Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Hot crossed buns are a spiced fruit bun traditionally eaten on Easter Friday, here in the UK you can buy them all over the Easter period in many different flavours. The buns mark the end of lent and the cross on top symbolises the crucifixion of Jesus. Up until a couple of years ago you couldn’t get gluten free hot cross buns but you can now get them in the supermarket if you don’t fancy making your own. I have adapted my recipe from this recipe by Paul Hollywood written for BBC Good Food. I was a little unsure when I found this recipe as not all the comments were good, but as the last couple were so I thought i’d give it a bash, and I’m glad I did as I’m really happy with the result.

I didn’t have gluten free bread flour so I used plain gluten free flour and added some xanthan gum. As I don’t really like mixed peel I substituted the sultanas and peel for multicoloured raisins and dried cranberries. I also substituted the apricot jam for marmalade, that’s what I had in the cupboard and I enjoy the citrus tang.

Gluten free hot crossed buns - on tray

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Prep time: 30 minutes plus 2 hours proving time.

Cooking time: 20 minutes

makes: 11

300ml semi skimmed milk
50g butter
500g gluten free plain flour (I used Doves farm)
2 level tsp xantham gum
1 tsp salt
75g caster sugar
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tsp quick or fast-action yeast
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp olive oil
125g raisins and cranberries, chopped if too large.
zest 1 large orange
1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the cross:
30g gluten free plain flour

For the glaze:
3 tbsp marmalade

Pour the milk in a pan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature (so you can put your finger in it and it’ll feel warm but not hot). It’s very important that you leave the milk to cool enough. If the milk is too hot it will kill the yeast and your buns won’t rise, but if the milk is too cold the yeast won’t work and you won’t get a rise either.

Mix together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast with the warm milk and egg. I used a mixer with a dough attachment but if you don’t have one you can use a wooden spoon and some good arm muscles. When it’s all combined bring the dough together with your hands, don’t knead it just shape it into a ball.

Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm and leave it in a warm place to rise (I left mine next to a warm radiator) for 1 hour. When the hour is passed the dough should have doubled in size (ish).

Take off the clingfilm and tip the olive oil, sultanas & cranberries, orange peel, apple and cinnamon into the bowl and mix into the dough.

Line a flat tray with greaseproof paper. Divide the dough into 11 pieces (105g ish each), roll into balls and place on the tray with a little space in between each. Cover the tray with lightly greased clingfilm and place in a warm place for another hour.

Heat your oven to 200C. Mix the flour with about 3 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross. Add the water a spoonful at a time, you are looking to make a thick paste. Spoon the paste into a piping bag and pipe a cross onto each bun.

Bake for 20 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven, until the buns are golden brown. Remove the buns and set aside.  

Gently heat the marmalade until liquid and sieve to remove any chunks. Brush the marmalade over the warm buns and leave to cool.

To serve cut the bun in half, toast both halves and spread with salted butter. Enjoy with a large cup of tea.

Gluten free hot crossed buns.jpg

I have shared this with:

Belleau Kitchen


Lavender and Lovage & The Hedgecombers


Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen


Casa Costello & Maison Cupcake


A Mummy Too






6 thoughts on “Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

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