Long weekends … time enough for baking

Did you have a lovely extra long weekend? As this wonderful collection of public holidays draws to a close, I found a moment to sit down with a piece of chocolate slice and a cup of tea … it also seems like the perfect time to catch up with blog friends and reflect on the weekend that was.

For me, it seemed to be the weekend for baking, and lots of it. Apart from indulging in a few different chocolate slices, I decided to try my hand at baking ‘Hot Cross Buns’ for the first time. While my first batch turned out to be particularly crude and ugly, they tasted rather lovely. But boy oh boy, they took a lot of hard work and a huge investment of time. Have you ever made your own?

Making 'Hot Cross Buns' at home

While I don’t think I’ll be rushing into making another batch of ‘Hot Cross Buns’ any time soon, I hope that next time I’ll be much better at it and perhaps end up with a ‘prettier’ result. I have newfound respect for the work that bakers do each and every day.

Making 'Hot Cross Buns' at home ... the finished product

As I have a few left-over hot cross buns, I’m thinking of turning them into a version of bread and butter pudding for tonight’s dessert … (that’s if my baking motivation holds out).

How about yourself? Did you fill your weekend with loveliness and perhaps bake something sweet? Or maybe you ended up eating a little too much chocolate?


  1. Hayley

    They look delicious! Oh and you won a pigeon brooch! Let me know a postal address and I’ll pop him in the mail … thank you http://mantahay-re-read.blogspot.com/2011/04/postal-pigeon-brings-you-fun-times-and.html

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Hayley – I’m so glad you thought my hot cross buns looked delicious … they tasted lovely too! 🙂
      Thanks for my wonderful pigeon brooch, I can’t wait to wear him.

  2. sofia

    uhmmm so yummy !!!!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Sofia – Haha, oh you are too kind. There were plenty left over to share too.

  3. fairchildstreet

    Look delicious. Nothing like homemade baking. I have made a bread and butter pudding with brioches or croissants so hot cross bun pudding will be delicious as the bun is nice and sweet. Charmaine

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Charmaine – Thanks so much. I’ve never tried my hands at making sweet buns before, so it was certainly an experience. I agree with you, there’s nothing quite like the delight and taste of home baking.

      Yum! I very much like the sound of a bread and butter pudding made with brioche … delicious! 😀
      My pudding worked out OK, but I think my easter buns were perhaps a little too dense to properly absorb the lovely custardy goodness. Oh well, there’s always next time. 🙂

  4. Melynda

    they look delicious! hot cross buns are my favourite!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Melynda – Thanks so much! I really love hot cross buns too … it’s one of the best things about Easter! 🙂

  5. Michelle

    They look delicious to me. I had a very paltry number of hot-cross buns this easter because I was away but will have to make up for it next year.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Michelle – Thank you. I was worried their ugliness would be off-putting … but I ate those lovely hot cross buns regardless of their appearance. Haha! 😉

      Yes, you’ll have to make up for not eating too many hot cross buns this time around … thank goodness Easter happens every year so we get the chance to indulge! 🙂

  6. Krystal/Village

    wow those look seriously delicious!! I just finished baking some Zucchini bread 🙂

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Krystal – Thanks so much (I love that everyone is being so kind about my ugly hot cross buns). 😉
      That Zucchini Bread you made sounds delicious … I wish I could try a slice (or two)! Haha! 😉

  7. Camila F.

    Tracey, I think they look adorable! Not ugly at all! I didn’t bake or cook anything this weekend because my mom was in town. She’s the real cook in the family.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Camila – Thanks so much for being so kind. How lovely you had your mum in town over Easter … I will always defer to a greater baking / cooking talent if, and whenever possible! 🙂
      I hope you treated yourself to lots of lovely food.

  8. Erika Lee Sears

    Yummy… hot crossed buns I don’t believe I ever had them but they look perfectly delicious.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Erika – Oh, you’ve never tried hot cross buns? Oh dear … you simply MUST remedy that … they are one of the best tasting things in the world! 🙂

  9. jan

    I have a deal with my neighborhood bakery. I don’t bake. They don’t write.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Jan – Haha, that’s a great deal you have with your local bakery … if I had somewhere like that, I believe I wouldn’t try my hand at baking from home as often … 😉

  10. Caz

    Every year I say I’m going to make hot cross buns but I never seem to get around to it. I think I instinctively know how much hard work they’re going to be so well done you – yours look great! If you want them to be perfect you’d just go to a fancy schmancy bakery wouldn’t you? Check out Nigella’s HCBs in ‘Feast’ (p161) – very rough but made with love!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Caz – I don’t think I properly considered the whole ‘hard work’ aspect of making my own hot cross buns … I was completely seduced by the thought of the sweet end product … which is rather typical of me! 😉

      Thanks for being so kind about my rather unique looking hot cross buns … I certainly learnt lots about making my own … Yum, thanks so much for the tip about Nigella’s recipe (I love her recipes), she’d definitely know how to make a lovely hot cross bun. Perhaps that’s the recipe I should try next year? Hmmm.

  11. Gabrielle Bryden

    Just eating a little to much of everything, but I would save some room for those yummy looking hot cross buns.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Gabrielle – Eating a little too much of everything sounds perfectly fine to me … I think there should be more of such activities throughout the year! 😉

  12. Lucent Imagery

    Awesome work on the hot cross buns! I haven’t tried making them before. To be honest, I’ve never even thought of making them. Inspiration for next year. From what you’ve told me, baking as a profession wouldn’t work with those super early mornings ;). So I’m sure your loved ones are happy to be your customers and taste testers! And getting back to some of your lovely comments on my blog… Happy to see we share a love of Alain de Botton! I think mine might be a crush! Please tell me you do too? I couldn’t listen to the way he talks for hours. Have you decided between Paris and New York???

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Lucent Imagery – Thanks so much for your hot cross bun encouragement. They were so much hard work, I do believe it will take me a full year to recover from the whole experience! 😉
      Haha, yes me and early mornings definitely don’t mix … but working through the night like lots of bakers do, well I could definitely do that! 🙂

      Oh yes, I love Alain de Botton too … he is wonderful … I definitely think I have a brain crush on him for sure. I really get a lot out of his books too … wouldn’t he be the most fascinating person to have a conversation with? 🙂

      I’m tending towards Europe for our OS trip … but hopefully we’ll make a final decision very soon, and I can let everyone know.

  13. Lucent Imagery

    Oops. I meant I COULD listen to him talk for hours. This extra long weekend has us all confused, doesn’t it? For the first couple of hours today, I honestly thought it was Monday.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Lucent Imagery – Haha, I know what you meant … these long weekends have us all feeling a bit all over the place I think. But I must admit, it’s kind of nice losing track of the days.

  14. gracia

    Looks delicious. I, too, spent the long weekend baking and feasting with nearest and dearest. It was perfectly relaxed and involved much lolling. (I’ve just posted a little something about Anzac biscuits. Should you have the ingredients on hand, give the recipe a whirl.)

    be well, g xo

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Gracia – Thanks, I’m glad you think my hot cross buns looked nice … they tasted wonderful fresh from the oven too. It’s lovely to spend the Easter long weekend baking, eating and catching up with friends and family. It’s the nicest time of year to be lazy I think.

      Thanks for the Anzac biscuit tip … I do love a batch of those. I love how all these different public holidays have their own associated sweet treat, it’s rather wonderful.

  15. bobbi

    It’s almost lunch time, I’ve been hingry since ten a.m. and now I com on your blog and there are pictures of wonderful food…
    have mercy!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Bobbi – Haha, oh I’m sorry to have a post all about delicious homemade food when you’re feeling hungry … oh dear, I hope you found some time to eat something delicious.

  16. Narnie

    Luckily, I have three eager girlie cooks now who like nothing better than baking. Nina, who is 11, made some lovely easter buns with chocolate eggs on top, which were then passed around the family. My mum made a strawberry pavolva-eque cake with lots of meringue, fresh strawberries, whipped cream and vanilla sponge. It was horribly calorific but gorgeous.
    I think your hot cross buns look much nicer than the shop-bought ones. Gorgeous.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Kiersty – Oh lucky you having some bakers in the house to provide you with a ready supply of treats (although that can sometimes be dangerous). Wow! Easter buns with chocolate eggs on top??? My goodness, how delicious! 🙂
      I think I’d also have to accept a slice of that wonderful sounding cake your mum made … meringue is one of my favourite treats.

      Thanks for being so kind to my hot cross buns … they tasted great, and for me that is supremely important (being the food lover that I am).

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