I LOVE Hot Cross Buns, it’s definitely one of the highlights of Easter for me. And I’m not one of those Hot Cross Bun purists either – choc chip, caramel, dried fruit, it’s all good to me!
I was in Woolworths recently and noticed they had produced a Sticky Date & Caramel Hot Cross Bun. That got my mind whirring (as I am always thinking about food). What if I created a salted caramel Hot Cross Bun… in cupcake form?
I started with a spiced cupcake filled with nutmeg and cinnamon and studded with fat juicy sultanas. We were already off to a good start!
My next mission was to create a caramel topping that was more of a ganache in texture than a frosting, as I wanted it to sit flush to the cupcake to replicate the shiny, domed top of a Hot Cross Bun.
And the finishing touch? 2 generous stripes of white chocolate to make the cross! Traditionally, Hot Cross Buns are crossed with a mixture of flour and water before baking. Looks good, tastes bad. You will love the white chocolate version, guaranteed.
- 230g butter, softened
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup milk, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups self-raising flour
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- ½ cup sultanas
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 75g butter
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 150g white chocolate melts
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
- Cream the butter with an electric mixer until smooth in a large bowl.
- Gradually add the sugar and beat for 3 minutes until fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sift the 2 flours and spices into a separate bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Stir in sultanas. Do not overmix!
- Fill cupcake liners about ¾ full with mixture and bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden brown.
- Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
- Put the brown sugar, butter and salt in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring often.
- Bring the mixture to boil and add in milk and vanilla.
- Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Take the saucepan off the heat and add in the (sifted) icing sugar stirring until the icing is thick and smooth.
- Spoon a generous teaspoon of caramel onto the middle of each cooled cupcake, the icing will spread out evenly and set as it cools.
- Melt the white chocolate in short bursts in the microwave on a medium setting.
- Spoon the melted chocolate into a piping bag with small nozzle attached and pipe crosses on the cupcakes.
An easier way to adorn the cupcakes with crosses quickly involves lining the cupcakes up and doing long lines all at once, instead of individually crossing each cupcake. Once the white chocolate hardens, you can gently separate the cupcakes.
And the verdict? My housemate shouted “THESE ARE AMAZING. CAN WE LIVE TOGETHER FOREVER?” I take that as a good sign.