Hot Cross Cinnamon Custard Bun
Updated: Apr 18, 2022
Makes 16 Buns
The air has taken a turn, it's 20 degrees, which for the UK I know is a balmy summer evening but for New Zealand, it's sweater weather. The wind might not be my best friend but with some of the sticky (unbearable) summer evenings we had this year I am so silly grateful for these cozier ones. Provided the sun is out, the autumn days feel pretty darn warm. So yeah, this little interlude between summer and winter is perfect for me. I mean, I love the warmth but no aircon in my house means I have the potential to chafe walking from the kitchen to the bedroom. Wildly upsetting.
And what holiday marks this cooler time of year? Easter of course. Which I guess I don't celebrate too much because I'm a non-Jewish atheist with a penchant for being alone with a chocolate easter egg, but this year I vowed to make my first hot cross buns. Being a kiwi food blogger and all I felt it was a pillar I needed to add to my repertoire. These hot cross cinnamon custard buns are a mash up of three desserts, a hot cross bun, a cinnamon roll, and custard. I can't take credit for the mash up exactly, my inspiration being the capricious cinnamon social slice from Ole & Steen in London. A danish bakery that showed me love in a time of cholera. Cholera being seasonal depression.
It's gooey, sweet, cinnamony, light, fluffy, hot-cross-bunny, and most of all insanely gooey. Wait I already said that. Okay but that's the main draw. It's basically the best cinnamon roll you've ever had, made with hot cross bun pastry.
2 egg yolks
1 and 1/2 tablespoons of corn flour
1/4 cup of sugar
2/3rds cup of whole milk
1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon of cold butter
350 ml of warm whole milk
20g brown sugar
3 tablespoons of dried yeast
550g of high grade flour
100g of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of cardamom
1 teaspoon of salt
120g of unsalted butter
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
150g of softened butter
150g of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
A pinch of flakey sea salt
Cream Cheese Icing
1/2 cup of cream cheese, softened
3-5 tablespoons of milk
1/3 - 1/2 cup of icing sugar
Whisk together the egg yolks until lighter in colour then whisk in the sugar. Then add the corn flour until no lumps remain.
Gently heat the milk and vanilla together until hot but not boiling over. Temper the egg yolks by pouring a small amount of milk into them and whisking vigorously until incorporated. Then whisk the rest of the milk in.
Transfer the yolk and milk mixture back into a pot and heat on a medium heat. Whisk continually until the mixture starts to thicken and reaches a slow boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cold butter.
Pour the mixture into a heat proof bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, making sure to touch the plastic to the custard to stop it from forming a skin.
Place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until completely cool.
Hot Cross Bun Pastry
Whisk together the first three ingredients until the mixture starts to fizz.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, salt, and 100g of brown sugar. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk mixture.
Use a mixer with a dough hook to mix the dough until soft and sticky.
Tip the mixture onto a bench and add the butter a little bit at a time, using your hands to mix it in. Then place the dough back into the mixer and use the dough hook to knead it for 7 minutes.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size (about an hour).
Lightly flour a clean bench and roll the dough until you get a rectangle about 1cm thick.
Mix together all of the cinnamon filling ingredients until combined then evenly spread the mixture across the pastry. Then spread the cooled custard on top of the cinnamon mixture. Roll the pastry up like a cinnamon roll then cut into even sized rolls (should make 10-12 rolls).
Place the rolls into a deep greased baking dish and cover again and leave to rise for 1-2 more hours.
Preheat your oven to 180c (bake). Brush the beaten egg over the top of the rolls and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
Mix together the cream cheese icing ingredients (adding more milk to loosen up the icing or more cream cheese/icing sugar to thicken it to your liking) then pipe it over the top in a cross pattern.
Dig in and enjoy! (For storage, keep in the fridge for up to 2 days but heat in the microwave for 20 seconds if you do this)