Easter is one of my favourite times of the year and hot cross buns are a family favourite. This was our latest cook along and it was very popular. If you want to watch me cook these you can watch it on our You Tube Channel. Being coeliac and with children who are also gluten free I did not want to miss out so I make up several batches of my own gluten free hot cross buns. You can easily make this dairy free using olive oil rather melted butter in the dough. You can mix and prove this in a breadmaker if you have one or mix it up in a food processor or a bowl. For really light hot cross buns you will need to allow two proving stages so at least 2 hours but it is worth the wait.

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Difficulty – Medium

Time – 20 minutes preparation, 2 hours proving and 20 minutes cooking

Serves – 8

What’s good about it?

This is a lower sugar version of the traditional favourite. Use any selection of dried fruits in the mixture – you could try making Tropical buns with a little chopped dried mango or papaya. Raisins are popular and although they are concentrated source of sugar they are also rich in B vitamins, iron and potassium.

  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl (or food processor) and add the salt, xanthum gum, orange zest (optional) spices and baking powder.
  2. Heat the milk and butter if using together until melted and just warm. Stir in the sugar and yeast and leave for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the milk mixture and the beaten egg into the bowl or food processor. If using olive oil add this to the mixture. Process lightly or beat with a spoon until the mixture comes together.  Stir in the dried fruit.
  4. Put the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for an hour – the dough will rise slightly.
  5. Roll the dough into a long sausage and cut into 8 equal-sized portions. Gentle roll each portion into a ball. Place each ball of dough onto a greased baking sheet, allowing room for spreading. Covering the buns with a cling film and leave to prove for another 1 hour
  6. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7
  7. Make the cross paste by mixing the flour with just enough water so that you can pipe with it. Spoon the paste into a piping bag. Brush each of the buns with beaten egg then pipe crosses onto each bun and pop them in the oven to bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the buns are golden brown
  8. Melt the jam, liberally glaze each bun while warm and leave to cool slightly before eating

I often make up the dough in the evening – leave it to prove for 1 hour then place it in the fridge overnight before shaping and allowing it to prove for the second time. This means you have enjoy them for a breakfast treat.


400g gluten free bread flour mix e.g Doves Farm or make your own

3tbsp caster sugar, coconut sugar or honey

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 sachets of fast-action dried yeast (14g)

1 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp baking powder

225ml whole milk, almond milk or coconut milk

60g melted butter, dairy free spread or olive oil

1 egg, beaten

100g mixed dried fruit

1 orange, finely grated zest only, optional

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp cinnamon

For the cross

50g gluten free flour and water to mix

Beaten egg to glaze

For the glaze

4 tbsp of apricot jam, smooth (no bits) or marmalade