Iron Chef Shellie

{Behind the Scenes} Making Hot Cross Buns @ Bakers Delight

I was lucky enough to be invited into the kitchen at Bakers Delight Carnegie to get a hands on experience on what goes into making their famous hot cross buns (or bums as I like to call them). I’ve always been a fan of Bakers Delight, from their ham and mayo twirls, pizzas, crunchy rolls,...


When you cook this at home please tag me too - I love to see when other people give my recipes a go!


{Behind the Scenes} Making Hot Cross Buns @ Bakers Delight
March 25, 2011

Let's Be Friends

Subscribe to my newsletter to stay in touch and be first in line for new recipes and regular subscriber-only treats.

Click to Subscribe

{Behind the Scenes} Making Hot Cross Buns @ Bakers Delight

I was lucky enough to be invited into the kitchen at Bakers Delight Carnegie to get a hands on experience on what goes into making their famous hot cross buns (or bums as I like to call them). I’ve always been a fan of Bakers Delight, from their ham and mayo twirls, pizzas, crunchy rolls, mince tarts and of course hot cross buns (especially the choc chip ones!). So I jumped at the opportunity to learn how to make perfect hot cross buns.

I tried making them 2 years ago with a Donna Hay recipe, and whilst I was happy with the result I wanted a lighter and fluffier bun. My crosses were quite pronounced and hard… so how do the Bakers Delight do it and pump out thousands of perfect hot cross buns a day?

It’s all about attention to detail at every single stage of production. To make 120 hot cross buns, stopping for explanations and my amateur skills took close 3 hours. Weighing everything spot on, making sure the correct temperature is reached, the texture is right, resting time and preparation all takes time, and a dedicated baker.  I was told at the Carnegie store, the bakers sign an ‘Easter Contract’, which states they will be extra careful when making the hot cross buns and those around them, so they don’t bump or neglect the stages which can knock out the gas from the dough causing flat, rock hard buns.

Craig took me through the process of making the perfect hot cross bun. He has been baking for 19 years and still hasn’t lost his passion for baking. He doesn’t really smell that fantastic fresh bread smell anymore, but after going on a holiday he can smell it again. We both agree, nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread.

As Craig measures out the ingredients, it’s all about maths; 10% of this here, 5% of this here… etc. Sorry, I don’t remember everything, there was ALOT to take in! It’s mixed until it reaches the right temperature, then the spice mix is added and immediately it’s the smell of Easter. We had been soaking the fruits in water to help rinse off any surface chemicals/dirt that may have come in contact with the fruit through transport, this also helps to plump up and soften the fruit so you don’t get rock hard bits of dried fruit in your hot cross bun. In goes the fruit and gets mixed through.

We then shape them (Craig does this waaaaaay better than me and my whimpy arms) into giant balls and let them rest in a covered trolley for about 20 minutes or so.

We then prep the cross mix. It’s important that it isn’t too runny or too thick.  Craig tells me they found the best and easiest way to pipe the crosses onto the buns wasn’t with the traditional piping bag, but with a giant sauce bottle. It’s easy to fill, easy to squeeze and easy to put down and pick up between batches of buns. I couldn’t agree more, why didn’t I think of that!

After the buns have rested we punch and bash them lightly onto this special plate with lots of little circles.

This then goes into the bun roller, which looks an awful lot like R2-D2! This machine is fascinating; dough discs go in, doughy balls come out! What basically happens in a plate comes down with blades and cuts the dough; the plate then moves around in a circular motion at a rapid pace , then the plate goes up, and you have perfectly rolled balls of dough! Pure genius.

These doughy balls then get put on trays, which are put on trolleys, then the trolley is rolled into a temperature controlled room for the dough to prove. It’s around 30 degrees C, and about 80% humidity. It stays in there for about 40 minutes until they have risen/swollen.

We then pipe the crosses on and pop them in the ovens for about 20 minutes (couldn’t get my video to upload, sorry!).

As soon as they come out of the oven, then bun wash (water, sugar and a bit of spice mix)  is painted over. It you allow the buns to cool they absorb the bun wash and will result in a gluggy bun. Craig paints the bun wash on at rapid speed with a paint brush; I took about 10 photos and got 1 with the paintbrush in it!

And just like that, fresh hot buns! And let me tell you, nothing beats a fresh hot cross bun from the oven…. even Hamsley a person who isn’t a fan of fruit hot cross buns was diving into the bag the moment I got home.

The Bakers Delight hot cross bun range contains a flavour to suit everyone (unless you are gluten intolerant… sorry for taunting with you this post)

  • Traditional Hot Cross Bun
  • Fruitless Hot Cross Bun
  • Choc Chip Hot Cross Bun
  • Mocha Hot Cross Bun
  • Authentic Sour Dough Hot Cross Bun

And don’t forget the Easter Bundraiser! $1 from every six pack of hot cross buns sold on April 9th will go to a charity. For more details on which charity your $1 will go to in your state head to

Iron Chef Shellie attended hot cross bun making thanks to Keep Left PR and Bakers Delight (especially Carnegie store; thanks Craig, Graeme & Orry).

How do you have your hot cross bum?

I like fruit ones with jam, and my choc chip ones with Nutella!


20 comments on “{Behind the Scenes} Making Hot Cross Buns @ Bakers Delight
  1. Ashley Ng

    Wow, it’s great to see the process, you’ve really captured every step! πŸ™‚ I am unfortunately gluten intolerant so I don’t get to dig into these goodies as often as I would like. Damn you and your pretty photos! :c

    March 25, 2011 at 10:26 pm
  2. Alana

    Oh they make sourdough ones? I think I could probably eat those! I am going to attempt to make my own over Easter…

    March 25, 2011 at 10:27 pm
  3. Erin@TheFoodMentalist

    Wow! I’m now having super hot cross bun cravings right now! Wish they were open now. A sour dough one sounds like my kinda bun. Will have to try them πŸ™‚ looks like you had a ball!

    March 25, 2011 at 10:42 pm
  4. Mez

    Oh my god I want to eat one NOW!!!

    Gah, it’s almost 11pm.

    I’m going to try and make some this year, haven’t since I was a kid! Hhahahaha

    OH I will get back to you about that date tomorrow, promise!! I’ve completely forgotten to look at my roster.

    March 25, 2011 at 10:56 pm
  5. mademoiselle dΓ©licieuse

    Awww, what fun! And go the super-sized commercial machinery =D

    March 25, 2011 at 10:58 pm
  6. Meg

    Om nom nom! Jamie is absolutely dying for me to try making some and the pictures look so very tasty. Love seeing the cool industrial baking stuff, too! I wants me a giant dough mixer… πŸ˜€

    March 26, 2011 at 1:43 am
  7. Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

    I loved reading this post! I always wonder what goes on behind the scenes at BD (whose products are way better than brumby’s, in my opinion, hehe). The buns look sooooo good! mmm fluffy goodness. Dad and I have been planing on making some in the outdoor pizza oven! We’ll see how THAT goes πŸ˜‰
    Heidi xo

    March 26, 2011 at 6:43 am
  8. Lizzie (El Moorish)

    Oh my, that’s a lot of HCBs! I’m partial to the traditional fruit ones with butter melted into them. Love Baker’s Delight but I wish you could still get them with citrus peel – not a popular choice, I know, but I love it so.

    March 26, 2011 at 10:51 am
  9. Sarah

    Wow! That looks like such fun!! Seriously craving hot cross buns now, will have to take a walk down to baker’s and get some. Didn’t know they had sourdough too!

    xox Sarah

    March 26, 2011 at 11:48 am
  10. Michelle

    I adore hot cross buns! Although I’m not christian, I usually buy them to commemorate easter!

    March 26, 2011 at 5:59 pm
  11. Martyna (Wholesome Cook)

    Wow, here I was hoping for a make at home recipe for the perfect Bakers Delight hot cross bun… I better start saving, R2-D2 doesn’t come cheap, does it?

    What a great experience though, and I love the idea of using a sauce bottle for piping dough / icing. Will definitely use this and leave the making of a perfect bun to the experts. For now anyway.

    March 26, 2011 at 8:38 pm
  12. Hannah

    Fascinating peek, thank you Shellie! I most like the sound of the Easter Contract and the sourdough hot cross buns. Didn’t realise either of those existed! πŸ˜›

    March 26, 2011 at 11:16 pm
  13. Agnes

    OH MY GOD I need a bun roller in my life! Who cares if I don’t have room in my kitchen, nor do I make that many buns – I NEED ONE. πŸ˜‰

    Cool post, Shellie! Can I please contract you to make my hot cross buns this year?

    March 27, 2011 at 11:34 am
  14. angie

    Looks like awesome fun!! =D Aww I remember the bunning machine, back in the days when my parents owned a bakery. Mmm am definately going to plan ahead and make some decent easter buns this year. And I do love BD’s choc chip x buns yummo!

    March 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm
  15. Chanel

    What a fascinating post! Looks like loads of fun πŸ˜€ I love Baker’s Delight traditional and choc chip buns, but I’m interested in trying the sourdough one – delicious!

    March 28, 2011 at 1:39 pm
  16. Susan

    That bun roller is awesome! I can’t believe about the easter contract, those are some serious hot cross bun makers there! I love the baker’s delight buns, I love anything baker’s delight really. Although I wish they did a proper sourdough..

    March 29, 2011 at 11:55 am
  17. Johanna GGG

    I love their hot cross buns – have never seen sourdough hot cross buns but would jump at the chance to try them – will ask at my local BD –

    maybe this year when I make my buns – which have thick crosses that I love – I will soak my fruit – sounds an excellent idea

    March 31, 2011 at 2:26 am
  18. Kirstie

    So what’s the recipe?? Would love to try baking them. I think making one batch won’t last long. But will still buy them.

    April 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      It was all proportions, and we made a huge batch. I honestly do not remember the recipe, and to publicise it wouldn’t be fair to Bakers’ Delight.

      April 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm
Tags  >>  

Shellie Froidevaux

All content on this site is by Shellie Froidevaux - aka Iron Chef Shellie. Her skills include recipe development, food styling in her kitchen studio, lifestyle and travel photography, restaurant photography on location, styling and shooting social media for her clients and photography workshops for people who really want to change their game :)

Subscribe to the Email List

Find out more about Shellie

© 2024 Shellie Froidevaux
All images and content on this site are protected by copyright. Written permission is required from the author if you wish to use any material anywhere on this website. Please be nice, please respect my creative work and hard work.