Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Hot Cross Buns Muffins and a Book Review #BreadBakers

These delicious muffins filled with warm spices and dried fruits and crossed with a citrus glaze will make a great addition to your Easter Brunch.

Hot Cross Muffins

The Bread Bakers are sharing Easter Breads today......
Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen is hosting today and asked us to cook up bread that contain carrots or celebrate Easter for those of us who are Christian.

I am Catholic and Hot Cross Buns are a staple at Easter, normally eaten on Good Friday the first day of the Triduum that celebrates the resurrection of Christ after his death by crucifixion.  

I am considered a cradle Catholic, that is the name that we give to those of us who were born to parents who practiced Catholicism and had us baptized into the faith as infants.  Such is the case of the protagonist in a novel I just finished.

Sam Hell

This novel follows the life of Samuel Hill who was born to a very devout Catholic mother and a father who scorned "Christmas Catholics", a name we provide to those who only attend Mass on Christmas and Easter.

Samuel was born with Ocular Albinism, he had red pupils.  The first 6 years of his life are pretty unremarkable, other than the stares and occasional questions which his mother quickly answers telling those who ask that God had made Sam extraordinary.

Samuel's mother believes Sam was chosen by God for something special and would not consider any school other than a catholic school for her son.  When he is refused admittance by the principal of their parish school, she goes to the first battle of the war she is to wage on behalf of her son for most of his childhood.

You would like to believe that going to a Christian school would offer less bullying and more kindness following the requirements of the Gospel.  Those of us who have attended Catholic school can assure you that kids are kids, regardless of what school they attend, and bullying is prevalent against anyone who is not the "norm".  

Samuel learns to deal with the bullying and makes two dear friends who remain with him throughout his life.  Samuel like many of us, leaves the Catholic church for a while not understanding the things that occur that his mother calls "God's will".  

We follow him on his journey as he becomes a successful adult, a kind, brave, Christian person. A caregiver as his father suffers a stroke during his senior year of high school and his mother suffers from cancer later in his life.  

Hot Cross Muffins

His father needs care 24/7 and he and his mom are forced to put him into a nursing facility.  His mother goes to spend each day with his father, the love of her life and often brings muffins or cookies to the staff.  This is only one example of the plethora of food inspiration in this novel.  I thought that these Easter Muffins may very well be something she would have made to share with them.

I just want to say that this novel just took first place as my favorite read of the year and these muffins have that honor as the best so far this year as well.

Hot Cross Muffins

Let's take a look at what breads the others have baked up today........

Breads, Muffins, Easter, Holidays,
Yield: 12 muffins
Author: Wendy Klik
Hot Cross Buns Muffins

Hot Cross Buns Muffins

These delicious muffins filled with warm spices and dried fruits and crossed with a citrus glaze will make a great addition to your Easter Brunch.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 35 Min


  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 2 T. + 2 t. orange juice, divided
  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1 t. cinnamon (I used cinnasational spice mix)
  • 1 t. allspice
  • large pinch of salt
  • small pinch of cloves
  • 1/2 c. chopped candied orange peel
  • 1/2 c. chopped dried apricots
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 1 c. milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 2 T. butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2/3 c. sifted powdered sugar


  1. Place the raisins and 2 Tablespoons of the orange juice in a small bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and clove in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and set aside.
  3. In a large measuring cup combine the milk, oil, vanilla, and butter then stir in the egg. Pour this mixture into the well of dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.
  4. Stir in the raisins and any liquid remaining, orange peel and apricots.
  5. Divide between 12 muffin cups that have been treated with baking spray and bake in a preheated 350* oven for about 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted removes cleanly. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Whisk together the remaining 2 teaspoons of orange juice with the powdered sugar. Drizzle in a cross shape over the cooled muffins and serve.


Adapted from a recipe found at Food.com

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

7.9 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

2.09 g

Carbs (grams)

46.87 g

Fiber (grams)

1.57 g

Net carbs

45.28 g

Sugar (grams)

26.87 g

Protein (grams)

3.42 g

Sodium (milligrams)

146.78 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

21.17 mg


  1. That sounds like such and interesting book and a great inspiration for your muffins! I've never heard the term cradle Catholic!

  2. How fascinating, it sounds like a good read. And the muffins sound and look amazing!

  3. Love these hot cross buns muffins I am planning to make some. Great for Easter breakfast.

  4. Wendy, the story really touched. How beautifully you have woven the story and the novel together. The buns look delicious.

  5. I love the muffins and the novel. Definitely putting it on my to read list

  6. I jumped to the recipe because I just started reading this book. I will have to revisit after I read it!

  7. I just attempted hot cross buns today. Maybe I should have done hot cross muffins instead

  8. Orange and cinnamon sound divine in these muffins. The books sounds a great read and I am checking it out.


I enjoy getting comments and feedback from my audience. Please let me know what you think, keeping in mind that we are all entitled to our own beliefs and opinions. I am happy to hear yours as long as they are stated nicely.