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Taking an Easter classic up a notch with Rum Raisin Hot Cross Buns and KitchenAid [VIDEO]

It’s no secret that I love making breads, and I think I have to credit my KitchenAid stand mixer for helping me discover that love. I have no issues hand-kneading bread, but boy does this piece of machinery make my bread-making life a hundred times easier and quicker! After I got my KitchenAid stand mixer, I started to make breads more often than I ever expected.

The dough hook is one of my most loved attachments on my KitchenAid. I think I use it more than I use the paddle attachment or the whisk attachment, honestly. My collection of yeast bread recipes is proof of that.

It’s the first time that I’ve ever made hot cross buns that sold out this fast! There are six people in the house, and on the first day ten buns were consumed already. It must be the combination of our love for rum raisin as a flavour with how good the crumb on these buns are! Rum raisins aside, in terms of flavouring the buns, you can create your own combination of spices. I’ve listed what I used in the notes portion of the recipe box below, but if you’re more of a cinnamon fan then you can use all-cinnamon.

If you’re not a rum raisin fan, of course you can substitute regular raisins or a combination of dried currants for this recipe, but I really really recommend that you go all out and do the rum raisin version. It makes the buns smell and taste more fruity, even though the addition of the orange zest in the dough already gives it a bright citrusy element.

And I mean come on, this is a recipe for RUM RAISIN Hot Cross Buns. Here’s a little video I made to take you through the steps of making these buns. You will see firsthand how the KitchenAid stand mixer is the best assistant in making your bread-making dreams a reality!

Since we were already in the topic of Lent or Easter food after my last post, I thought now would be a good time for me to write about these scrumptious rum-spiked hot cross buns.

One thing to note is that the dough this yields is a tacky one. It sticks a bit to your hands when you transfer it from your to a greased bowl for its first rise. Don’t be tempted to add more flour than what is stated in the recipe! You want to keep the dough moist and a bit tacky so that the buns don’t bake into stones and you get these soft rolls, even on the next day.

My habit when I make bread is to initially mix my wet and dry ingredients with a spatula until it becomes this rough shaggy mass in my mixer bowl. In this case I kneaded it a bit with my hands until it came together, added the rum raisins, then left my KitchenAid mixer to finish the job. You literally turn the machine on, step back and just let it knead for ten minutes. And just like that you’ve got yourself some beautiful dough!

These buns are best on the day they are made, but not to worry, they won’t turn into rocks the next day. The texture of these buns is hands-down the best out of all the hot cross buns recipes I’ve ever tried. Since these make 16, there will inevitably be a few leftovers, and what I do is heat them up in my toaster for the next day. The icing sugar crosses on top get melty though, so just keep that in mind!

Well what are you waiting for? Grab your KitchenAid stand mixer and get baking!

Rum Raisin Hot Cross Buns

We're taking the classic hot cross buns up a notch with this fruity and boozy rendition!


For the rum raisins

  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ½ cup dark rum
  • 1- inch strip orange peel

For the dough

  • ¾ cup warm milk, 110°F, divided use
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast*
  • 3 ¼ to 3 ½ cups all purpose flour, divided use
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground spices, your own favourite mix**
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

For the frosting

  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons powdered sugar


Prepare the raisins

  • 1. In a resealable container, place raisins with rum and orange peel. Steep for a few days either on the countertop or in the fridge, until raisins are plump. The raisins would have absorbed a good amount of the rum. ***

Make the dough

  • 2. In an oven-safe measuring glass, stir together 1/4 cup of the warmed milk, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, until foamy.
  • 3. In the bowl of a KitchenAid stand mixer, vigorously whisk together first 3 cups of the flour, salt, spices, and the 1/4 cup of sugar. Create a well in the center and pour in the foamy yeast, then add the softened butter, eggs, and the remaining 1/2 cup milk.
  • 4. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix the ingredients until the mixture turns shaggy and sticky, but well incorporated. Add in the prepared rum raisin and orange zest.
  • 5. Attach the bowl to the KitchenAid mixer, and with the dough hook, start to knead the dough on low speed. Slowly sprinkle in additional flour a tablespoon at a time, allowing the mixer to knead it into the dough before adding the next. (I added only 1/4 cup.) The dough will end up being tacky but not completely sticky, and you should be able to shape it into a round and transfer it to a greased bowl. Use a spatula to make the job easier.
  • 6. Make sure the dough is smooth on top before covering with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm dry spot for about 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • 7. Once risen, press down on the dough to remove the air. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a log shape. Cut log into two halves, returning one portion to the bowl as you work on the dough one half at a time.
  • 8. Cut your first half of dough into 8 equal pieces. (Roll out into a log and keep dividing in half until you get 8 pieces of dough.)
  • 9. Take the individual pieces and form into rounds, placing on a baking sheet 1-1/2 inches apart from each other to allow some space for a second rise. Cover dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, then repeat for the second portion of dough until there are 16 buns in total.
  • 10. Let prepared dough sit in a warm place to rise again, about 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in volume. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
  • 11. Whisk together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of milk for the egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush on the egg wash on top of the risen dough. Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the buns are lightly browned. Remove buns from the oven and let cool on the pan for a few minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

For the final touch

  • 12. Wait until the buns have completely cooled before preparing the frosting. Whisk together the milk and the powdered sugar, adjusting the quantity of the sugar until you achieve a thick consistency. Place frosting in a plastic piping bag or sandwich bag and snip off a small part of the corner.
  • 13. Pipe a cross on top of each bun to complete the look. Let the frosting set for about 10 minutes, and enjoy!


* You can purchase active dry yeast in sachets from Healthy Options stores.
** I used 1/2 teaspoon cardamom + 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon cloves + 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.
*** I usually prepare my raisins at least two days before I make any recipe that requires rum raisin.
Adapted from Simply Recipes
These buns are pretty good on their own because they have that really rich scent from all the spices and that winning orange and rum element that translate to a really pleasant eating experience. But it’s great when you eat them with some orange marmalade.

I enjoy it a lot as well with some cream cheese spread because the contrast of flavours is more apparent. It’s literally the perfect Easter breakfast!

Full disclosure: This post is sponsored by KitchenAid, but all opinions stated above are my own.

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