This Matcha Hot Cross Buns Recipe fuses traditional Japanese flavours with the classic European Easter treat. With matcha green tea, sweet red beans and plenty of mixed spice, they’re the perfect sweet treat for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
We’re on a pre-Easter high after sending out last week’s Koulourakia recipe – seems like you guys really enjoyed the chance to get creative with your baking!
We were chatting to our friend Joy over at Homestead Lovers earlier this week and told her all about our little experiments with sumac spice, which we used for a little citrus burst in our Koulourakia.
Joy was telling us all about the dehydrated citrus powders she’s created, and it got us thinking about how we could each mix our favourite flavours through old-fashioned/traditional Easter recipes.
One thing let to another, and we decided to hold our own little pre- Easter Challenge!
Below we’re sharing the results of our latest baking experiment for this moreish little Matcha Hot Cross Buns recipe, but don’t forget to check out Joy’s recipe for Hot ‘Pleased’ Buns recipe, which features zingy citrus powder and MACE. ❤️
Quick note: There may be a couple of affiliate links in this post, which means that we may get a few cents if you purchase something through the link. We want to make sure some of our hard-to-find ingredients are reachable at the click of a button. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.
Now, the other teensy little reason we wanted to weave some Japanese ingredients into our Hot Cross Buns recipe is because… well… um…
I hate sultanas.
It’s not that they taste bad… it’s just that they’re in everything.
And it seems like everything I’ve eaten without them tastes 10 times better.
Especially Hot Cross Buns. 😛
Sultanas kinda remind me a little of azuki red beans that are super common in Japanese snacks and desserts. Not because they taste similar (because they definitely don’t), but because they’re also in everything!
We grew to love them because they’re usually sweeter with a creamy texture and none of the bitterness you find in sultanas.
And that’s all the logic you need when it comes to having creative fun in the kitchen, don’t you think? 😀
What You’ll Need for this Matcha Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Matcha Green Tea Powder
Matcha Green Tea is becoming super popular so you shouldn’t have too many troubles finding this ingredient at an Asian grocery, trendy supermarket or health food store. Failing that, you can always buy matcha green tea powder online. 🙂
Azuki Red Beans
We used cooked azuki (red) beans in our Hot Cross Buns recipe. You can find canned sweet red beans online or in Asian grocery stores. Alternatively you could cook your own azuki beans from scratch, but the process does take some time.
We found a can of azuki beans in a light sugar syrup from our local Asian grocer, so we’d definitely recommend checking with your own local grocer first.
Otherwise, if you can’t get your hands on them, you can leave them out or substitute with traditional ingredients like currants or (shudder) sultanas. 😛 Better yet, why not try white or milk chocolate buttons?! :O
This one’s a super common ingredient, especially in baking, so of course you should have no troubles sourcing it at your local shops or online.
In case you’d like to have fun whipping it up yourself, you can make your own Mixed Spice by blending together the following ingredients:
- 1 tbsp ground allspice
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp ground mace
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground ginger
It’s an easy, oldie, goodie spice blend if you’ve got all the rest of them on hand. 😛
How to Make Matcha Hot Cross Buns
The full Matcha Hot Cross Buns recipe is below of course, but here are a couple of pointers to help you make your own:
- We first started with a small/subtle amount of matcha green tea powder and mixed spice, before deciding to double the amounts for extra flavour. Feel free to adjust according to your preference.
- We created quite large hot cross buns by rolling the dough balls into the size of a small fist before baking them. You can easily adjust this if you prefer smaller or larger buns.
We hope you enjoyed our Matcha Hot Cross Buns recipe!
The only thing left to do now is talk about is how you’ll eat them. 😋
Sarah’s family loves to toast them for extra crispiness, the spread them with plenty of butter.
My mum made them in a similar way, but then sprinkled each half with extra sugar and cinnamon. Soooo gooooood.
(They’re even better if you heat them in the microwave so they’re soggy rather than crisp – the butter, cinnamon and sugar melt into the bun for gooey deliciousness!)
My grandmother loves them with jam and cream, so maybe I’ll do something really crazy and spread one of these with kaya jam! :O
How about you? How do you like to eat your Hot Cross Buns?
- 4 cups plain flour
- 14 g dried yeast
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 3 tbsp matcha green tea powder
- 1-2 tbsp mixed spice
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup sweetened azuki beans, cooked
- 50 g butter
- 1 ¼ cups milk, room temp
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup plain flour
- 4-5 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp apricot jam
- 1 tbsp hot water
- To start making your hot cross bun dough, add your flour, yeast, caster sugar, matcha green tea powder, mixed spice and salt into a large mixing bowl and give them all a good stir.
- Meanwhile melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, then add the milk and heat gently until the liquid is lukewarm. When it's ready, pour it into the dry mixture along with the beaten eggs, then mix slowly and evenly until the dough starts to form into a ball.
- Now, turn out your matcha dough ball onto a nicely floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until it’s nice and smooth. You might need to add extra flour
alongthe way if it's too sticky. When it's nicely kneaded, pop the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Pop it aside in a warm place for around 1 to 1 ½ hours or until the dough doubles in size. This is called 'proving' the dough.
- After the dough has rested, bring it back out and punch (knead) it back down to its original size. Portion out the dough and roll it up into small balls (aim for 100 g in weight or roughly the size of a small fist). Press out each ball into a flat disc then pop 1- 2 tbsp cooked azuki beans in the
centre, then roll them back up.
- Pop the filled dough balls on a lined baking tray roughly 1 cm apart then allow them to rest for another 30 mins. When they've again doubled in size, they're ready to hit the oven. This is the second round of 'proving' the dough. While you're waiting, you can preheat your oven to 170˚ celsius (338˚ f).
- Your next step is to make the flour paste. Pop the flour in a small mixing bowl and gradually add water until it reaches a smooth consistency. Don't add too much water, because If it's too runny it won't form those nice cross shapes. Speaking of, you can get perfect crosses by piping out the flour paste. An easy way to do this is to snip off the corner of a ziplock bag and use it to pipe out the flour.
- Time to bake! Pop your piped hot cross buns into the oven and bake for 20-25 mins until they're nicely browned on the top. Remove them from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
- The last step is to glaze your hot cross buns. Mix your apricot jam and water until the jam has nicely melted, then brush over the top of your hot cross buns. Ta da!
- Now all you need to do is decide how you'll eat them? Slice in half and toast? Slather with butter? Or sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar? The choice is