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Hot Cross Semlor

Hot Cross Semlor, the end and also start of my bun journey. As the time of year approached to make Hot Cross Buns, my mind started to wander. Whilst I enjoy these spiced delights, I wondered if there were other ways we could enjoy them, other than toasted. Inspired by the wonderful Princess Semlor made by Scandikitchen, I asked myself, could we learn from our Scandinavian friends? And so this is how I got to my recipe for Hot Cross Semlor.

Makes 12

Hands-on Time 1 hour (plus overnight for soaking the fruit)

Proving Time +2 hours

Baking Time 12-15 minutes


100g Marzipan

3-5 tbsp Full-fat milk

400ml Whipping Cream

3-4 tbsp Icing sugar


Wire rack

Serrated knife

Mixing bowl



Large mixing bowl



Piping bag and star shaped nozzle

Small sieve

Preheat the oven to 210°C/190°C(Fan)/410°F/Gas mark 7.

Make and shape the Hot Cross Buns as detailed here. Ensure you leave ample space between the buns when putting them on the baking sheets.

After you have brushed the buns with the egg wash, leave them to stand for 10 minutes. Be sure not to pipe the crosses before reading the following steps first.

Mix up the paste as instructed in the Hot Cross Bun recipe, and spoon into a piping bag, snipping off the end to make a 5mm hole.

Instead of piping big crosses over buns which go down the sides, you want to aim to pipe small crosses just on the tops.

Place one tray onto a middle shelf in the oven, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until a deep golden colour.

Remove and transfer the buns to the wire rack.

Repeat with the second batch.

Leave the buns to cool before starting on the filling.

You'll need to slice the tops of the buns off. It's best to cut across using a serrated knife, about 1/3 down. I use the ends of the crosses as a guide.

Once you've removed the top, you then need to cut out the inside core of the bun. Be sure you don't slice through the bottom of the bun.

Use your hands to remove some of the insides you can't cut out using the knife.

Place all of the cuttings from the middle of the bun into a mixing bowl.

Repeat this with all of the other buns.

Crumble the marzipan into small pieces over the bun trimmings.

Add 3 tbsp of milk and start mashing together with a fork. Continue until you have a thick porridge-like paste.

You may need to add more milk, do so one tablespoon at a time, to achieve the desired consistency.

Spoon the filling into the hollowed out buns.

Pour the whipping cream into the large bowl and add 2 tbsp of icing sugar.

Whisk until thick and fairly stiff.

Be careful not to over-whip, you're not making butter!

Spoon into the prepared piping bag using a spatula.

Pipe the cream from the middle, going outwards, in a circular motion. Be generous with the size of the cream swirls.

If you want, you can trim the tops of the buns into squares or triangles before placing them on top of the cream, otherwise them back on as they are.

Using the sieve, dust the buns with the remaining icing sugar.

For the extra touch, run a clean finger over the crosses, removing the sugar so you can make out the Xs.


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