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Hot Cross Bun Pudding

An Easter version of Bread and Butter Pudding
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hot cross bun pudding

This lovely Easter treat uses an old-fashioned bread and butter pudding recipe to add a little magic to traditional hot cross buns.

hot cross bun pudding

Hot cross buns: first a little history

Hot cross buns.

Hot cross buns.

One a penny, two a penny.

Hot cross buns.

Remember the rhyme?

If you do, perhaps you also remember a time when Hot Cross Buns were a little more special than they seem to be today.

Today, we shake our heads and take to social media to vent our frustrations when the major supermarkets start stocking these buns from Boxing Day.

“Crazy!” we say as we watch commercialism eat away at the little buns many have long held sacred.

Indeed, these little buns date back further than Christianity.

While Christians may see the cross as representing the crucifixion of Jesus and the spices as representing the spices used to embalm him at his burial, the buns also held a certain mystique in earlier times.

Saxons, Druids, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans ate buns marked with a cross in honour of certain goddesses, with the cross representing the four quarters of the moon.

What we now know as a “traditional” hot cross bun, with the fruit and spices, is said to trace back to a 14th-century monk at the Cathedral of St Albans, who used yeast and cinnamon to create buns which were delivered to the poor.

hot cross buns for pudding

By the late 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I considered the buns so holy that they were only allowed to be sold on Good Friday, at Christmas and at burials. Outside this time, those caught baking hot cross buns would have to give all of the buns to the poor.

I wonder how the big supermarkets would react to that idea being re-introduced?

Even in the 1950s, hot cross buns retained their magic. In the picture below, a baker has made the front page of the Brisbane Telegraph two days before Good Friday in 1954 as he gets “ready for the big demand.”

baker with tray of hot cross buns

Bringing the magic back: Hot Cross Bun Pudding

So, enough history. Let’s talk about today’s Hot Cross Buns.

As we’ve already covered, they’re plentiful and available from at least Boxing Day in many countries. In some places, they’re available year round.

They’re so lovely toasted with plenty of butter, but here I’ve made them a little extra special with my Nan Mac’s Bread and Butter Pudding recipe. Instead of bread, I’ve just substituted four traditional hot cross buns.

Simply cut the buns into three pieces, with a top, middle and bottom. You then butter the pieces and arrange in a greased baking dish.

hot cross bun method

The remaining ingredients include:

  • milk powder
  • sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • boiling water
  • eggs.

Mix the remaining ingredients together and pour over your hot cross buns.

It’s then a case of placing the baking dish in a larger dish filled with 1-2cm of water and baking for half an hour.

Enjoy your pudding straight from the oven, or re-heated, with a little ice-cream. Magic!

serving of hot cross bun pudding in bowl

Nan Mac’s Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe

This recipe was written out by hand by my Dad, David, with Nan Mac dictating the recipe. Keep scrolling for the tested and tweaked version.

hot cross bun pudding recipe
hot cross bun pudding

Hot Cross Bun Pudding

An Easter version of Bread and Butter Pudding
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian
Keyword: hot cross bun pudding
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 216kcal


  • 4 hot cross buns (approx 290 grams)
  • 60 grams butter
  • 1 1/2 cup milk powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 4 eggs


  • Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees celsius.
  • Grease a medium-sized baking dish (approx 28 x 23 cm).
  • Slice hot cross bun into three pieces (top, middle, bottom) and spread each piece with butter. Layer pieces in the baking dish, using the tops as the top layer.
  • Combine remaining ingredients and whisk until frothy.
  • Pour mixture over hot cross buns.
  • Place baking dish into a larger baking dish filled with 1-2cm of water.
  • Place into oven and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Once cooked, remove from oven and serve warm with ice cream.


Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 182mg | Potassium: 352mg | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 530IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 236mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating

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Rana Hunter

Sunday 4th of April 2021

Well I doubled the recipe, didn’t quite use all the custard mix and it was really delicious. I think you probably don’t need quite as much sugar (personal preference), but the custard was beautifully smooth and this would be perfect on a cold night. Was my first time making this pudding, and whilst I was not keen to try it, I’m very glad I did. Thanks


Wednesday 14th of April 2021

Hi Rana. Sorry for the delay in replying! Seems you sorted it all out and enjoyed the pudding. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave feedback and a rating - much appreciated. Happy cooking :) Libby

Rana Hunter

Sunday 4th of April 2021

Hi Libby, am going to make today for lunch, if I double the recipe, do I need 8 eggs?? Just seems like a lot. Thanks, Rana

Suellyn Bell

Saturday 3rd of April 2021

Absolutely delicious. Made this last night using left over milk power from Christmas baking. Just had another serve cold, and it was just as yummy. Thank you Libby for another wonderful recipe.


Saturday 3rd of April 2021

So thrilled to hear this!! Enjoy Suellyn and thanks so much for leaving this lovely comment and review :)

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