Carrot Cake Hot Cross Buns

Happy Easter, tea friends! It’s hard to believe that we’ve already made our way through to Easter 2017. Where does the time go?

After a busy week, I finally had some free time to indulge in my love of baking. I decided on making Carrot Cake Hot Cross Buns as a way to combine the yummy springtime flavors of carrot cake with the immensely satisfying experience of making yeasted bread.You’ll find the traditional addition of currants here, but then there are also carrots and carrot cake spices thrown in. The icing on the cake are crosses made with cream cheese frosting–this untraditional topping definitely takes things to the next level of delicious!

So that the fruit is moist, you’ll want to soak the currants in some hot liquid before adding them to the dough. Since I had some extra tea leftover from a fresh steep of Baxter’s Buns tea, I used it to hydrate the currants instead. The scent of this spicy, fruity tea is spot-on for echoing the flavors in the dough.You can bake these separated, but I’m partial to the stuck-together buns look. It’s nice way to showcase the criss-cross frosting pattern and also helps the buns to have a greater proportion of soft crumb to shiny crust.Today I’m pairing these buns with T2’s Baxter’s Buns tea, a black tea that tastes like Hot Cross Buns. The blend is chock full of fruit and spices–to find out more about this tea-in-bun-form check out my full review!

Carrot Cake Hot Cross Buns

Makes 12 buns.


{To Activate Yeast}

1 packet instant yeast

1/4 cup milk, warm

1/2 tsp sugar


1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temp

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp salt

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup currants, soaked in strongly steeped hot black tea for 5 minutes, then pat dry

1 cup carrots, grated

{Egg Glaze}

1 egg

1 tsp water

{Cross Frosting}

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 Tbsp powdered sugar, sifted

1/2 tsp vanilla extract


stand mixer, with hook attachment

mixing bowl

8″ x 12″ baking sheet

half sheet (or 2 quarter sheets) baking pan, greased well

plastic wrap

pastry brush

large zip bag or piping bag with tip


1. Activate the Yeast. Combine the instant yeast with the warm milk and a 1/2 tsp of sugar in a small bowl. Wait 10 minutes until it becomes frothy.

2. Make the Dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add all the wet dough ingredients and the spices. Start mixing on low speed, then add the flour a cup at a time until the mass comes together to form a dough. Scrape the sides down occasionally. Knead the dough for 10 minutes on low speed. After 10 minutes, add the currants and carrot in gently on low speed until just incorporated.

3. Let the Dough Rise. Place the dough in a greased bowl, then cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size.

4. Shape the Buns and Rise Again. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, then shape these into balls. Place on a greased baking sheet almost touching. Cover the pan with plastic wrap, and again let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size.

5. Bake the Buns. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make the egg wash by combining the egg and water in a small bowl. Brush the tops of the buns with egg wash. Bake in oven for 18-20 minutes.

6. Make and Pipe the Frosting. Combine all the frosting ingredients together in a bowl. Place the frosting in a large zip with a cut corner or a piping bag fitted with narrow tip. Pipe crosses on the buns to finish.

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