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Every Last Crumb: Waste-Not Hot Cross Bun Recipes

Waste Not Hot Cross Bun

Waste not, want not, as the old saying goes. Like any food lover, we can’t watch leftovers be thrown away. We’re constantly looking at ways to reuse surplus food, taking a leaf from the books of older generations who used simple, creative methods to make use of every last crumb. It is our responsibility to make food last, to reduce waste and promote sustainable practices in our bakeries. Which is where our Hot Cross Buns come in. 

We wait all year to fill the Baker’s Table with Hot Cross Buns. With their soft, pillowy interior and golden, glossy finish, they are at once deliciously familiar and a rare treat. They mark the end of the darkest days of winter and the beginning of a crisp, bright new season. Spring is all about fresh starts and new rituals. A resurrection of routine. A rebirth of our habits, perhaps. One we can all start today is learning how to waste less. And the place to begin, like so many things, is in the kitchen. 

Leftovers can be one of life’s pleasures. No really, hear us out. Flavours of last night’s curry deepen, sauces get richer, soups sing when left to stew overnight. Making food last just means more opportunities to enjoy it. We can reuse, rework and reimagine food, breaking it from its original structure into something entirely new. And, let’s face it, it feels good to do it. There’s something satisfying about being quietly resourceful. Planning ahead. Being a little more thoughtful. 

So when the first flashes of spring start to brighten on the horizon, and the sweet scent of Hot Cross Buns fills our bakeries, we want to make sure they never go to waste.

Our bakers give new life to second-day buns with two moreish recipes. Bacon Hot Cross Bun Sandwiches are sure to become a new favourite, and our Easter Pudding recipe is one to put on the table, piping hot from the oven, and watch eyes light up. 

Bacon Hot Cross Bun Sandwiches

Bacon Hot Cross Bun Sandwiches

What more delicious way to upcycle your day-old Hot Cross Buns than this? The perfect balance of salty, crispy bacon and soft, sweet, gently spiced Hot Cross Buns. Best served piping hot and left in perfect peace to eat. 


  • 1 GAIL’s Hot Cross Bun (or find our hot cross bun recipe here to make them from scratch)
  • 3 rashers of streaky bacon
  • Maple syrup
  • Butter

Preparing Bacon Hot Cross Bun sandwich

Bacon Hot Cross Bun Sandwich Recipe


  • Add oil to a frying pan and heat. Once the pan is hot add the bacon and fry on both sides until crispy.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to the bacon and cook for another minute.
  • While the bacon is cooking, slice your bun in half and lightly toast.
Top tip – place the bun face down on top of the toaster, not inside, so it doesn’t get stuck.
  • Butter the toasted bun and add the bacon. 
  • Finish with a drizzle of maple syrup. Trust us. 


Easter Pudding Recipe

Easter pudding recipe

A classic with a twist. Day-old Hot Cross Buns sing in this comforting, deliciously sticky pudding. Custard is key. You can also serve it with a scoop of ice cream, the more flecked with vanilla the better. 

Serves 10-12 people


  • 10 two-day-old Hot Cross Buns
  • 15 rashes smoked streaky bacon
  • Soft butter at room temperature for greasing the pudding dish
  • Pudding (or roasting) dish at 20 x 30 x H10cm
  • Little bit of icing sugar for dusting (optional)

For the custard:

  • 500ml whole milk
  • 500ml double cream
  • 6 large eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 50ml maple syrup (plus more for brushing)
  • Small pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Easter pudding

Easter Pudding


  1. Using a hand mix, combine all the custard ingredients in a mixing bowl and pour into a large jug.
  2. Using your fingers, liberally butter the pudding dish with soft butter. Don’t be shy.
  3. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C.
  4. Arrange the bacon onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, brush the rashes with maple syrup and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until crispy. Remove from the oven, let the rashes cool and then chop roughly
  5. Reduce the oven heat to 160°C.
  6. Cut the stale buns into halves and quarters and then arrange them in the pudding dish. Neatness is not necessary, in this case.
  7. Slowly and gradually, pour the custard over the buns. You might want to let the buns “drink” some custard before you continue topping them up with more.
  8. Sprinkle the chopped bacon on top and in between the buns, tucking the pieces in as you go. Leave some pieces on top of the custard so they can crisp up.
  9. Cover the pudding dish loosely with a large sheet of tin foil and bake for 30 minutes
  10. Remove the foil and continue baking for 15 – 20 minutes until the pudding is golden brown and the custard appears set when pressed down in the middle of the pudding.
  11. Take out of the oven and brush with more maple syrup. Then dust with icing sugar, if you like.

  12. Let it cool for 15 minutes before spooning and serving. 

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