ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

Upgrade the simple Hot Cross Bun to a gourmet dinner

Upgrade the simple Hot Cross Bun to a gourmet dinner

Upgrade the simple Hot Cross Bun to a gourmet dinner

Nine million hot cross buns. That’s how many Marks & Spencer is going to sell during Easter week alone. The bakery where these buns have been made for the last 30 years has already gone into 24-hour production to keep up with demand. The country’s unwavering love for the spiced sweet buttery currant-filled balls of dough has prompted a collaboration between M&S and Dan Doherty, chef director of Duck & Waffle, to expand the buns’ repertoire. The man behind the Spicy Ox Cheek Doughnut has created three completely original hot cross bun recipes so this Easter you can elevate baked goods into gourmet fare. 

Hot cross bun Welsh rarebit

Welsh rarebit ingredients

  • 625g Cornish Cruncher (cheddar) cheese, grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp hot English mustard
  • 2 tbs double cream
  • Tobasco sauce – to taste
  • 4 M&S Cheese & Onion Hot Cross Buns


  • Step 1: Preheat oven on grill setting.
  • Step 2: Mix together all of the Welsh rarebit ingredients. Set aside
  • Step 3: Slice the hot cross buns in half and the cut the halves diagonally to make triangles. Lightly toast
  • Step4: Generously spread the rarebit mix onto the buns. Transfer to a baking tray
  • Step 5: Toast under a hot grill, until beautifully golden and gratinated. Remove from the oven and enjoy whilst hot.

Hot Cross Bun crusted lamb rack

Lamb crust ingredients

2 lamb racks
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 M&S Luxury Hot Cross Buns,
blended into rough crumbs
40g unsalted butter, softened
30g parmesan, finely grated
½ pack parsley, finely chopped
1 lemon, zest only
1 egg yolk
Pinch salt

Salsa verde ingredients

2 banana shallots finely chopped
3 tbsps olive oil
½ tin anchovies
2 tbsps capers
1 lemon, juice only
10 mint leaves
½ pack parsley, finely chopped

To Serve

200g purple sprouting broccoli

Lamb method

  • Step 1: Lightly oil and season the lamb racks
  • Step 2: Pan fry the lamb
  • Step 3: Mix the bun crust ingredients and press onto racks
  • Step 4: Roast the lamb at 200°c for 10 minutes then allow to rest for 10-15 mins

Dressing method

  • Step 1: Place the chopped shallots and olive oil into a small saucepan and cook gently until the shallots are soft and sweet.
  • Step 2: Add the anchovies, capers, parsley, mint leaves and lemon juice and continue to cook for 2 minutes. The anchovies should melt into the dressing, seasoning and adding a rich umami flavour.

To Serve

While the lamb rests, cook some purple sprouting broccoli, drain and dress with the salsa verde. Carve the lamb and serve with a pile of the dressed broccoli.

Hot cross bun eggy bread & ice cream sandwich

Ice cream ingredients

600ml cream
400ml milk
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole allspice seeds
300g sugar
6 egg yolks
2 M&S Luxury Hot Cross Buns, chopped into little chunks and toasted very well

Eggy bread ingredients

80ml double cream
3 large eggs
2 tbsps sugar
100ml whole milk
4 M&S Kentish Bramley Apple Hot Cross Buns
Butter for frying

Ice cream method

  • Step 1: Bring the milk and cream to the boil with the cinnamon and allspice and infuse for 10 minutes.
  • Step 2: Beat the eggs and sugar in a medium-sized bowl and, using a fine sieve, pour the milk and cream infused liquid over the egg and sugar mix, whisking gently.
  • Step 3: Transfer back to the pan and cook very gently, stirring frequently so the mix thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Step 4: Strain the ice cream base, chill it and then pour into an ice cream machine, adding the toasted hot cross bun pieces. Churn to a soft drop consistency and place in the freezer until ready to serve (if you don’t have an ice cream machine, place the ice cream base into a plastic tray to freeze, beating the mixtur every ½ hour to prevent ice crystals forming).

Eggy bread method

  • Step 1: Halve the hot cross buns and whisk cream, eggs, sugar and milk in a bowl.
  • Step 2: Melt a knob of butter in a large frying pan until it starts to sizzle.
  • Step 3: Soak the buns in the egg mix and then fry in the pan until crispy and golden (be careful the pan isn’t too hot as the sugars and raisins in the buns may burn).

To Serve

Sandwich a large scoop of the ice cream between the warm crisped buns and enjoy! To save time the buns can be prepared ahead of time and warmed through in a
hot oven.

As well as giving us the best-selling Luxury Hot Cross Buns M&S bakery are upping its game, introducing new flavours such Cheese & Onion Hot Cross Buns – the first savoury version on the high street, made with mature cheddar cheese, spices and sultanas. Spring into the kitchen this Easter with more recipes and inspiration from M&S here.