cardamom
  • ¼ tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 Cup (250 ml) Milk warm
  • 2 ¼ tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter melted and cooled
  • 1 Cup (190 g) Dried Apricots chopped into small chunks

Egg Wash

  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 tsp Water


  • Cup (42 g) All Purpose Flour
  • 4-5 Tbsp Water
  • 2 Tbsp Orange Juice


  • ¼ Cup Apricot Jam
  • 2 Tbsp Honey


  • In large bowl, hand whisk together flours, salt, spices, orange zest, and sugar. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of stand mixer add yeast and warm milk. Stir gently and let sit for about 10 minutes until frothy.
  • Pour melted butter, vanilla, and lightly beaten eggs into yeast mixture. Mix on low with paddle attachment until incorporated.
  • Switch to dough hook.
  • On medium low speed, slowly spoon in flour mixture.
  • Once the entire flour mixture is added, increase speed to medium and beat dough for 5-8 minutes.
  • Dough should cling to hook and have a smooth slightly sticky texture.
  • (If too dry add a Tbsp of milk, or if too wet add a Tbsp of All Purpose Flour.)
  • Remove dough and place in a lightly floured large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm draft free location until doubled in size. ( 1 hr)
  • Remove dough from bowl and place on lightly floured surface.
  • Punch down excess air with hands.
  • Fold in dried apricots.
  • Weigh and divide dough into 16 even pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a round ball by cupping your hand and vigorously rolling in a circle until smooth.
  • Lightly spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with baking spray.
  • Set dough balls in a row of eight on the bottom of pan.
  • Lightly coat tops and sides with egg wash.
  • Place second layer of eight dough balls on top.
  • Lightly coat tops and sides with egg wash.
  • Loosely cover with a tea towel and let puff until slightly risen over edge of pan. ( 30 min-1 hr) Top layer should only be about ½ inch over rim.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F (190 C).
  • Make piping paste. Whisk together flour, water, and orange juice until a thick paste is formed. Add more flour to thicken and more water to thin.
  • Transfer to a piping bag and cut desired size for piping.
  • Pipe lines across loaf to form crosses. (*see tips in post)
  • Bake on lowest rack for 15 minutes. Then loosely cover with a tent of aluminum foil.
  • Continue baking for additional 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Loaf should sound hollow when tapped from the bottom. (simply hold pan with oven mit, and tip loaf out. Tap and listen and the either remove and place on cooling rack or bake another 5 minutes.
  • Let loaf cool on rack for 5-10 minutes.
  • Warm apricot jam slightly and stir in honey with a fork.
  • Brush jam glaze generously over loaf.
  • Slice and serve.