Baking British Desserts Recipes Vegetarian

Hot Cross Bread and Butter Pudding

Hot Cross Bun Bread and Butter Pudding (2)

Excepting the obvious, the most frequently eaten treat at Easter is almost certainly the hot cross bun. Spicy, fruity and soft on top, these sweet buns have become something of a British institution, traditionally consumed on Good Friday. Unfortunately, unlike Dame Helen Mirren, this is one British institution that goes stale given sufficient time.

Indeed, a week has been so carelessly allowed to elapse since the World’s favourite chocolate-based holiday and it is likely that a great number of bread bins are inhabited by the forgotten crossed buns of Easter. Usually, this would spell waste or perhaps bird food, but no more – a recipe for hot cross bread and butter pudding has arrived.

Bread and butter pudding is an 18th century British pudding, renowned for its frugality and universal appeal – there isn’t anything about it that’s offensive. Made with regular white bread, usually stale, it provides a fantastic solution for bread that would otherwise find itself thrown out. As such, it was a favourite during the World Wars – a time when waste was simply not an option. Happily, we can afford a little more luxury these days and the milky flavour of a basic bread and butter pudding provides a fantastic base for all manner of flavours – nutmeg included.

Hot Cross Bun Bread and Butter Pudding (3)

Key to making an attractive bread and butter pudding is getting a fantastic rise. What causes this is the expansion of the custard mixture from within the bread during the cooking process. Achieving a good rise isn’t particularly difficult – simply make sure you’ve allowed enough time for the egg mixture to soak into the bread. Forget to do this and it’s likely you’ll end up with a flat and unattractive, though delicious, pud – more like a custard tart with hot cross buns preserved inside. Best of luck, I’m sure you’ll do fine.

For more ideas on how to get rid of those Easter leftovers, check out my recipes for Hot Cross Bun French Toast and Leftover Lamb Hotpot…

Hot Cross Bread and Butter Pudding {Easter}

Serves 6-8


• 6 hot cross buns

• 30g salted butter

• 3 medium eggs

• 450ml whole milk

• 3 tbsp light muscovado sugar, extra for sprinkling

• A generous handful of raisins and sultanas

• ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg


1. First, cut your buns in half and butter both sides. Chop them in half again to make triangles and butter a medium-sized casserole dish.

2. Layer the triangles made from the bottom half of the buns in the dish, press down a little and scatter with the fruit and nutmeg. Whisk together the eggs, milk and sugar – pour over three quarters of the custard and allow to soak for 10-15 minutes.

Hot Cross Bun Bread and Butter Pudding (1)

3. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Take the tops of the buns and pop into the custard mixture for 5-10 minutes. Arrange on top of the base layer, pour over any left over custard and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown on top and cooked through. Serve immediately with ice cream, single cream or yoghurt – it’ll keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Hot Cross Bun Bread and Butter Pudding (4)

Cost: This is another great way to use up those Easter leftovers. Don’t forget, you can use the same recipe for a white bread or brioche bread and butter pudding. However, those hot cross buns, whether bought or made, did cost someone money. Indeed, this huge pudding – perfect for up to eight – should set one back around £2.80.

105 replies on “Hot Cross Bread and Butter Pudding”

Looks and sounds wonderful but we never have any Hot Cross Buns left to make this pudding. I suppose you could still get the same result by incorporating the same ingredients and using regular soft bread.

I don’t buy – I make!!!

I forgot to mention – “boo hoo” to your Helen Mirren comment!

I also like it made with stae french stick bread, but you have to be liberal with the spice & fruit

I love hot cross buns. The bakery I worked at in high school was inundated with orders for them every Easter. The last time I made bread pudding was with some challah. I may have to make it again, as this is making me hungry 🙂

twice as good because that stale hot cross bun has been transformed into a stellar pud that looks too good to eat! I would need to invite friends when I made that 🙂 A dessert as good as that would need to be shared 🙂

Well, aren’t you clever, and living up to your frugal reputaiton. Well done. I’ve not made bread and butter pudding for decades (I’m old so I can say decades). Your version is creative and sounds delicious.

Very cool and creative idea. I do love hot cross buns. Being in the US bread pudding not a common occurrence, not a concept I would have thought of to do. Pictures of it are very nice as well.

Bread pudding has long been a solution to bread that can’t be consumed within a reasonable time frame in our household. (Better yet, made with leftover homemade hot cross buns!) I also agree with you entirely… Helen Mirren never goes stale.

I love this idea of using Hot Cross Buns for pudding, oh & the crunchy topping in pics looks delicious, great idea.
Love nutmeg, much prefer it to cinnamon in a pudding. A must try, served with your custard.
Looking forward to you making Challah, I especially enjoy this enriched-sweet bread, it would make a superb bread & butter pudding.
Fantastic recipe, many thanks.

Excellent recipe I have just finished making it, and it turned out yummy, even got it to rise . I made a couple tweaks, I spread each piece with orange curd, added dash of apricot liqueur to the custard mix.

This was great. Added a slug of sherry to make up 450 ml of custard mix. And cranberries with the raisins. Plus cardamon and cinnamon to spices. And it all rose and was truly yum ……

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