Hot cross buns have experienced a bit of a welcome renaissance in recent years with people appreciating the traditional spicy mix and also enjoying tasting many of the new flavour waves that are available. Enjoying them can be as simple as warming the buns and spreading them with butter and your favourite jam. However, there are also lots of other ways you can use hot cross buns to make sweet treats and take advantage of their availability over the Easter break.
1 Hot Cross Bun Cheesecake
Grease and line a 20cm spring form cake tin. Line the base with 3 hot cross buns, sliced 2cm thick, overlapping and trimming to fit. Place500g softened cream cheese, 180g melted white chocolate, 1 tsp dissolved gelatine and 300ml thickened cream, in a bowl and beat tocombine. Spoon into the tin, smoothing the top with a pallet knife. Refrigerate for 6 hours. Dust with ground cinnamon to serve. Serves 6
2 Hot Cross Bun & Honeycomb Ice Cream
Fold 2 chopped hot cross buns, 50g crushed honeycomb into 500ml softened vanilla ice-cream. Serve immediately or freeze for 2 hours or until ready to serve. Serves 4.
3 Berry Hot Cross Bun Pudding
Place 6 hot cross buns, each sliced into three into a greased 5cm deep 1.5 litre capacity oven-proof dish. Whisk 4 eggs, ⅓ cup caster sugar, 2 cups single cream in a bowl until smooth. Pour over the hot cross buns and soak for 20 minutes. Sprinkle over 125g raspberries. Loosely cover with foil, bake for 15 minutes in a 160°C fan forced oven (180°C convectional). Uncover and bake for a further 15-20 minutes, or until custard is just set. Serves 6.
4 Pecan & Hot Cross Bun French Toast
Whisk 2 eggs, 1 tbsp caster sugar, ½ cup single cream in a large bowl. Slice 4 hot cross buns into 2cm thick slices. Working in batches, dip the hot cross buns into the egg mixture for 30 seconds. In batches, cook the French toast in a non-stick frying pan brushed with butter over medium heat for 4 minutes each side. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and drizzle with golden syrup to serve. Serves 4.
5 Apple Hot Cross Bun Crumble
Place 5 peeled and chopped green apples, 50g butter, ½ cup caster sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook over medium heat for 6 minutes until softened. Spoon into a 1.5 litre ovenproof dish. Place 2 torn hot cross buns, ⅓ cup almonds, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp self-raising flour, 30g butter in a food processor and process until roughly chopped. Sprinkle over the apple and bake in a 160°C fan forced oven (180°C convectional) for 20 minutes. Serve with ice-cream. Serves 6.
6 Hot Cross Bun Monkey Bread
Chop 4 x 1 day-old hot cross buns cut into 4cm pieces, dip in 100g melted butter and toss in ½ cup caster sugar mixed with ½ tsp ground cinnamon. Place in a well-greased 1 litre non-stick bund tin, alternating ¼ cup chopped walnuts, pressing down to fill the gaps. Pour 2 tbsp maple syrup over the bread. Bake in a 180°C fan-forced oven (200°C convectional) for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Serve with store-bought custard. Serves 6.
7 Hot Cross Bun Waffles With Syrup
Slice 4 hot cross buns in half. Dip into 2 eggs beaten with ½ cup milk, 1/4 tsp baking powder and vanilla. Cook in a lightly greased preheated waffle iron and cook for 2 minutes or until golden and crisp. Serve with whipped butter and drizzled with maple syrup. Serves 4.
8 Hot Cross Bun Bliss Balls
Place 2 torn hot cross buns, 8 fresh pitted dates, ⅓ cup desiccated coconut and 2 tbsp coconut oil in a food processor and process until fine. Roll 1 tbsp of the mixture into balls. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Melt 200g dark chocolate and mix with 1 tsp vegetable oil. Working in batches, dip the bliss balls into the chocolate, tapping off any excess chocolate. Set on a tray and refrigerate until set. Melt 50g white chocolate and decorate bliss balls with a cross. Makes 15.
9 Rice Pudding Hot Cross Bun Crisps
Place 1 cup arborio rice, 1 litre milk, ½ cup caster sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract into a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally for 20-30 minutes or until the rice is tender. Thinly slice 2 hot cross buns and roll until 3mm thick using a rolling pin. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with caster sugar. Cook in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes each side until golden and caramelised. Set aside to cool. Serve with crisps. Serves 4.
10 Hot Cross Bun Ice Cream Sandwiches
Cut 4 hot cross buns in half. Spread base of each with 1 tbsp chocolate hazelnut spread and top with 2 marshmallows. Place under the grill for 1-2 minutes until the marshmallow is starting to toast. Meanwhile, place a scoop of vanilla ice-cream onto the top half of each bun. Sandwich together and serve immediately. Serves 4.
11 Hot Cross Bun Tiramisu Loaf
Line a 10 x 20cm loaf tin with baking paper. Dip the base of 6 hot cross buns, halved into ½ cup strong coffee and line the base, trimming to fit. Dust with cocoa powder. Whisk 500g mascarpone cream, 1 cup thickened cream and ¼ cup icing sugar together. Spread over the hot cross buns and dust with cocoa powder. Dip remaining hot cross buns in remaining coffee and press onto the top. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Dust with cocoa powder, to serve. Serves 8.
12 Easter Rocky Road
Mix to combine 600g melted dark chocolate, 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Add 1 cup pretzels, 2 cups white marshmallows and 2 hot cross buns chopped. Pour into a 20cm square tin. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Mix to combine 200g melted dark chocolate with 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Pour over the rocky road and sprinkle with 1 hot cross bun, chopped, 100g small Easter eggs, ½ cup crushed pretzels. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Slice into to bars to serve. Serves 10.