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Hot cross bun bread and butter pudding

Easter is often a time of excess. Too many easter eggs, too many people in the house, too much (or never enough!) time on your hands - that sort of thing. If you’ve spotted the half-eaten, slightly stale and sad buns and loaves looking over at you forlornly from the bread-basket, consider custard. Bread and butter pudding is pretty much baked custard with some form of carb, so you’re welcome to play with this once you get the gist. You’ll need about 300g of carb, so could sub in whatever’s looking equally sad and stale, from day-old bread to brioche to challah… Heck, you could even make it with Matza, for an equally seasonal Passover kugel.


  • 100 ml cream
  • 400 ml milk or a combo of milk and buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 hot cross buns see tips
  • 60 g butter plus a little extra for greasing, softened
  • 70 g sugar (¼ cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla see tips
  • ¼ cup pantry jam see tips
  • Cinnamon and icing sugar for sprinkling optional
  • Something creamy to serve alongside also optional, I suppose


  • Preheat oven to 180℃.
  • Line the bottom of a baking dish with baking paper (I used the used baking paper from baking the buns in the first place) and grease up the sides with butter.
  • Split your carb of choice horizontally, then butter and jam liberally. Squash back together and then slice into 1cm fingers longways. Scatter the buttered fingers into the baking dish.
  • Pop cream, milk, buttermilk (if using) and vanilla into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, whisk eggs and sugar together in a jug or bowl. Once the milk mix just starts to bubble, pour into the egg bowl and whisk together to combine.
  • Pour the eggy milk mix over the hot cross buns in the baking dish, scattering with chocolate chips, if using. Pop the baking dish inside a larger dish or pot and pour water in the bottom to halfway up the sides. Whack into the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes of baking, crank open the oven door and squash the buns with a spatula or wooden spoon to ensure it’s had a chance to be submerged in the custard. Leave to bake for another half an hour or until the custard has set.
  • While still hot, glaze with the dregs of jam in your measuring cup/spoon. Sprinkle with cinnamon and/or icing sugar and pop in some cream or ice cream (all very optional) to serve.


You can make this recipe gluten-free by using GF HCB.
For a fully plant-based version, use a vegan butter plus nut or soy milk. Check for recipes online, and look for the one with the glossiest looking pic and best reviews.
My preference for vanilla is always vanilla bean paste, because you get the flecks without the work, but extract will do nicely. A vanilla bean pod, split and deseeded will also do, but strain that out before you pour the custard over the buns.
Apricot jam is my pick of the stickies, but if your pantry’s sporting plum or strawberry, it won’t lead you astray. Because it’s baked, the flavour intensifies regardless, but if it’s a sweeter jam, make it more like 50g of sugar in the custard.
By the way, if you keep buying too many HCB and are so done with this pudding, slice them in half and freeze them. Toast straight from the freezer and you’ll be eating great buns all the way until Christmas.

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