Overnight Maple Hot Cross Buns

Soft, supple and maple-sweetened breakfast buns that are lightly spiced and simple to make. Recipe adapted from Anna Olson.
Course Bakery
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 12 buns
Author Aimee


For the Dough

  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup pure maple sugar or raw cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 3/4 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup diced citrus peel

For the Glaze

  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Icing

  • 3 Tablespoons maple butter
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar


For the dough

  • Heat the milk in a saucepan over low heat until it reaches around 115F. Combine this with the other ingredients - except the citrus peel - in a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Mix on low speed until the ingredients come together, then increase the speed by one level and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. It will be very sticky.
  • Toward the end of the kneading, add the citrus peel and knead for another 30 seconds. Remove the dough hook, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge overnight.
  • In the morning, remove the dough from the fridge and let it come to room temperature in a warm place, about an hour. Grease a 13x9-inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 12 evenly-sized pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place the rolled buns on the prepared pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the buns rise for 45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Uncover the buns and bake for 25-30 minutes, until they are a rich brown on top. While still hot from the oven, prepare the glaze.

For the Glaze

  • Bring the maple syrup, water, and vanilla up to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Brush this syrup over the still-hot buns, until it has all been absorbed. Let the buns cool completely on the pan on a cooling rack.

For the Icing

  • Stir the maple butter and powdered sugar together - it will be quite stiff. Scrape the icing into a small piping bag fitted with a small plain tip and pipe crosses on top of each bun. Enjoy at once, with additional maple butter or sweet butter. The buns will keep, well wrapped in plastic, for 1 day.


To make the recipe without the overnight rest, simply let the dough rise immediately after the knead, for 90 minutes on the counter, until doubled in size. Proceed to the shaping of the buns and onto the baking as directed.