I’ve said it before, but something about autumn and Easter time just makes me want to turn on the oven and get my hands into a bowl of dough. I love the smell of yeast, sweet spices, and delicious aromas coming from my oven. I love the whole process – mixing, kneading, waiting, rolling, baking. It’s totally therapeutic, one of my favourite ways to relax. It’s somehow way more satisfying to the soul than just making a cake.
I love a warm toasted Hot Cross Bun with melted butter or whipped ricotta and honey. This recipe is like a Hot Cross Bun and a Cinnamon Roll had a baby! The filling tastes exactly like a hot cross bun with brown sugar, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice, fresh orange zest and plump sultanas. All very delicious things.
I also added some ground roasted wattleseed to the filling. It is a native Australian spice that can be used in both sweet and savoury recipes. To me, the taste is halfway between coffee and freshly baked biscuits. It works really nicely with the other spices in the filling. I have written this as optional in the recipe below because I know it’s not easy to find, especially outside of Australia. You could add ground coffee if you want a similar vibe or just omit it.
The cream cheese glaze was also a delicious addition. Cream cheese icing is hands down my favourite kind of icing on any cake – sorry to buttercream or ganache! This glaze is basically a cream cheese icing made into a pourable glaze consistency with a little bit of milk. Adding the spices was a last minute decision and I’m very glad I did. The cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg perfectly accentuated the spices in the filling.
The dough was lovely and easy to work with. It would be a great recipe to start with if you want to try working with a risen yeasted dough for the first time. It’s also simple enough to get the kids involved! I made mine in a loaf pan but you could also use a round cake tin. It will make your kitchen smell incredible as it’s baking.
This kind of “pull apart” or “tear and share” loaf is a great option for a long weekend brunch, autumn picnic or potluck. It’s perfect to share with a group of your family or friends – just rip off a piece and pass it around! I’ve also been enjoying it as a snack with a warm cup of tea over the last few days.
I am really looking forward to Easter and the long weekend this year. I’m hosting a small lunch at my place and really looking forward to a nice chill few days of cooking delicious food and catching up with my favourite people.
If you are in need of any Easter recipe inspiration, make sure to check out my Favourite Recipes that I rounded up in my last post. There’s lots of delicious ideas in there!
Related Post: Sticky Date Rolls with Salted Caramel Sauce
Hot Cross Bun Pull Apart Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze
This recipe is like a Hot Cross Bun and a Cinnamon Roll had a baby! The filling tastes exactly like a hot cross bun with brown sugar, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice, fresh orange zest and plump sultanas.
- 1 cup milk, warmed
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 packet (7g) dry yeast
- 3 cups plain flour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 60 g butter, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon ground wattle seed (optional)
- 1 cup sultanas
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 120 g cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4-6 tablespoons milk
Place the warmed milk, oil and sugar into a bowl. Sprinkle over the yeast and 1 cup of flour. Fold in carefully, cover and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour.
In the meantime, make the filling. Place the brown sugar, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg, vanilla, orange zest, wattleseed (if using) and sultanas into a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
Add the remaining flour, plus baking soda and baking powder to the yeast mixture. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to form a 30cm x 40cm rectangle.
Brush dough with half the melted butter, sprinkle evenly with the spiced filling mixture. Roll lenghwise to enclose, trim and cut into 10-12 pieces. Arrange pieces in a well-greased and lined 9cm x 22cm loaf tin. Set aside for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Brush with remaining butter and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and puffed. Allow to cool in the tin for 15-20 minutes.
To make the cream cheese glaze, place the cream cheese and icing sugar in a bowl and mix with electric beaters until light and fluffy. Add the spices and beat to combine. Add the milk a little at a time until the glaze reaches a nice pourable consistency.
To serve, pour the glaze over the loaf, with any leftover on the side for additional drizzling.