Lineage Food Diaries: Hot Cross Buns from an Italian Nonna

Lineage Food Diaries: Hot Cross Buns from an Italian Nonna

Hands glazing hot crossed buns

It’s always easy to remember holidays when they’re associated with a food memory, which they most generally are. Family gatherings and culinary traditions feed our emotions and encapsulate these memories with a vivid amount of detail when we begin to reminisce. 

When he thinks of Easter, Preston has fond memories of spending time in the kitchen with his mom and nonna crafting a special meal that brought his whole family together from near and far to spend the day enjoying each other's company.

“The best part of waking up on Easter morning was the aroma of fresh baked bread and buns wafting through the house. Even after I’ve left my parents house and started a family of my own, I remember how content I felt waking up to that scent,” Preston tells us.

Every Easter, Preston’s mom continues the custom passed on through his Italian roots by baking fresh Hot Cross Buns. The recipe was passed down through generations and he plans to continue the tradition with his children each year. 

“My grandmother gave this recipe to my mother, who in turn has given it to her five children to pass down to their children. This recipe has transcended four generations and is at the very foundation of our lineage,” he says.

We’re delighted to share this Hot Cross Buns recipe with our Lineage family, just in time for Easter morning. 

Hot cross buns from the kitchen of an Italian Nonna

Hands pressing into dough


 Warm Water ½ cup
Granulated Sugar 1 tsp + ¼ cup
Active Dry Yeast 1 pkg (2¼ tsp)
Butter, softened ¼ cup
Egg 1 (room temperature)
Salt ¾ tsp
Cinnamon ½ tsp
Warm Milk ¾ cup
All-Purpose Flour 1 cup + 2¼ cup

(Optional) Currants or
Finely chopped, cut candied peel or
Chocolate chips

2 tbsp



Step 1:

Stir warm water + 1tsp of sugar together. Sprinkle yeast over the water, then stir. Let stand for 10 minutes, then stir again.

Step 2:

Cream butter + remaining sugar together. Beat in egg until fluffy. Mix in salt, cinnamon + milk, then gradually add 1 cup of flour. Once combined, add in the yeast mixture.

Step 3:

If desired, mix in currants/peel/chocolate chips in - this isn’t necessary but it does up the sweetness of the buns that extra notch! Add remaining flour and mix well to make a soft dough. Let rest, then knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise (about an hour).

Step 4:

Once the dough has risen, punch it down and shape into balls. Place into greased baking pan. Take a sharp knife and score a deep cross into each bun. Cover and let rise again, until double in size. Bake at 400 for 20 min or until tops are golden brown. Brush with butter immediately out of the oven, and cool. Once cooled, ice the crosses with the glaze recipe (below).

Hands rolling dough into balls


Icing Sugar ½ cup
Water 1¼ tsp
¼ tsp


Display your delicious buns on our Party Plate or stack them in our Family Serving Bowl. We know there won’t be one left on the table. Buon appetito!


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