Australian Hot Cross Biscuits

Makes 30

An easy way to bring the flavours of the classic Easter bun to your table with addition of great Australian flavour.

These biscuits are spiced with the delicious combination of cinnamon and native mountain pepper from Tasmania. 

Mountain pepper is the leaf of the better known native pepperberry tree. This recipe is based on a great recipe from legend Donna Hay. 



  • 125gm butter softened 
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons native mountain pepper
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon 
  • 2 ½ cups self-raising flour sifted (375gm)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • ¾ cup Australian sultanas (100gm)


  • 1 cup icing sugar sifted
  • 1/3 teaspoon native peppermint gum 
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water  


  • Preheat oven to 180
  • Using an electric mixer beat butter & sugar for 8 to 10 minutes until pale and creamy. 
  • Gradually add eggs and vanilla, continue to beat well.
  • Add lemon rind, mountain pepper, cinnamon, milk, and sultanas, continue to mix. 
  • Add flour a spoon at a time and continue to mix until a dough is formed. 
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm. 
  • Prepare a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Roll tablespoon potions of dough into balls and place spaced on the tray, allowing for biscuits to spread (mine are about 20gm each).
  • Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Test one to make sure it is cooked through (I’m mindful everyone’s oven can be different). 
  • Once cool make your icing. Mix all ingredients into a paste. Using a piping bag pipe a cross on each biscuit – or go free hand with a spoon. 
  • Allow to dry and serve up with a nice hot cuppa and a good conversation.  

Preparing cookies for baking

Final Australian hot cross biscuit

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