These Matcha Yuzu Hot Cross Buns are a twist on a classic Easter bun. Yuzu marmalade and matcha green tea flavours the dough and gives the buns a bright, citrusy flavour.
How is it already April 1? I feel like March was a blur — and probably the next few months won’t be much more different.
Anyway, this year Easter will be different, that’s for sure.
My eldest was supposed to get his 1st Holy Communion this month, but that’s been postponed.
I have been enjoying the extra time with my kids and hubby at home though. Some days, it’s a little much, but I’m trying my best.
So here’s a twist on an Easter classic — Matcha Yuzu Hot Cross Buns.
I added matcha powder and yuzu citrus (in the form of yuzu jam) to the fluffy buns to make these my own.
What are Hot Cross Buns?
Hot Cross Buns are an Easter classic.
They’re soft sweet yeasted rolls flavoured with spices and studded with dried fruit with an iconic cross on top.
Traditionally, the buns are eaten on Good Friday, marking the end of Lent.
What is yuzu?
Yuzu is a citrus fruit that is commonly used in Japan and Korea. It looks like small yellow grapefruit and is very aromatic. The zest is commonly used in dressings (such as ponzu), marmalade, as well as tea.
Yuzu is also referred to as “yuja” in Korean, so you may see different spellings but they mean the same thing.
What are in the buns?
For the dough, you’ll need:
- flour: you can use all-purpose or bread flour for these bun
- warm milk: lukewarm milk to activate the yeast; you can use a dairy-free alternative if you prefer
- granulated sugar: adds some sweetness to the dough
- active dry yeast
- ground cinnamon: optional if you don’t like cinnamon
- matcha: use a high-quality matcha powder for the best flavour
- baking powder: acts as another leavener for the buns
- eggs: large whole eggs
- light vegetable oil: I like using avocado, but you can use any neutral oil
- yuzu jam/marmalade: yuzu jam is similar to marmalade and is made with the zest and rind of the fruit. You can find yuzu jam online or in Asian supermarkets.
- raisins: or any dried fruit that you like (or you can omit)
2 cross topping options
For the recipe, I’ve provided 2 options:
- flour-based (baked topping)
- icing-based (piped on after baking)
The flour-based topping has no taste to it — so if you prefer a little sweetness, you can choose the icing cross topping.
Why we like it?
The Matcha yuzu buns buns are light and fluffy. The citrus from the yuzu brightens up the flavour and pairs well with the earthiness of matcha in the dough.
Tips & troubleshooting
Since we’re adding marmalade and raisins added to the dough, it can take longer for the dough to rise overall.
Be sure to give the dough enough time to proof, or the dough may be dense.
How to tell if the dough is ready?
Give the dough a poke to see if it bounces back.
- If it bounces back readily, then give the dough more time to proof.
- If the dough bounces back a little, it’s ready to bake.
- In the event the dough leaves an impression and doesn’t bounce back, it’s time to get the buns into the oven ASAP.
How to store the buns
You can store the buns in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.
Alternatively, you can also freeze the buns for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container.
How to enjoy the buns
Enjoy the buns fresh from the oven, with a slab of butter.
They are called “hot cross buns” for a reason — microwave the buns for 10-20 seconds and enjoy while warm and fluffy.
Other recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Fluffy buns studded with yuzu and raisins, with the iconic cross on top — these Matcha Yuzu Hot Cross Buns are a different way to enjoy this Easter treat.
Let me know if you try out this recipe — tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment! I’d love to see your creations!
Matcha Yuzu Hot Cross Buns
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 4 C all-purpose flour divided
- 1 ½ C warmed whole milk divided
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 3 Tbsp granulated cane sugar divided
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp matcha
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 4 Tbsp avocado oil or neutral vegetable oil
- 3 Tbsp yuzu jam + 2 Tbsp for brushing on top
- ½ C raisins soaked in hot water and drained
- 65 g all-purpose flour
- 5 Tbsp water
- ½ C icing sugar
- 1-1.5 Tbsp milk or any dairy-free alternative
Make the tangzhong:
- Remove 3 Tbsp from the 4 C of flour and place into a small pot.
- Add ½ C of milk and cook over low-medium heat until a thick paste forms, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- In a bowl, add in the remainder of the warmed milk, yeast, and 1 Tbsp sugar. Stir the mixture and let the yeast bubble and activate.
- In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, add in the remainder of the flour, sugar, cinnamon, matcha, baking powder, eggs, oil, and yuzu jam.
- Start the mixer and add in the tangzhong mixture from above. Pour in the milk gradually and knead until the dough forms into a smooth ball.
- Add in the raisins and knead until the raisins are evenly dispersed throughout the dough.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and leave to rise until slightly risen and puffy, about 1.5 hours. It is perfectly normal if it doesn't double in size.
- Once the dough has risen, divide the dough into 15 equal portions. Roll into balls and place into a 9" by 13" baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and let it proof in a warm area until puffy.
- Mix together 65g flour with about 5 Tbsp of water and mix until a thick paste forms. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe crosses on each bun before baking.
- Place icing sugar into a bowl and gradually add milk to make a thick icing. Let the buns completely cool prior to icing.
Bake the buns:
- Preheat oven to 375°F/191°C and bake the buns for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Brush 2 Tbsp of yuzu jam all over the buns. If using icing sugar topping, pipe the topping after the buns have cooled.
- Best enjoyed within 2 days.
- Buns can be placed into an airtight container and frozen for up to 1 month. To reheat, cover buns with a damp paper towel and microwave for 1-1.5 minutes.