HOT cross buns, hot cross buns. One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns.

You can’t help but sing this old-fashioned childhood nursery rhyme when you get the best butter out of the fridge to slaver over the toasted cross spiced bun.

But this humble little bun has sadly created lots of controversy over the years.

For some, the spiced, scented raisin-studded delights of a warm hot cross bun cannot come soon enough. Purists like me will always argue that the hot cross bun is a religious Easter food and is to be baked on Good Friday alone, which marks the end of Lent.

But sadly today retailers are buckling under pressure of bun-deprived customers, with the first sighting always appearing on New Year’s Day. Who would dare to be brave enough to buy a packet or two and hide them under a box of reduced mince pies at the bottom of the shopping trolley?

I believe the cross on top of the hot cross bun represents the crucifixion and the spices the ones used to embalm Jesus.

I have a cunning plan for next year to get around the hot cross bun timing controversy. Why not take the cross away from this religious bun and create a smiley face?

Today we live in a world of profit and greed and for most, a freshly baked hot cross bun with its plump fragrance fruits, sticky glazed fingers with hot butter dribbling down your chin will make you love them all year round.

So this year it’s perfect timing to turn the oven on and have ago at baking a batch of hot cross buns reserved for that special day – ‘’Good Friday’’ – or over the Easter holiday weekend in the non-judgmental comfort of your own kitchen.

This will guarantee and cement friendship sharing your hot cross buns for bond and good luck over the following year.

All you need is a baking tray, and a few basic ingredients often found in your kitchen cupboard.

I’m very unconvinced about experimental versions on any traditional treats, so sorry no ‘’little twist’’ hot cross buns eaten as a bacon butty. I’ll let you off with a wedge of Wensleydale cheese.

You must remember a hot cross bun has magical properties and should not be abused. The next time you catch yourself tutting at the first sight of hot cross buns on sale the first week of January, think on, that’s when you know you are getting old and can’t resist them!

So how do you eat your hot cross buns? Whether you’re a purist or an experimenter is entirely your own guilty pleasure, as folklore foods were not tended to be written down!

• Join me at the Bingley Arts Centre on Good Friday afternoon for a hot cross bun masterclass hosted by Sandy Docherty, the Great British Bake Off contestant. Visit for details.