Make Hot Cross Buns as you will find them at Macdonald Compleat Angler in Marlow

Macdonald Compleat Angler shares recipe for delicious hot cross buns

Nothing signals Easter quite like the smell of freshly baked hot cross buns, and ahead of the holiday weekend, Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel in the Buckinghamshire town of Marlow, is sharing its recipe for the classic golden treat.

Crafted by new head chef Kevin John Barrett, who joined the stunning riverside hotel in February 2018, with this simple step-by-step guide guests can whisk up a batch from the comfort of their own kitchen.

If you would rather leave the baking to the professionals, then Macdonald Compleat Angler offers an elegant, peaceful location, where you can tuck into the spiced delicacy, while basking in spring sun as it shines through large windows, and enjoying sights of the River Thames as it flows by.

The two AA Rosette awarded Riverside Restaurant will be serving hot cross buns from March onwards which guests can enjoy alongside a hot cup of coffee or a chilled glass of Champagne.


For a dozen buns

500grams strong white flour (plus extra for dusting)

10grams salt

75grams caster sugar

10grams instant yeast

40grams unsalted butter (soft)

2medium eggs (beaten)

120mls warm full-fat milk

120mls cool water

150grams sultanas

80grams chopped mixed orange peel

2eaoranges (finely zested)

1eaBramley apple (peeled, cored & diced)

2tsp ground cinnamon

For the crosses

75grams plain flour

75mls water

75grams apricot jam



For the buns

Step 1 Put the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the butter, eggs, milk and half the water and turn the mixture round with your fingers.

Step 2 Continue to add the water, a little at a time, until you’ve picked up all the flour from the sides of the bowl. (You want dough that is soft, but not soggy)

Step 3 Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead. Keep kneading for 5-10 minutes. Work through the initial wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin.

Step 4 When your dough feels smooth and silky, put it into a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until at least double in size. This will take a minimum of 1 hour, but it’s fine to leave it for 2 or even 3 hours.

Step 5 Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and scatter the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and cinnamon on top. Knead in until evenly incorporated. Cover and leave to rise for a further hour.

Step 6 Fold the dough inwards repeatedly until all the air is knocked out. Divide into 12 pieces and roll into balls. Place, fairly close together, on 1 or 2 baking trays lined with baking parchment or silicone paper.

Step 7 Put each tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to rest for 1 hour, or until the dough is at least doubled in size and springs back quickly if you prod it lightly with your finger. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 220°C.

For the crosses

Step 1 Mix the flour and water to a paste. Using a piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle, pipe crosses on the buns. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Warm the apricot jam with a splash of water, sieve and brush over the tops of the warm buns to glaze. Cool on a wire rack.

For more information on the Macdonald Compleat Angler, visit