(Almost) Vegan Refined Sugar and Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

You know what’s quintessential to Holy Week for me? Hot cross buns. Unfortunately, after going gluten free, pretty much almost all of the hot cross buns (even the ones I have tried making!) I’ve had are synonymous to hockey pucks: suIper dry, dense and hard. In a word, disappointing. So, of course, I wanted to try making some again, this time being egg, dairy and (mostly) refined sugar free.

Unfortunately, my quick search of the interwebs didn’t bring up anything too promising, so I determined to try to make my own. The following recipe is based on this Hot Cross Bun recipe by the Baking Beauties. Of course, I made it egg free and changed things up a little.

When I took these babies out of the oven and pulled off the first bun, I let out a happy cry. Although a big dense, the texture was almost perfect! They were hard on the outside, soft on the inside, ripped apart nicely and delicious with just a hint of sweetness. The only down side is that they do dry out fairly quickly (all the more reason to eat them as soon as possible!), but stick them in the microwave wrapped in a paper towel for about 20 seconds and it’s back to soft delicious-ness.

A few notes:

  • Very important to spoon flour into cup so that it is not too dense or dry!
  • The recipe listed below is not refined sugar free because I used glace mix (the small coloured chunks of candied stuff). It can easily be made refined sugar free by using a mixture of sugar free dried fruits.
  • Once they are cool, store in an air tight plastic bag. Don’t stick them in the fridge as that encourages them to dry out faster!

Vegan Refined Sugar and Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. sorghum flour
1/4 c. millet flour
1/4 c. potato starch
1/2 c. tapioca starch
1 1/2 tsp. xathan gum
1 tsp. unflavoured gelatin **(This is the non-vegan culprit – if you want to make it vegan, try agar-agar flakes.)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. dry egg replacer
1/2+ tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 tbsp. almond flour
1 egg replacer (1 1/2 tsp. dry made with 2 tbsp. rice milk)
1/4 c. applesauce
3/4 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. honey or agave, divided into 1 tsp. and 1 tbsp. + 2 tsp.
2 tbsp. coconut oil, cut into small chunks
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 1/4 tsp. dry yeast granules
3/4 c. warm water (105 – 110 F)
1/4 c. citron peel or glace mix
1/4 c. raisins

  1. Grease and dust an 8″ pan with flour (I used tapioca starch.)
  2. In a liquid measure cup, measure out warm water. Add the yeast and 1 tsp. of honey. Stir until yeast is dissolved. Set aside to proof.
  3. In a medium bowl, measure out all the dry ingredients, making sure to spoon flours into the measuring cups, not scoop them. Whisk together until combined. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a mixer, put the egg replacer, applesauce, apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp + 2 tsp. honey, coconut oil and lemon zest. Beat on medium until mixture is well combined and you can no longer see any big-ish chunks of coconut oil.
  5. Add the water yeast mixture and beat until combined.
  6. Spoon in the dry ingredients at low speed until combined. Then beat on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes. Mix in raisins and citron peel.
  7. Spoon dough into the 8″ pan making 9 about evenly sized and spaced buns. The dough at this point is quite sticky, so it’s okay if it’s not in a perfect bun shape.
  8. Cover with a dish towel and let rise until about doubled in size. (I left mine on the kitchen counter and went away for two hours and came back, but if you don’t have that time, stick the buns in a warm place where they will rise much faster. The original recipe said about 35 minutes for rapid acting yeast and 60 minutes for regular yeast.)
  9. Preheat oven to 375F. Using a sharp knife, use the tip to cut a cross in each bun.
  10. Bake for about 24 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  11. Remove and let them cool.
  12. If you so desire, you can mix some icing sugar with a small amount of water and pipe on crosses. I only did it to two buns for pictures as otherwise they were sweet enough.
  13. Enjoy!

What is your favourite Easter/Passover treat?

This recipe has been shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Hearth and Soul Blog Hop 44 and Gluten-Free Wednesdays.


Filed under Baking

19 responses to “(Almost) Vegan Refined Sugar and Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

  1. These look great! Definitely shows that vegan/gluten free cooking and baking is just as delicious. šŸ™‚

  2. I haven’t tried any vegan /gluten free baking, sure i need to. Looks delicious. thanks for sharing with hearth and soul blog hop.

  3. I don’t know why but my fam never went the hot cross bun route. Every Sunday after church on Easter we would partake of brunch followed by a giant bunny cake šŸ™‚ The first time I had a hot cross bun was not until I was working at a bakery and had to make them…but when I do try them out- I will definitely come here. They look yummy!

  4. Lovely. I’m glad you were able to create a recipe that you are so pleased with. They look delicious.

  5. Looks so complicated with all the ingredients! But looks yummy as well!


  6. Yay for vegan Easter treats! Easter always makes me think of those malted chocolate eggs. The day I find vegan malt balls will be a happy, happy day.

  7. Pingback: Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Recipe Roundup

  8. Alicia

    So, so glad to find an egg free recipe that I didn’t have to modify myself. I know that you can substitute with egg replacer, applesauce, or flax seed with hot water, but I am nevcr sure which substitution to use for what recipe. And, whenever I want something deserty or some what sweet, recipes with sugar are a lot easier to find. I try to stay away from sugar for a couple of reasons; systemic candida, my immune system and also because I try to stick to an anti-inflammitory diet and sugar is not on the list of foods to eat. I really appreciate ppl (like yourself) who spend the time and effort in creating these awesome recipes. Btw, can you give me a guide line on when to use which substitution when a recipe calls for eggs???? I am so greatful I found your site.
    Thanks, Alicia

  9. Pingback: Hot Cross Buns | Elite Daily Diet and Fitness

  10. Made these yesterday and they were spectacular! My son is allergic to almonds so I subbed hazelnut flour. Same deal with coconut, so I used palm oil shortening instead. Also used dried cranberries and apricots instead of glace mix. AND I didn’t have any lemons so I used lots of tangerine zest.
    Thankful to have found your website!

  11. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM,…I made these & they were truly divine!!!!
    Fabulous work, you did here!

  12. Pingback: 17 tips + recipes for a sugar-free Easter | Sarah Wilson

  13. Jenny

    They are almost vegan but for the gelatine. What do we use in it’s place?

  14. Pingback: Top 20 Best Gluten-Free Hot Cross Bun Recipes | gfe--gluten free easily

  15. These look great! Although, gelatine is not Vegan.
    Great idea otherwise!

  16. Pingback: GF Sourdough Hot Cross Buns | yum vee

  17. Pingback: Top 5 healthy easter desserts | Karmen Pirh Health & Fitness

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