This is supposed to be a Scottish baking blog, so I thought I should actually do something Scottish. Charles Rennie Mackintosh, for the three people who read this outside of Scotland (Yes I use Google Analytics; I see you.), was an architect and artist who epitomises Art Nouveau design for many of us. Glasgow born, Mackintosh most famous designs include a rose motif, that I have used to adorn my adaptation of the hot cross bun.

Yes, pancakes are quicker and muffins are tidier. Bread is more practical and scones are more economical. There is much more important stuff you should be doing now like washing your hands or watching the news. There are so many reasons not to make these buns, but you’ve got Easter Monday off and you’ve not posted interesting on your Instagram in weeks.

If not now; when? Make the buns.


  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 375ml milk, warm
  • 1 tablespoon Active Dry
  • 510g Strong white flour 
  • 125g wholemeal flour 
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp All Spice 
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 210g  sultanas 
  • 75g plain flour
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 2 tablespoons of apricot jam


  1. Melt butter and allow to cool
  2. Add milk to a saucepan and gently warm. When the milk reaches 35°C, remove from heat and sprinkle in yeast. 
  3. Place flour, sugar, all spice, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Briefly mix with stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. 
  4. Add melted butter and yeast mixture with the egg, and sultanas. 
  5. Mix for 5 minutes with a dough hook 
  6. Leave dough in the bowl, cover with cling and place somewhere warm to rise until doubled in size.
  7. Line a baking tin with parchment
  8. Dust work surface with flour, place dough on a work surface, shape into a log – this will deflate the air. Cut into 12 equal pieces.
  9. your dough pieces are probably squished into ovals, which is perfect because you are going to fold both sides in on itself and then roll it over to create a perfect little ball of dough. If you need some help in shaping head here.
  10. Place cling over the tray of buns and place back in your warm area for half an hour. 
  11. Mix flour and water until a thick runny paste forms.
  12. Spoon into a piping bag with a 3mm nozzle – if you’re not an experienced piper, you may want to have a test run on some parchment so you get an idea for the consistency and pressure you need to use 
  13. Remove the cling wrap and pipe crosses onto the buns, followed by the rose emblems. 
  14. Bake for 22 minutes, or until the surface is a deep golden brown. The wholemeal flour will make the buns quite dark anyway, so don’t panic.
  15. Warm jam in a saucepan with a little water and brush over the baked buns. Allow them too cool before you serve. 


  • Posted April 13, 2020
    by Lesley McFadyen

    Try mixing a little fine shred whisky marmalade into the bun mix for additional Scottish flavour.

    • Posted April 21, 2020
      by admin

      Hi Lesley! I’ll keep that in mind – although I’m not the biggest fan of marmalade or whisky!

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