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Many stories highlight the origin of the hot cross bun. A commonly held belief is that a 14th-century Anglican monk placed the sign of the cross on the buns to honour Good Friday, known at that time as the Day of the Cross. The story goes that in 1361, a monk named Father Thomas Rocliffe, made small, spiced cakes, stamped with the sign of the cross, to be distributed to the poor visiting the monastery on Good Friday.

On Easter Sunday the buns can be distributed and the events of Holy Week remembered.

  • The bread reminds us of Jesus’ last meal with his disciples and how they broke bread together.
  • The raisins are dried grapes and can be a reminder of the common cup of wine Jesus and his disciples shared.
  • The cross on top is a reminder of Jesus’ death on a cross and a symbol of God’s love and desire for justice among all people.
  • The spices used in the dough recall the spices the women brought to the tomb, with which they planned to anoint Jesus’ body.
  • The buns are round and remind us of the stone that was rolled away from the tomb.

Enjoy the Hot Cross Buns recipe in the attached printable PDF