Recipe: Hot Cross Bun Doughnuts

Deep-Fry Your Way Into Easter


Good Friday celebrations are synonymous with hot cross buns—whether they’re slathered with  butter, topped with jam, or eaten straight out the box. But many people don’t know that the dough for hot cross buns, when made from scratch, is very similar to that of a doughnut. So naturally, we couldn’t let another year go by without finding out what would happen if you deep-fried a hot cross bun. Let’s just say it’s something you dough-not want to miss.


Hot Cross Doughnuts with Orange Glaze and Cream Cheese Crosses



For the doughnuts

½ cup raisins, rinsed and drained

½ cup sultanas, rinsed and drained

½ cup whiskey (orange juice for an alcohol-free option)

35 grams melted butter

35 grams vegetable shortening, softened

1 ½ cup lukewarm full cream milk

5 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ envelopes instant yeast

½ cup granulated sugar

1 ½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon orange zest

2 large eggs, at room temperature

½ teaspoon vanilla essence

2-3 litres vegetable oil for deep frying


For the orange glaze

1/2 cup icing sugar

1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice

3 tablespoons whole milk


For the cream cheese icing

¼ cup cream cheese

¼ cup butter, softened

1 ½ cup icing sugar


Extra raisins and sultanas for garnish



  1. Combine raisins, sultanas and whiskey (or orange juice) in a small bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit to soak.

  2. In a separate bowl, combine lukewarm milk, melted butter and shortening. Set aside.

  3. Whisk together flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt, nutmeg and orange zest in the bowl of an electric stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.

  4. With the mixer on low speed, add eggs and vanilla to the dry ingredients.

  5. Slowly add the lukewarm milk-butter-shortening mixture to the dough on low speed. Mix until a dough begins to form.

  6. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 4 to 5 minutes. The dough should be soft and sticky, but not wet. If the dough is too wet, add more flour, 1/4 cup at a time.

  7. Drain the sultanas and raisins and add to the dough. Beat on medium speed until evenly incorporated.

  8. Transfer the dough into a lightly-oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside—away from direct sunlight—and allow dough to rise for 1 hour.

  9. After one hour, turn risen dough onto a floured surface and gently form into a large ball.

  10. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to ½-inch thickness and punch rounds out using a ring cutter or the rim of a drinking glass.

  11. Transfer cut dough onto a well-floured baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

  12. Heat vegetable oil to 360°F in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Carefully drop dough into the heated oil and fry for one minute on each side, or until golden brown. Avoid overcrowding the pot to ensure even cooking.

  13. Place cooked doughnuts onto a tray lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

  14. Allow doughnuts to cool completely before glazing and decorating.

  15. Now, decorate half of the batch. In a small bowl, mix icing sugar, milk and orange juice together.

  16. Dunk half of the cooled doughnuts into glaze and top with raisins and sultanas. Set to the side.

  17. Place the cream cheese, butter and icing sugar together in a small bowl and mix until smooth.

  18. Transfer icing into a plastic bag, gathering all the frosting into the one corner of the bag and cut a small hole.

  19. Decorate the other half of your doughnuts, piping a cross onto each.


Emily Narayansingh is a Culinary Institute of America alum, cook and food blogger. She is passionate about creating custom desserts, in an effort to highlight the natural bounty and culture of Trinidad and Tobago.


Follow her on Instagram @emzieclaire or visit her website at


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