Hot cross buns with a hollow “empty tomb” center

Makes 12-18 rolls.


  • ½ c Zante currants (or raisins) in ½ c boiling water
  • Let sit off heat until plump, 30 min to an hour. Drain and set aside.


  • 1 package (2 ¼ t yeast)
  • ⅓ c white sugar
  • ¾ c warm milk
  • ¾ c warm water
  • 1 c all purpose flour
  • Mix until sugar dissolves. Let sit about 5-10 minutes or until starting to foam


  • ⅓ c soft butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ T kosher salt
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • ½ t ground nutmeg
  • ½ t ground ginger
  • 3 additional cups all purpose flour
  1. Mix thoroughly. Knead until elastic.
  2. Add currants, and knead a couple more times until well incorporated.
  3. Form dough into a ball. Cover, and let rise until double, about an hour.
  4. Punch down, and divide into balls about 2 ½ inches in diameter. Flatten each ball into a disk.
  5. Place in the center of each disk 1 whole marshmallow (not miniature).
  6. Wrap dough tightly around marshmallow and seal well, using wet fingers if necessary.
  7. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. (The rim and the parchment are both 100% necessary. Trust me. No really, trust me.)
  8. Place rolls on parchment, about 2 in. apart and cover with a lint-free towel. Let rise for another 20 min.
  9. Brush tops of rolls with 1 beaten egg.
  10. Bake at 400° F for 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and cool.

You’ll notice that, despite your best efforts to seal the marshmallow inside the dough, the marshmallows have broken through the sides and oozed all over your pan. Embrace the sticky mess. 

When cool, peel the sticky rolls off the parchment and line them up next to each other in neat little rows.

For icing, mix thoroughly:

½ lb powdered sugar

A few T milk or lemon juice or both

1 t vanilla

Icing should be a smooth, spreadable consistency. (Like creamy peanut butter on a warm day.)

Use a piping bag to ice the rolls in the shape of a cross. This is easiest if they’re lined up in rows, so you can ice them in straight lines across multiple rolls at once.

If you don’t have a piping bag, just fill a ziploc with icing, cut off one corner, seal the bag, and squeeze the icing gently across the rolls from the cut corner.

Let the icing set completely before covering. Or skip the wait and just eat them while they’re fresh! When you bite into them you’ll discover that where the marshmallow once was is the sweet and sticky hollow center—the empty tomb!