Armagh Bramley Apple Hot Cross Buns

Armagh Bramley Apple Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns are a staple in the Scullery this time of year so we thought we’d share our recipe in case you’d like to try to bake some this weekend! These soft, doughy Easter buns are traditionally baked with rasins, currents and citrus peel and seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg but we thought we’d use local Armagh Bramley apples instead of dried fruit and peel because these Orchard County apples pair perfectly with the warm spices used in Hot Cross Buns.

Armagh Bramley Apples have Protected Geographical Indication status (like Parma Ham and Champagne) giving recognition to the unique environment they’re grown in and the distinctive flavour they have as a result. These Bramleys have a much tarter flavour than Bramleys grown in other regions but when cooked with gentle heat and a dollop of Abernethy butter the apples lose some of their acidity and offer a more mellow apple flavour with a hint of tartness through the bun. Bramley apples are widely available through supermarket chains but for Armagh Bramley apples you’re best checking for the sticker below or asking your local fruit & vege shop or looking at Farmer’s Markets around the country!

Picture 263PGI

Armagh Bramley Apple Hot Cross Buns



For the dough

450g plain flour

1 packet fast action dried yeast

50g granulated brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

80mL full fat milk

40g Abernethy butter

100mL water

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

For the apple 

1 Armagh Bramley apple (Peeled, finely cubed)

1 tsp Burren Bramley apple balsamic

20g granulated brown sugar

20g Abernethy butter

For the white cross

65g flour

30mL water (may need more if the paste is too thick)

For the glaze

200mL Barnhill Bramley Apple Juice

20g granulated brown sugar


Preparation time: 20 mins + 1.5hrs proving time

Cooking time: 20 mins

Calories per serving: 228 calories per bun

Cover the apple peel in Burren Bramley Balsamic and cook @180oC for 20 minutes to dehydrate and brown the peel slightly. Finely chop the peel once cooked.

Cook the diced apple on a medium heat with 20g brown sugar and 20g Abernethy butter for 8-10 mins.

To prepare the dough, mix the flour, salt, sugar, spices, yeast, cooked apple and peel in a large bowl.

Gently melt the butter, add the milk, egg and water and mix well (use warm water if the temperature of the mixture feels cold to touch).

Gradually add the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix well to form a dough.

Seal the dough bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for a min. of 1 hr to rise.

Divide the dough into 9 round pieces and place on an oven-proof tray lined with baking paper.

Cover the dough with an oiled piece of cling film and leave in a warm place for 30 mins to rise.

Prepare the paste for the crosses by mixing the flour with water, one teaspoon at a time to form a thick paste and pour into a piping bag.

Wash the dough with milk and pipe the crosses before baking in the oven for 25 mins @180oC.


While the buns are baking, prepare the glaze by boiling the apple juice and sugar to melt the sugar and reduce the liquid to a syrup.

When the buns are baked, wash with the glaze to finish.

Happy Easter & we hope you enjoy your hot cross buns, chocolate eggs and juicy Irish lamb this Sunday!!



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SculleryMade is a Belfast blog sharing recipes using quality, locally sourced ingredients in cooking, brewing, baking and curing.

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SculleryMade Spiced Sausage Rolls

Pork, cinnamon and nutmeg. This simple recipe puts a warm and spicy twist on the humble sausage roll, an age-old savoury favourite. I first made these last year during a visit home to Ireland from Australia. I wanted to have proper black pudding but wasn’t hungry enough for a Fry-up and I washed them down with my Dad’s Mac’s Armagh Cider for a perfect pairing of pork and apple.

I’ve used SculleryMade Belfast Black Pudding, although if you can’t get your hands on this you could use Rosscarbery’s Black Pudding from Co. Cork, or Clonakilty Black Pudding, also from Co. Cork. The main thing is that your black pudding needs to be soft enough to blend well through the sausage meat. The folks up in the north coast smokehouse do a great beech wood smoked sea salt, available online from Indie Fude. For this recipe, I used shop-bought pastry, because life is too short to be rolling and folding and rolling some more!


Spiced Sausage Rolls


1 pack of rolled puff pastry

350g sausage meat

175g black pudding meat

1tsp nutmeg

½ tsp cinnamon

Egg wash

Finely chopped pistachios

Smoked sea salt


Combine the meat and spices in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Cut the pastry in half and fill a line of spicy meat along the centre of both halves.Spiced Sassige 3

Wash the pastry on either side of the meat with egg wash and fold the pastry to seal the roll.

Cut individual sausage rolls 1.5 inches thick and place seal-side down on a baking tray lined with grease-proof paper.

Spiced Sassige 4

Brush the sausage rolls with egg wash and sprinkle with pistachio nuts and smoked sea salt.

Spiced Sassige 2

Cook in a pre-heated oven @180°C for 25 mins or until pastry is golden.

Spiced Sassige Rolls

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SculleryMade produces artisan goods using quality, local ingredients in Belfast. For more recipe ideas using local ingredients check out our blog 

Belfast Black Pudding is available from SculleryMade regularly at Inns Market on the last Saturday of every month.

SculleryMade – Ormeau Rd, Belfast                                                      Contact: