Air Fryer Hot Cross Buns

These hot cross buns baked in the air fryer are so light and fluffy, perfect scented with warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. The perfect, easy addition to your Easter brunch.

Air fryer hot cross buns

I love baking in my Instant Pot Vortex Plus Versazone Air fryer. The wide basket easily fits baking pans and not having to preheat a large oven cuts down on electricity costs. I’m consistently impressed by the versatility of this air fryer – there are very few things you can’t make in this awesome machine.

Ingredients Needed

  • Milk. I used whole milk.
  • Warm water.
  • Butter. I used salted butter but unsalted butter can be substituted.
  • Sugar.
  • Flour. All purpose flour/Cake flour works well.
  • Instant yeast.
  • Spices: Ground cinnamon, a pinch of cardamom, nutmeg and all spice.
  • Salt.
  • Raisins.
Air fryer hot cross buns served with honey butter.

How to make hot cross buns in an air fryer

  1. Make the dough: Combine the warm water with the butter and allow the butter to melt, then combine with the milk and the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Add all the dry ingredients then allow to knead for 1 minute until the dough is sticky. Add the raisins and knead for another 2 minutes until a soft, tacky dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and allow to rise for at least 1 hour. Alternatively, place the dough in the fridge overnight and bake the hot cross buns the morning before serving.
    Chef’s note: You can make the dough by hand, simply combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and bring together then turn out onto a floured surface and knead until a soft, supple dough forms.
  2. Form the buns: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 16 squares. Form each piece of dough into a dough ball between the palm of your hands then place in a greased baking dish/casserole dish that will fit into your air fryer basket. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you might need to make two batches. Cover again and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
  3. Make the crosses: Combine flour and water and mix until a thick paste forms. Transfer to a piping bag then pipe crosses onto each bun.
  4. Bake: Preheat the air fryer to 180°C/350°F. Once heated, place the hot cross buns in the air fryer basket and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. You’ll know they are done when they sound hollow when tapped. Remove from the air fryer then brush with the sugar syrup mixture. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then serve with honey butter.
Air fryer hot cross buns

Can I make this ahead?

The dough can be made up to 3 days ahead and kept well-covered (ideally in an airtight container) in the refrigerator. Baked hot cross buns can be kept in a container at room temperature for up to 2 days – reheat in the air fryer before serving or slice in half and toast until crisp and golden.

Should hot cross buns be eaten hot?

They are definitely best served warm with butter. I like to toast stale hot cross buns then slather in butter with a sprinkle of sea salt and a drizzle of honey. They’re also delicious with jam or marmalade.

Hot cross buns with honey butter

Hot Cross Bun Recipes

Hot cross buns in air fryer

Air Fryer Hot Cross Buns

These maple pecan hot cross buns are soft, fluffy and raisin-free. They are positively addictive and perfect for Easter.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Brunch, Easter
Cuisine: British
Keyword: Air fryer recipes, Easter recipe, Hot cross buns, hot cross buns recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Proofing time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Calories: 210kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 16 small to medium hot cross buns, 12 medium-large hot cross buns


  • 180 ml (¾ cup) warm water
  • 60 g (1/4cup) butter
  • 180 ml (¾ cup) milk
  • 150 g (¾ cup) sugar
  • 10 g (2 tsp) instant yeast
  • 480 g (4 cups) flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup raisins

For the crosses

  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp water

For the glaze

  • 100 g (½ cup) sugar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) water

For the honey butter

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 3-4 tbsp honey
  • flaky salt to taste


  • Make the dough by combining the milk, warm water, melted butter, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the yeast mixture then knead with the dough hook for a few minutes until a soft, sticky dough forms.
  • Knead in the chopped raisins then allow to knead for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight or allow to rise on the counter for 1 hour. Allowing the dough to rise overnight will improve both the flavor and texture of the finished buns.
  • Remove the dough an hour before you want to form the buns and allow to come to room temperature.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut the dough into 12-16 even pieces with a sharp knife.
  • Form each piece of dough into a ball and place into a greased casserole dish or baking dish suitable to your air fryer basket size.
  • Cover with a damp tea towel and allow to proof in a warm place for 30 minutes while you preheat the air fryer to 180°C/350°F.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the flour and water for the crosses and transfer to a piping bag then pipe over the top of the proofed buns.
  • Place in the air fryer and allow to bake for 20-25 minutes until the buns are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
  • While the buns are baking, make the syrup by bringing the sugar and water to a simmer in a small saucepan and allow to cook for 5 minutes then set aside.
  • Brush the glaze over the buns the moment they come out of the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving with honey butter.



Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 0.3mg | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 137mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 2mg

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