March 31

Hot Cross Bunz

I’m not sure whether I know anyone that celebrates Easter that doesn’t like a fresh warm hot cross buns. Maybe I shouldn’t make that broad statement. Okay, it’s just me and I know for sure it’s my family.

There is debate though over fruit, fruitless or chocolate. My recipe covers all.

I remember eating so many hot cross buns as a kid that I never wanted to see another one until the following year. In those days my mum used to buy the Tip Top ‘traditional’ hot cross buns that came in a box that you popped straight into the oven. The box was part of the appeal. Then, in my adult years I loved buying hot cross buns from Baker’s Delight, well until I had to go ‘gluten free’. The best part was the cross – crispy, crunchy or chewy – I don’t mind.

It’s taken me a few years to master my hot cross bun recipe. Last year I got the flavour right, but they were hard-like rock cakes. We still ate them all, but the feedback I got was that they had the ‘flavour’ of hot cross buns….not a good sign. This year my aim was to work on the texture to get it lighter and more bread-like. I’m happy to post, that this is my final version of my recipe that has created light and fluffy bread-like hot cross buns.

I hope you enjoy making and eating my version of hot cross buns with a z for zzzz’s, as you will feel warm and content afterwards and want to snooze.

Happy Easter!

Hot Cross Bunz

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: noglutens

Author:  Tracey Francis of Essential Olie
Serves: 12-18


  • Buns:
  • 2½ cups Gluten Free Flour*
  • 1½ teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon powder
  • 2 teaspoons Mixed Spice powder (or 1 teaspoon Allspice and 1 teaspoon Nutmeg)
  • ¼ teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt
  • ⅓ cup Raw Caster Sugar**
  • ¾ cup Currants***
  • 2 sachets of dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Milk (any type of milk – I use either cow’s milk or almond milk)
  • 2 room temperature eggs
  • 100g Butter or Nuttelex (melted just til it’s very soft, not hot)
  • Cross:
  • ¼ cup Gluten Free Flour
  • 2 teaspoons 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. I find it helps the bunz to rise up and reduce the spread across if you use a muffin tin – I have a square muffin tin that I like to use.
  2. Put butter/nuttelex in either a saucepan and melt on a low heat til 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). Alternatively you could leave it out on the counter til very soft.
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, whisk in your flour, then add xanthan gum, cinnamon powder, allspice powder, salt, sugar, currants 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 milk, eggs, vanilla and mix on low speed then slowly add butter and mix til combined. You may need to stop the mixer and scrap down the sides here.
  5. Once all ingredients have mixed in turn up the mixer to beat on high for 3 minutes.
  6. Using an ice cream scooper (medium or large depending on the required bunz size) scoop the mixture into your muffin tin or onto a baking tin.
  7. Set aside for 1 hour for the yeast to rest and rise.
  8. After 1 hour make the cross mix by combining all ingredients in a bowl then spoon it into either a piping bag with small to medium tip, freezer bag or zip lock bag with a corner cut and pipe on the crosses.
  9. Make sure you warm your oven to 180°C (fan forced)
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes depending on how brown you like them.
  11. Remove from oven to let cool slightly then enjoy.


* See my flour mix by clicking here. Or, use any type of gluten free flour. For my hot cross bunz I like to use either my sweet sorghum or millet flour mixes.
** The sugar can be replaced with either honey or rice malt syrup. I have made them with both, but we prefer sugar.
*** You can mix up the dried fruit: we have done them with ½ cup of currants and ¼ cup of cranberries; or, if you like chocolate hot cross bunz then ¾ cup of chocolate bits/chips (we use enjoy life as they are gluten and dairy free, but if you don’t have any issues with dairy then just use gluten free milk or dark chocolate bits/chips); or, fruit and chocolate is always nice as well then use ½ cup currants and ¼ cup of chocolate bits/chips. If however you don’t like dried fruit then simply leave it out.

If you want to make hot cross bunz in advance you can either bake then freeze once they have cooled down, or, prepare the mixture then cover with cling film/glad wrap and leave in the fridge overnight. The cold from the fridge will slow down the yeast resting stage, but they will still rise in time for you to get them out of the fridge the next day cool them to room temperature then bake so you can enjoy yummy hot cross bunz.
We love eating our hot cross bunz for breakfast, morning tea, afternoon tea, or as an after dinner snack if you can fit anything else in. We serve them from the oven with butter or nuttelex and sometimes with a drizzle of honey and a hot cup of tea.

Typical to gluten free bread if you have any leftover the next day they will be harder/dry so make sure you warm them up before eating them if you like them soft.

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