Hot Magen David buns!

Rich, fruity, spicy & delicious, each of these buns sports a magnificent Magen David on its golden, shiny top. Enjoy them warm, cold or toasted. 

What to make when Purim & Easter (almost) coincide? Hot Magen David buns of course!

Rich, fruity, spicy & delicious, each of these buns sports a magnificent Magen David on its golden, shiny top. Enjoy them warm, cold or toasted. (Parve)

Fusion cuisine!

I’ve often noted how British Jews have adopted and adapted British (Christian) food traditions, largely without a second thought. No-one would look askance at a Jewish family tucking into turkey and mince pies in December, or making pancakes on pancake day (Shrove Tuesday). However, there’s one delicious traditional treat which has not been taken up so enthusiastically by the Jewish community – hot cross buns.

Hot magen david buns.

A line we can’t CROSS…

It’s not hard to see why. They can be as fruity and spicy and delicious as you like, but there’s no avoiding the massive edible symbol of Christianity piped onto the top of them. Even a not-very-observant Jew might feel a little uncomfortable, scoffing one down with lashings of butter.

And as if that wasn’t enough, hot cross buns are an Easter treat, and Easter is most usually associated with Pesach. And there’s no way on Earth you could make an unleavened HCB! They are fully leavened, all the way through.

Hot magen david bun on a plate.

Purim surprises

But sometimes, Pesach is late, and Easter coincides (almost) with Purim – a festival of joyous eating AND of mixing-things-up and playing around with them. What could be more perfect for the occasion than a hot Magen David bun?!

These buns are rich, fruity, spicy and delicious, and each one sports a magnificent Magen David on its golden, shiny top. I would be ecstatic to receive one of these in my mishloach manot! I might make another batch and arrange them into a pull-apart challah for our ‘Easter weekend’ Shabbat meals.

Hot magen david buns brushed with syrup.

Get mixing

If you have a stand mixer, these are trivial to make, although as with any yeasted bake there’s a bit of sitting around waiting for them to rise. The hardest bit is piping on the Magen Davids, but even that’s not too tricky once you get your hand in. Practise a couple on a plate before you start on the buns, and all will be fine.

These buns are wonderful hot from the oven, or warm with butter. Or cold. Or split and toasted and spread with butter and honey. Oh yum. To be honest, you can put just about anything on them, they’ll still be delicious.

Hot magen david buns.

Dairy free or not

I made my hot Magen David buns parve, but you can easily substitute butter and milk for the margarine and soy milk. It’s never going to hurt, is it?

One final thing – you are quite at liberty to leave the tops of the buns bare and call them “not cross buns”, or you can decorate them with the religious symbol of your choice, like these lovely multicultural buns from Kavey Eats, or, you could put any symbol you like on there. I quite fancy an ampersand bun…

Makes 12 hot Magen David buns.

Rich, fruity, spicy & delicious, each of these buns sports a magnificent Magen David on its golden, shiny top. Enjoy them warm, cold or toasted. (Parve)


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Magen David buns

Rich, fruity, spicy & delicious, each of these buns sports a magnificent Magen David on its golden, shiny top. Enjoy them warm, cold or toasted. (Parve)
Course Bread, Cake
Cuisine British, jewish
Keyword baking
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
rising time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 12 buns
Calories 298kcal
Author Helen


  • 125 ml milk or non-dairy alternative e.g. soya milk (½ cup)
  • 125 ml hot but not boiling water (½ cup)
  • 2 tsp dried yeast (6g)
  • 500 g plain flour (4 cups)
  • 75 g caster sugar (⅓ cup)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 60 g margarine or butter (¼ cup)
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g dried fruit - I used a mixture of raisins and dried cranberries (⅔ cup)
  • Finely grated zest of an orange

For the magen davids

  • 50 g plain flour (3/8 cup)
  • 50 ml water (¼ cup)

For the glaze

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp hot water


  • Combine the milk and hot water in a jug. The liquid should be hand-hot - test this by sticking your finger in it! Once it is at the right temperature, add the yeast and whisk in to dissolve. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon. Once the yeast/milk mixture is foamy, add to the bowl and set the motor running a low speed to combine. Add the vanilla, margarine/butter and egg, and continue to mix until a dough is formed.
  • After about five minutes, add the dried fruit and orange zest. Continue to mix for a further five minutes, until the dough is smooth and silky. It may still be a little sticky.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for a minute or two by hand to ensure that the fruit is evenly distributed throughout the dough. Return to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel, and leave in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
  • Knock back the dough and knead very briefly. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  • Divide into 12 equal pieces and form each one into a round bun. Place the buns onto the lined baking sheet, leaving space for them to rise. Cover again and leave to rise for a further 30-40 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  • To make the magen davids, mix the flour and water together to give a thick but runny paste. Spoon into a zip-lock bag or greaseproof icing bag, and snip a tiny hole in one corner.
  • Carefully pipe a magen david onto the top of each bun.
  • Bake the buns at 200°C (400°F) for around 15 minutes, until risen and golden brown.
  • Just before the buns are cooked, mix together the honey and hot water to make the glaze.
  • Remove the buns from the oven, and quickly brush the glaze all over them.
  • Allow the buns to cool on a wire rack, then serve them warm, cold, or toasted, with plenty of butter.


Per bun (approx): 298 calories, 5g fat, 6g protein, 57g carbs

If you enjoy a sweet and spicy bun, you might also like these no-yeast cinnamon raisin buns with maple syrup glaze. Or check out this glorious cinnamon babka for a real treat.

I’m entering these delicious buns into some foodie linkups: Treat Petite, hosted by the Baking Explorer and co-organised by Cakeyboi, and  Tea-time Treats, hosted by Hedge Combers and co-organised by Lavender & Lovage, both of which are after Easter and Spring recipes. I’m also joining in with Inheritance Recipes, organised by Pebble Soup and Coffee & Vanilla, as I’d love to pass this recipe on as a new Purim tradition!




  1. Hi. I’ve just made these buns however the yeast didn’t froth and the dough didn’t double in size. Just wondering if the milk/hot water mix was either too hot or not hot enough. They look great and taste ok but obviously not nearly light and airy enough .any advise?? Thanks

    • Hi Gill. Sorry they didn’t work quite as planned. It sounds like your yeast didn’t activate at all so either the water was so hot that it killed it, which it shouldn’t have done if it was OK when you tested it with your finger, or else it was already deceased before you started 🙁
      My only suggestion would be to buy new yeast and try again and hopefully that will do the trick. At least they taste OK!
      All the best, Helen x.

  2. Can these be made ahead of time and frozen. I would love to serve them at my twin granddaughters Bat Mitzvah

    • Hi Vickie. I haven’t even frozen them myself, but I don’t see why they shouldn’t freeze well – they’re basically bread rolls. Maybe do a test batch and see? I hope your granddaughters enjoy them! And mazel tov on the bat mitzvah!

  3. Is the butter/margarine softened or melted when added to mixer?

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  5. I think this is a fabulous idea, all cultures and religions have their own traditions but it’s so nice to share the best of them.

  6. Hi Helen, they look fabulous! Could you tell me what you mean by “mixed spice”? Thanks!

  7. They look amazing, thank you for sharing with Inheritance Recipes 🙂

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  9. Wow they just look stunning and so appetising! Perfectly baked, gorgeous shine, and such a clever and neat decoration. Thanks for entering into Treat Petite!

  10. Lovely and very clever with the stars too. They look yum x

  11. I love hot cross buns – why should they not climb over religious boundaries, after all they used to be pagan offerings! These look absolutely beautiful and must say the star is just perfect!

  12. How aweseome and they sound delicious. You did a really good job on the stars! 😀

  13. Sam | Ahead of Thyme

    These buns looks delicious!! I wish I had it for breakfast right now!!

  14. shockinglydelicious

    Incredibly clever! And I cracked up at you suggesting an ampersand on top.

  15. These are so pretty. I struggle just to make the cross on my hot cross buns.. lol

    • Once you get started the stars aren’t so difficult to do. I think the consistency of the flour-water mixture is critical though – my first lot was too runny and the stars were a mess!

  16. These look similar to Hot Cross Buns which I LOVE this time of year. They are so pretty…nice tradition.

  17. woa..that looks husband just walked in when I was viewing this post and he exclaimed, “why dont you make that for me?” 🙂 now i have to try your recipe..

  18. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will be trying it out x

  19. Your buns are so gorgeous, beautifully piped stars and lovely definition between them and the rest of the surface. Much prettier than my hot multicultural buns, but thank you for the mention. I love sharing of traditions and adapting them, so I think these are just lovely.

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