Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

gluten free hot cross buns recipe

Easter is often all about the chocolate but for me, it’s all about the gluten free hot cross buns.

They are absolutely the heroes of Easter, a spiced, sweet bun, packed with fruit and marked with a cross.

Traditionally, hot cross buns are eaten on Good Friday to mark the end of Lent.

But to be honest, I’d happily eat these gluten free hot cross buns all year round!

gluten free hot cross buns recipe

What are hot cross buns?

Hot cross buns are a sweet and spicy bun, which have dried fruit in and a white cross on top.

They are traditionally eaten at Easter-time, at the end of Lent.

This is because traditionally, you gave up dairy for lent.

The hot cross bun dough is made with milk and butter to celebrate being able to eat this again.

And of course, the cross on top is significant to Easter too.

Personally I love eating these all year round, so I’m very happy to have a recipe for when the free from aisles stop stocking them.

I like to glaze my gluten free hot cross buns with an apricot jam to make them look glossy and beautiful too.

gluten free hot cross buns recipe

What do you put in hot cross buns?

There’s a full printable recipe card below, but for the shopping list you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 300ml milk (I used full-fat)
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 500g gluten free white bread flour
  • 14g dried quick yeast
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 175g mixed fruit and peel

For the topping and glaze you’ll also need:

  • 1 egg (beaten, to glaze)
  • 2 tbsp plain gluten free flour
  • Water
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam

For the flour I use the FREEE Gluten Free White Bread Flour, which is a mixture of rice, potato and tapioca flour.

If you cannot get hold of this then a plain gluten free flour blend should work just as well.

The xanthan gum is crucial for the texture of the dough, so I recommend adding this even if it’s in you flour blend.

Instead of orange zest you could use lemon zest if you prefer or have this to hand.

And if you’re not a fan of peel, simple use a mixture of raisins and currants for the fruit element instead, to the same weight.

gluten free hot cross buns recipe

What is the cross on a hot cross bun made of?

Believe it or not, the cross  on top of hot cross buns is simply made of flour and water!

Once the dough has proved, you brush the hot cross buns with an egg-wash to make sure they go lovely and golden brown.

But then, before baking, you pipe the cross on top of each bun.

The paste is made from mixing plain gluten free flour with a little cold water at a time, until it forms a thick paste.

I then put this in a piping bag and pipe it straight onto the buns.

The thicker the paste, the thinner and more precise the lines will be.

As you can see, the cross on the buns I photographed had a thicker topping paste than in the video, showing how this affects the look of the buns.

I think both look great so it’s up to you what sort of look you’re going for with your gluten free hot cross buns.

gluten free hot cross buns recipe

Top tips for making gluten free hot cross buns

When making these gluten free hot cross buns, it will be very different to making ‘normal’ dough.

There’s no kneading involved here as there is no gluten in the mix to develop.

Instead it forms a sticky dough – but trust me, you want that in order to produce a good end result.

If you try adding extra flour to make the dough knead-able, it’ll be horribly dry upon baking.

A good tip is to flour your hands when forming the buns, as this will stop too much dough sticking to your hands.

You might want to keep re-flouring them as you go on otherwise you’ll end up in a bit of a sticky mess!

gluten free hot cross buns recipe

Proving your hot cross buns

It’s important when making these that you also give them adequate time to prove. 

You want the dough to puff up and expand, just like this:

gluten free hot cross buns recipe

My dough is usually ready in about an hour – I place it in a warm, draft-free area near a radiator, and cover it with a tea towel.

If it’s a hot day, you may find the dough proves a lot quicker.

And likewise, if it’s colder then it may take more time – if in doubt, just give it a little longer!

You want the dough to feel nice and light and puffy when you gently poke it with your finger.

Don’t worry if the buns are touching either – it will produce that lovely bakery look and feel when you tear them apart after baking.

gluten free hot cross buns recipe

My gluten free hot cross buns recipe

This recipe makes around 10 gluten free hot cross buns, but you can make 8 slightly larger ones if you like.

If you do this you’ll need to make sure you adjust the cooking times as they’ll be larger and will need more time in the oven.

I’ve also got a handy video tutorial here to help guide you through the process:

 

If you make this recipe and love it, please do let me know by tagging me on my Instagram or using #theglutenfreeblogger. I love seeing your bakes!

And please do leave a review to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me. 

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gluten free hot cross buns recipe

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Yield: 10 hot cross buns
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Proving Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 41 minutes

Gluten free hot cross buns are the perfect Easter bake! A spiced, sweet bun packed with fruit with a cross on top. This recipes makes 10 hot cross buns which are delicious warm or toasted with butter.

Ingredients

  • 300ml milk (I used full-fat)
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 500g gluten free white bread flour
  • 14g dried quick yeast
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 175g mixed fruit and peel

For the topping:

  • 1 egg (beaten, to glaze)
  • 2 tbsp plain gluten free flour
  • Cold water
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam

Instructions

  1. Add the milk and butter to a small saucepan and place on a low heat. Heat through until the butter has completely melted. Remove from the heat and set to one side - you want it to be about hand-hot when you add it to the mixture.
  2. Add the egg and vegetable oil to a mug and whisk lightly.
  3. Add gluten free flour, yeast, xanthan gum, sugar, salt, mixed spice and orange zest to a large mixing bowl. Stir a couple of times with a wooden spoon to mix the dry ingredients together and then add the mixed fruit and peel.
  4. When the milk is warm (but not hot) pour it into the dry ingredients along with the oil and egg. Using the wooden spoon, beat together until it starts to come together. It should form a thick and sticky dough.
  5. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Flour your hands and break off 120g of the dough mixture. Roll into a ball and place on the baking tray. Repeat until you have 10 balls of dough, approx 2cm apart from each other.
  6. Cover the dough loosely with oiled clingfilm and place in a warm, draft-free spot to prove for around one hour. The dough should puff up and indent when pushed gently.
  7. When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 200'C / Fan 180'C / Gas Mark 6. Lightly brush each piece of dough with beaten egg.
  8. Add the plain gluten free flour to a small bowl and gradually add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, mixing well until it forms a thick, smooth paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small hole cut off the tip. Pipe crosses onto the tops of the buns.
  9. Bake the hot cross buns for 20-25 minutes until golden on top. Remove from the oven. Microwave the apricot jam for 20-30 seconds and then brush on top of the hot cross buns while they are still hot. Leave to cool for at least 30 minutes until eating.

Notes

  • These hot cross buns are best eaten on the day of baking - I'd recommend toasting them if eating them after that.
  • These will keep well in an airtight container for up to three days and also freeze well.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 322Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 267mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 2gSugar: 12gProtein: 9g

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Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Recipe

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Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Recipe

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