I love a good hot cross bun at Easter, but they can be quite time-consuming to make. These scones fulfil the same function as a hot cross bun – they are warm, not too sweet, and a satisfying treat for breakfast, brunch or afternoon tea – but they are much quicker and easier to make. For me these little scones, with their juicy cherries, fresh lemon tang and marzipan hint of almonds, are perfect for the onset of spring, anticipating the bounty of summer to come. However, you could swap the cherries and lemon zest for candied peel, sultanas and currants for a true ‘hot cross’ flavour, if you like. You can whip these up in a few minutes for afternoon tea; they’re lovely and filling, but not too sweet, and also freeze well, so you could get organized and prep some now for Easter.
The lemon glaze for these comes together in a few seconds, and can be artfully drizzled rather than piped over the scones, making them even easier than buns. It adds a lovely bright sweetness to the delicate spiced crumb, which just begs to be pulled apart and slathered with butter and – if you’re feeling really decadent – jam and clotted cream. These would be amazing with some cherry or raspberry jam, I reckon, and a nice change to the usual hot cross buns that become so ubiquitous around springtime.