March 19

Hot Cross Buns – Cranberry And Orange

I love fruit peel in hot cross buns, but my kids don’t so I thought I would substitute orange peel that I used to include in this recipe for some drops of dōTERRA wild orange essential oil. Remember, not all essential oils can be taken internally, so don’t rush off to your local health food store or chemist and buy a bottle of orange essential oil as it may contain other ingredients that make it harmful to consume.

You can even substitute the cinnamon powder in these hot cross buns for dōTERRA cassia or cinnamon bark essential oil. Just remember, start with a few drops, taste then add more.

These hot cross buns are my husband’s favourite as he loves the hint of orange peel from the wild orange essential oil.

For an extra kick of wild orange flavour: add one (1) drop into the glaze.

Hot Cross Buns – Cranberry And Orange

Prep time Cook time Total time
1 hour 10 mins 25 mins 1 hour 35 mins

I use a stand mixer for this recipe with the ‘hook’ attachment, however, you can use a hand beater – just make sure you have beat it long enough that it all looks incorporated.

Author: Tracey Francis of Essential Olie
Serves: 12



  • 2½ cups Gluten Free Flour
  • 1½ teaspoon Guar Gum
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon powder
  • 2 teaspoons Mixed Spice powder (or 1 teaspoon Allspice and 1 teaspoon Nutmeg)
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt
  • ⅓ cup Raw Caster Sugar
  • ¾ cup Cranberries
  • 8-10 drops dōTERRA wild orange essential oil
  • 15g Dry yeast
  • 2 Eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup Milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 100g Butter or Nuttelex (melted just til it’s very soft, not hot)


  • ½ cup Gluten Free Flour
  • 4 teaspoons Raw Caster Sugar
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Water

Glaze (if your eating them straight away):

  • 2 Tablespoons Raw Caster Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Water


  1. Grease either a baking tin, muffin tin, cup cake tin, or friand pan with butter/nuttelex or spray oil or line with paper patties.
  2. Put butter/nuttelex with milk (dairy or non-dairy) in a saucepan and melt butter/nuttelex over a low heat til its just melting (part of it will be very soft and part will be melted – the point is you don’t want it to be too hot and you only want the coldness taken off the milk).
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, whisk in your flour, then add guar gum, cinnamon powder, mixed spice powder, vanilla powder, salt, sugar, cranberries and dry yeast. Blend on low speed til all ingredients are combined. You will know as the dry mix will go brown from the spices.
  4. Add eggs and and mix on low speed then add warmed milk/butter and mix til combined. Then add 8-10 drops of dōTERRA wild orange essential oil (we use 8 but taste test it before you add more drops). You may need to stop the mixer and scrap down the sides here.
  5. Once all ingredients have combined turn up the mixer to beat on high for 3 minutes.
  6. Using an ice cream scooper (I used a size 16 heaped) scoop the mixture into your muffin tin or onto a baking tin evenly spaced.
  7. Set aside for 20 minutes to 1 hour for the yeast to rest and rise in a warm location.
  8. After 20 minutes to 1 hour, turn on your oven to 170°C (fan forced).
  9. Make the cross mix by whisking all ingredients in a bowl then spoon it into a piping bag with small to medium tip (I use using a size 12 wilton tip). If you don’t have a piping bag/set then use a freezer bag or zip lock bag with a corner cut and pipe on the crosses.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes depending on how brown you like them.
  11. When they are almost finished baking or even when they have finished, leave them in the warm oven til you make the glaze – combine both sugar and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil (make sure you watch it) boiling it for a few minutes til it starts to go syrup-like.
  12. Take hot cross buns out of oven and using a pastry brush coat them with the glaze.
  13. Allow to cool slightly then enjoy.


a) I use my sweet sorghum blend of flour – however you can use pre-mixed gluten free self-raising flour.

b) I use organic raw caster sugar, however, you can replace it with honey or rice malt syrup – I have used all but we preferred sugar. Similar with the glaze you can either replace the sugar with honey or rice malt syrup or choose not to glaze.

c) I mainly use macadamia nut milk OR coconut/almond milk, but I have also used cow’s milk and lactose free milk – they all work, and they all taste delicious.

d) Using a size 16 ice cream scooper heaped with mixture I make 12 to 13, however, you can make your buns smaller and will get more from the mix.

e) If it’s cooler weather turn on your oven on the lowest heat setting til it’s warm then turn off and put the hot cross buns in the oven to rise.

f) We only glaze if we are eating straight away, otherwise, I don’t glaze them.

g) If you are pre-making hot cross buns, then keep them wrapped in the greaseproof paper that you baked them on when your storing them. It will help keep them moist and to stop them from drying out.

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