Hot Cross Bun Pain Perdu with fresh berries and cream on a white plate.

Hot Cross Bun Pain Perdu

Hot Cross Bun Pain Perdu – perfectly decadent French toast using leftover hot cross buns for your Easter brunch. Top it with fresh berries, syrup, and cream.

Hot Cross Bun Pain Perdu with fresh berries and cream on a white plate.
Hot Cross Bun Pain Perdu

Hot Cross Bun Pain Perdu – perfectly decadent French toast for your Easter brunch using leftover hot cross buns. Top it with fresh berries, syrup, and cream.

Last Minute Prep

Easter crept up on me this year. It hovered somewhere off my radar, overshadowed by our spring break trip to London and all the tasks that come with settling back after some time away. All of a sudden, I realized that I had prepared nothing. Egg dying became a hurried affair, and I scrambled to figure out our Easter menu.

Hot Cross Bun Pain Perdu topped with fresh berries and cream.

Easter Menu

The Easter menu dilemma solved itself fairly quickly. “Prime rib?” my husband suggested — or perhaps reminded is the better choice of words since it has been our tradition many Easters running. So that was that.

But what about hot cross buns? Not enough time, I thought, but no problem, I’ll just pick some up at the bakery when I get the prime rib from the butcher.

Homemade hot cross buns on a baking sheet.
Hot cross buns pain perdu for Easter breakfast.

Making it Work

“Sold out,” said the lady behind the counter. “Come back tomorrow,” she consoled.

“Easter morning?” My heart sank. “Thank you, but I’ll just make my own.”

And so I did.

Honestly, I’m glad it worked out this way. Working on the dough was something I was able to squeeze in between baseball games and music lessons, and that evening, between sips of wine, I was forming the rolls for some early morning baking. All the baking made it feel festive!

Decadent french toast topped it with fresh berries, figs and cream.

Hot Cross Bun Pain Perdu

The aroma of the hot cross buns was intoxicating on Easter morning, but I had ulterior motives for baking the buns in the first place. Hot Cross Bun Pain Perdu was the ultimate goal – a decadent french toast made with light and fluffy thrice-risen buns (I promise to share this recipe with you in the future), in an orange and vanilla scented buttermilk bath, topped with sweetened berries and a drizzle of custardy yogurt or cream. Because for me, brunch can never be an afterthought, especially on a holiday.

Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Looking for a recipe for Hot Cross Buns? Try my Overnight Vegan Hot Cross Buns!

Hot Cross Bun Pain Perdu

Save some hot cross buns to make a decadent french toast for brunch! Hot Cross Bun Pain Perdu is perfect for Easter morning and beyond.
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine American, French
Prep Time 6 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 666kcal


  • 2 cups fresh mixed berries
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 4 hot cross buns halved lengthwise (about 3/4 inch thick)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • syrup for serving
  • powdered sugar for serving
  • clotted cream yogurt or whipped cream, for serving


  • In a small bowl toss together the berries, sugar, and water, and set aside to rest.
  • In a shallow bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and orange zest. Dip the hot cross buns in the batter and coat on both sides.
  • Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Melt one tablespoon of butter and spread to coat the pan. Add slices of the prepared hot cross buns and brown on each side. Continue with the remaining slices.
  • Serve immediately with berries, a drizzle of syrup, powdered sugar, and cream.


Inspired by Hot Cross Bun Pain Perdu with Honey Roasted Figs from Cook with M&S.
Looking for a recipe for Hot Cross Buns? Try my Overnight Vegan Hot Cross Buns!


Calories: 666kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 382mg | Sodium: 592mg | Potassium: 282mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 1435IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 224mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante


Recipe Rating

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  1. Carolyn Seaman

    This looks fabulous. We would like to make it for a large group on Sunday morning. Can you bake it?

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Carolyn! I have not tested this particular pain perdu in the oven, however, I have baked other French toast recipes in the oven. I would give it a try in by baking in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes, or until the custard is set and the top is golden brown. Please let me know if you give the baking method a try, and how it goes!

  2. Traci | Vanilla And Bean

    Oh Liren… just when we need a break… “sold out!” Well, though, look what you created. I’m blown away… from the application of such a classic to adding a bit of gluten relaxing buttermilk – tender hot cross!! Look at the dark grill pan marks on those luscious buns… You’ve made me drool! I can’t wait for local strawberry season… I want to go out and get the ingredients to make this posthaste! Gorgeous work!

    • Liren Baker

      Aww, thank you so much, Traci! My husband is already asking for more hot cross buns, and you know what, I think I may just have to make them again this weekend :) Strawberries will be wonderful!

  3. Amisha

    These hot cross buns look perfect! I have never eaten one but always sang the song as a kid :) and to my kids haha! The twist to make French toast with it – awesome idea! And love the gorgeous shots ! :)

  4. Michelle -- Leo Sigh

    I actually make hot cross buns long after Easter. Will be making them these week again, and will definitely use some of them for this. Sounds, and looks, so good :)

    • Liren Baker

      I love that you don’t reserve hot cross buns solely for Easter. It’s too good to not enjoy all year long :) I hope you enjoy the pain perdu!

  5. Kankana

    I was so determined to try hot cross buns this Easter but then we got so busy with other things! Then again, why can’t I try now, right :)

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