This easy Hot Cross Bun Bread and Butter Pudding is a spicy seasonal twist on a classic British pud. Perfect for using up a glut of Good Friday buns as a holiday Monday treat.
Hot cross bun and butter pudding
Bread and butter pudding is a wonderful traditional recipe and one that originates in the commonsense need to make the most of leftovers.
In this recipe I have substituted hot cross buns for the leftover bread. These are delicious but they don’t last that long, and with so many other treats in the house at Easter, the buns you bought for Good Friday may still be hanging around on Easter Monday.
Hot cross buns fit perfectly into a bread and butter pudding. Not only is the dried fruit is already baked into the bread, but those sweet, fragrant spices work perfectly with the egg custard.
I have taken it to the next level by adding another classic Easter treat to the eggs and hot cross buns – chocolate!
With a little vanilla extract to round things off, this is a really luxurious version of the humble bread and butter pud. It’s easily glamorous enough to grace the table for Easter dinner.
Bread and butter pudding has the advantage over other custard dishes as it is so easy to make.
There’s no messing around with a bain marie here.
You just soak the buns in the custard and leave it to cook in the oven while you get on with other things.
Why make hot cross bun bread and butter pudding
- The easiest of puddings but so delicious!
- A lovely, seasonal variation on a classic recipe
- Great for feeding larger numbers – one big dish, served family style
- An economical and tasty way to use up leftovers.
- Uses the simplest ingredients.
Hot cross bun pudding ingredients
- Hot cross buns – About 4 large, 6 small or about 300–350g. They come with lots of extra flavours these days but that’s fine.
The season for selling them has also extended way beyond Easter, so you don’t need to limit this recipe to a once a year treat, or use spiced tea cakes instead!
- Vanilla extract – Always use a good vanilla extract or vanilla seed paste, because this will ensure the best flavour. Extract is the real thing, while essence can often be synthetic.
- Butter – Regular butter, salted or unsalted.
- Cream – Double/heavy cream
- Milk – Any milk will do: full, semi or skimmed. It does not matter which you choose, so use what you keep in the house.
- Eggs – regular eggs, medium or large. The recipe is flexible enough that it doesn’t matter. If you buy small or mixed weight eggs, you might need three if they are really small.
- Sugar – I use golden caster nearly all the time for baking but you can use any sugar here. If you don’t like your puddings to be too sweet, leave it out, especially if you are going to add chocolate. There is plenty of sweetness in the other ingredients.
- Chocolate chips (optional) – Most puddings are better with chocolate, but it is definitely optional here. I have used dark chocolate, but you can use any that you have.
Chop up a bar, or bash up a leftover Easter egg if you don’t have the chips.
- Icing sugar (optional, not shown) – For a final flourish.
How to make hot cross bun bread and butter pudding
Before you start, read my step-by-step instructions, with photos, hints and tips so you can make this perfectly every time.
Scroll down for the recipe card with quantities and more tips at the bottom of the page.
Firstly put the oven on – 180C / 170C fan / Gas 4 / 350F.
Step One – Cut the buns into 2 cm chunks, or a little less than an inch.
Helen’s Fuss Free Tip
You can use slices, but I find that it is easier to cut chunks. You don’t need to butter the buns for this recipe.
A good, sharp, serrated bread knife is the easiest to use.
Step Two – Melt the butter and then use a pastry brush to butter a deep baking dish, reserve the remaining butter. Choose a dish that is about 6″ x 8″.
Next, arrange the pieces of bun in layers to fill the dish.
Step Three – Mix the cream, milk, vanilla extract, eggs and sugar in a bowl. Whisk lightly with a fork to break up the eggs and combine the ingredients.
You don’t need to be too thorough, and absolutely do not need to get the electric whisk out.
Step Four – Pour the custard mix on top of the layered hot cross buns, spreading it evenly over the dish.
Use the back of a spoon to lightly press the buns, encouraging the custard to soak in. Do this gently.
Step Five – Scatter the chocolate chips over the top and drizzle the remaining melted butter over any of the bread that is not submerged in the custard mix.
Step Six – Pop into the oven and bake for 35 minutes. When the pudding is ready, it will be fluffy, puffed up to the top of the dish and golden, with the custard set.
If not, return to the oven for a few more minutes.
Step Seven – Allow your hot cross bun bread and butter pudding to cool a little before serving. Dust it lightly with icing sugar for the finishing touch.
Serve with a jug of cream or custard, or even my easy vanilla ice cream. For a fancier dessert, you can serve with fresh berries.
- Make your hot cross bun bread and butter pudding in individual dishes.
- No hot cross buns? Use spiced tea cakes instead to make a tea cake bread and butter pudding.
- Add a tot of rum, brandy or whisky for a boozy version.
- Grate some orange zest into the cream mixture.
For best results, enjoy freshly baked whilst still warm.
Fridge – Pack any leftovers into airtight boxes and store in the fridge for 2 days. You can enjoy these cold or reheat in the microwave.
Freezer – Pack into air tight boxes and freeze for up to two months. Defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat in the microwave.
Hints and Tips
- If you want to prepare your hot cross bun bread and butter pudding ahead of time, you can assemble everything to stage 3. Cover the baking dish with cling film, and keep the custard mix in the fridge. You can also assemble the pudding and leave for an hour in the fridge before baking, so the buns soak up the custard mixture.
- Some of that fluffiness will be lost as the pudding cools. Don’t worry about it. It still tastes wonderful!
Not only are they vegetarian but the oldest recipes are vegan too. This is because they are intended to be eaten in Lent, a religious fast. The invention of hot cross buns is often attributed to a 14th century monk at the Abbey of St Albans, in the south of England. They were made to distribute to the poor of the town.
Out of season, you could use fruit teacakes instead.
No. You would do this with a traditional bread and butter pudding, but the buns are richer. Buttering the dish and drizzling any leftover butter on top is enough.
This can become confusing online because while there is a clear difference in the UK, in the US this type of custard soaked bread and butter pudding is sometimes referred to as a ‘bread pudding’ or ‘custard bread pudding’. In the UK, a traditional bread pudding is dense, very dark in colour and full of fruit and spices.
More recipes for Easter
- Creme Egg Fondue – Delicious chocolate fondue to serve with fresh fruit
- Mini Egg Blondies – Easy blondies, perfect for picnics and Easter egg hunts
- Creme Egg Brownies – Easy one bowl brownies with creme eggs
- Cadbury Creme Egg Cheesecakes – Dainty individual treats for entertaining
- Mini Egg Fudge – Crisp mini eggs in melting chocolate fudge. So easy!
- Creme Egg Fudge – Creme eggs in a classic fudge recipe.
Hot Cross Bun Bread and Butter Pudding
- 300 g hot cross buns
- 50 g butter
- 150 ml cream
- 150 ml milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (or tsp vanilla bean paste)
- 2 eggs (medium/large)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp chocolate chips (optional)
- 2 tsp icing sugar
- Cut the buns into chunks.300 g hot cross buns
- Melt the butter and then use a pastry brush to butter a deep baking dish, about 6" x 8" (reserve the rest of the butter for later) . Then arrange the pieces of bun in layers in the dish.50 g butter
- Mix the cream, milk, vanilla extract, eggs and sugar in a bowl. Whisk lightly with a fork to break up the eggs and combine the ingredients.150 ml cream, 150 ml milk, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp sugar
- Pour the custard mix on top of the layered hot cross buns, spreading it evenly over the dish. Use the back of a spoon to lightly press the buns, encouraging the custard to soak in.
- Scatter the chocolate chips over the top and drizzle the remaining melted butter overany of the bread that is not submerged in the custard mix.
- Pop into the oven ( 180C / 170C fan / Gas 4 / 350F) and bake for 35 minutes. When the pudding is ready, it will be fluffy and golden, with the custard set. If not, return to the oven for a few more minutes.2 tbsp chocolate chips
- Allow your bread and butter pudding to cool a little before you serve. Dust it lightly with icing sugar for a final flourish.2 tsp icing sugar
- This recipe is 11 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion