The origins of hot cross buns

Photo: Pixabay. For illustrative purposes.

They are actually available all year round in certain local stores, but during Easter this special bun has more meaning to it.

A traditional hot cross bun is a yeasted sweet bun that is lightly spiced and studded with raisins or currants. Nowadays the cross on the bun might be made of chocolate icing or cream, but traditionally it is made of simple dough or just a knife imprint. The buns mark the end of Lent and different parts of the hot cross bun have specific meanings; for instance, the cross is said to represent the crucifixion of Jesus, and the spices in the dough are said to signify the spices used to embalm Him at His burial.

The origins of hot cross buns go back as far as the 12th century, when an Anglican monk baked buns and marked them with a cross in honour of Good Friday.

Over time, the buns have gained popularity, and they eventually became a symbol of Good Friday and the Easter weekend.

Why is it called a ‘hot’ cross bun? Because it is traditional to eat it warm at Easter! For whatever reason you choose to bake a batch of hot cross buns on this Good Friday, you will certainly enjoy them with your loved ones.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister websites: 

Randfontein Herald

Roodepoort Record

Get It Joburg West Magazine

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Nadine Maré

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