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Hot Cross Cinnabunnies, courtesy of Kylee’s Kitchen

The Easter Bunny will be in town this Easter Sunday!

Kylee Scales is whipping up something special for the bunny’s grand arrival in Kylee’s Kitchen.

Here’s a tip from Kylee before you get started: unflavored dental floss works great for cutting cinnamon rolls.

Hot Cross Cinnabunnies (Yield: Makes about 14 rolls)

Ingredients for the rolls

  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk, lukewarm
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
  • 2 eggs (100 grams), beaten, room temperature
  • 4 1/4 cups (510 grams) bread flour
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, divided in half
  • 1 Tablespoon (8 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) all spice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (7.75 grams) instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (9 grams) salt 

Ingredients for the filling

  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon (2.5 grams) cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) all spice
  • 1 cup (160 grams) mixed dried fruit (raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries)

Ingredients for the glaze

  • 2 Tablespoon apricot jam
  • 2 teaspoons water

Ingredients for the cream cheese frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 cup (58 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 grams) salt
  • 1 cup (120 grams) powdered sugar

Directions for rolls

  1. Combine milk, butter, and eggs in large mixing bowl. Add bread flour, sugar, cinnamon, all spice, instant yeast, and salt.
  2. Knead everything together, using a mixer or by hand, to form a smooth ball of dough. It will take around 8 to 10 minutes on second speed of stand mixer. Dough will be sticky, but it should pull away from sides of bowl. If it doesn’t add more flour, a tablespoon at a time.
  3. Place dough in large, greased bowl. Tightly cover dough with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in warm, draft-free environment until it doubles in size, around 90 minutes to 2 hours. 
  4. Punch dough down and transfer onto pastry mat or lightly floured surface. Roll into large rectangle, about 20 inches by 14 inches, it doesn’t need to be those exact dimensions.

Directions for filling

  1. Mix the orange marmalade with cinnamon and all spice. Spread mixture on dough, leaving 4-inch border on top. 
  2. Sprinkle dried fruit on top of marmalade.
  3. Tightly roll up rectangle and cut into about 14 equal pieces. Arrange pieces, cut side down, on 2 baking sheets.
  4. Uncurl the 4 inches of the roll without filling and cut in half lengthwise. Bend dough strips and pinch ends to look like bunny ears. Cover rolls and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes or until dough is noticeably puffy.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake rolls about 15 to 20 minutes, or until they’re light brown. If the bunny ears brown too quickly, cover baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  6. Remove rolls from oven.

Directions for glaze

  1. Place jam and water in bowl and microwave 30 seconds. Mix to combine. Brush cinnamon roll bunnies with jam mixture while warm.
  2. Allow to cool.

Directions for cream cheese frosting

  1. Beat together cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  2. Transfer cream cheese frosting to plastic sandwich bag and snip about 1/4 inch from corner.
  3. Pipe crosses onto cinnamon rolls to indicate hot cross buns.
  4. Serve immediately or store in air-tight container at room temperature for several days.