Hot Cross Bundt Cake #SpringSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #SpringSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to help in the creation of the #SpringSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine.

Hot Cross Bundt Cake is a new time-honored spring sweets tradition at my house. The cross-hatch pattern is beautiful and mesmorizing visually and I am a sucker for a good bundt cake.

A play off of the original Easter treat, hot cross buns, I decided to combine my love for cake with the flavors and textures of the yeast bun to create a whole new dessert and sweet treat. Orange zest, raisins and star anise are what make the Hot Cross Bundt cake taste like the buns we used to get from our hometown bakery, Dewey's Bakery. They are the gold standard. Operating since 1930, many families in the area remember a time when Dewey's was the only place you could order a wedding cake, pick out an individual lemon chess pie, walnut studded brownie with chocolate frosting or a cherry Danish to nibble on the way home.

What goes great with Hot Cross Bundt Cake? A cup of specialty coffee. The Door County Coffee & Tea Co. releases seasonal flavored coffees each season, almost like a line of designer clothes, and the array of flavors is astounding. 2021 flavors range from S'mores and Blackberry Shortcake to Frosted Cinnamon Buns and Orange Creme, which all blend and match the flavor intensity of this bundt cake. Click here to enter to win a $50 gift certificate so you can order your own spring line of specialty coffee.

Which Door County Coffee & Tea Co. flavor will you try first?

I grew up Catholic and we made sure to have hot cross buns on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday too. Always soft and very seasonal, this treat marks the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ in a special way. Easter is one of my favorite times of year. It marks the season of my birthday in April, the advent of warmer weather and the end of the school year as well as the most beautiful part of the liturgical year at church. The flowers, the stations of the cross, the new clothes and shoes, the beautiful hymns and of course, the food. Getting up super early to participate in egg hunts and finding baskets full of candy, spring-themed goodies and sharing my haul with my family really warms my soul. And hot cross buns and now the Hot Cross Bundt Cake are all a part of my childhood memories as serve as a reminder that I am making new ones as an adult. 

For those who don't observe Easter, the Hot Cross Bundt Cake is still a special way to usher in spring and vernal equinox with the promise of flowers, spring showers and the return of leaves budding on trees.


A traditional hot cross bun is a spiced, sweet yeast bun made with raisins, currants, glaceed fruit and marked with a cross on the top (either with egg wash, tiny strips of dough or piped icing with red or pink dots at the crux of each arm of the cross) Traditionally eaten on Good Friday, the sales of the buns ramped up during the months of March and April and could be seen on buffets, luncheon menus and at fellowship halls on Sundays. A Hot Cross Bundt Cake is a cross between a spiced pound cake and a yeast roll with vanilla icing piped on top.


The bundt is a spiced pound cake laced with yeasty biscuit dough pieces and dried fruits and decorated with a powdered sugar citrus icing in a cross hatched pattern across the top. The biscuit pieces serve as a reminder of the roots of the confection as a yeast bun. The pound cake serves as a vehicle for the warm spices of cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg and the raisins. Essentially, the Hot Cross Bundt Cake is a type of coffee cake best served at room temperature.


This recipe calls for self-rising flour because baking powder and salt are already mixed in and that is one less step to add to the multilayered recipe. If you only have all-purpose flour, simply add ½ teaspoon salt and 1½ teaspoons of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda per cup of all-purpose flour.

If using bread flour, add an extra ½ cup of milk when making this cake. The gluten of this kind of flour needs extra hydration so the cake is not dry as a bone.


Warm spices such a cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, star anise, mace, cloves and ginger are all interchangeable in this recipe.


The recipe calls for both brown and granulated sugars. As for brown sugar, it does not matter if you use dark or light; it simply refers to the color which directly corresponds the amount of molasses in each one. Brown sugar will give your cake a deep bronze color after baking. If you decide to use 100% granulated sugar, this will not affect baking time nor the taste.


Raisins or currants (seedless raisins) are most traditional, but diced dried apricots, cherries or even pineapple can be used.

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Hot Cross Bundt Cake

Hot Cross Bundt Cake

Yield: 12
Author: Nikki Miller-Ka of Nik Snacks
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 1 Hour
A new twist on the Easter tradition of hot cross buns, this bundt cake has all of the flavors and look of the traditional morning treat.


  • 1½ cups self-rising flour
  • ½ (1 stick) cup butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups Dixie Crystals granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice or ground star anise
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup packed Dixie Crystals light or dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon star anise extract or
  • pure vanilla extract
  • ½ Tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 oz raisins or currants
  • 1½ cups buttermilk 
  • 1 can refrigerated biscuits (6 or 8-count), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup Dixie Crystals powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons orange juice


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Next, grease and flour a 9" or 10" tube or
  2. bundt cake pan.
  3. Measure 3 cups of flour by spooning lightly into a measuring cup and then leveling it off. Sift together with
  4. cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, star anise and cardamom. Set aside.
  5. Cream butter and sugars together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla, orange zest and beat mixture until just combined. Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk to the egg mixture. Add raisins.
  6. Gently shape refrigerated biscuit pieces into balls. Place half of the biscuit rolls in the lightly greased 9-inch cake pan first. Carefully pour half of the cake batter into prepared pan. Place remaining biscuit pieces on top and pour the remaining batter. Gently smooth the top surface of the batter with a rubber spatula.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. When the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, it is done.
  8. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out on a wire rack to finish cooling. If the cake doesn't want to release completely from the pan, tap lightly on the top and sides of the upside-down pan with a spoon or carefully loosen the sides of the cake with a paring knife. Let cake cool completely before decorating.
  9. Mix confectioners’ sugar and orange juice in a small bowl. Spoon into a small resealable plastic bag. Cut a small piece from one of the bottom corners of the bag. Close bag tightly then pipe a cross-hatch pattern on the top of the entire cake.

Please consult a healthcare professional or dietician about nutritional needs for your diet. I am a communications professional, not a physician.

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Thank you #SpringSweetsWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Door County Coffee & Tea Co., Circulon, Melissa’s Produce, Taylor and Colledge, and Nairn’s for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #SpringSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The #SpringSweetsWeek giveaway is open to residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #SpringSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #SpringSweetsWeek posts or entry.

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

Leave a reply

  1. Yum! I love this giant hot cross bundt cake. It's so fun and perfect way to use refrigerated biscuits!

  2. That looks amazing. I love a great bundt cake.

  3. What a fun Easter dish. I love the hot cross Bun(dt) idea.

  4. This cake sounds and looks delicious! I love the twist!

  5. I love this classic in a bundt cake! What a perfect springtime treat!

  6. What a cute and delicious Easter dessert!

  7. This would be so fun for Easter Morning Brunch with the fam!

  8. Biscuits in a cake!!! Wow! Just Wow! This is the coolest thing ever.

  9. This is perfect for Easter! And I love the play on words!

  10. I haven't seen star anise extract so I think I am going to have to make some, no problem. Now my mind is going crazy thinking of all the great stuff I can make with the extra once I make yours.


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