Rustic Vegan Hot Cross Buns

Lilli Reed Posted

With Easter around the corner, those supermarket shelves packed high with fruit studded buns and a little extra chill in the air can only mean one thing… It’s hot cross bun season! Hot cross buns are just one of those comfort foods that year after year, will never go out of style. With a little extra effort for a whole lot more reward, roll your sleeves up and make some buns from scratch this year. Use the following recipe for a vegan take on the classic Easter treat, you won’t know the difference!

Makes 12 Buns


1 tbsp active dry yeast
½ cup caster sugar 
1½ cups almond milk (unsweetened), lukewarm
4 ¼ cups plain flour, sifted
1 tsp allspice
2 tsp ground cinnamon
rind of one lemon
rind of one orange
1/3 cup neutral oil (rice bran)
2 cups sultanas

½ cup plain flour, extra
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp maple syrup, to glaze



Place the yeast, 2 teaspoons of the sugar and warm almond milk in a large bowl and stir to combine. Leave for 5-10 minute or until the mixture starts to foam.


Add the flour, spices, rinds, oil, dried fruit and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture and mix until a sticky dough is formed.


Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Alternatively, place in a KitchenAid with the hook attachment and knead on a low setting for 5 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel or cloth and leave in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.


Line and grease a 20 x 30cm rectangle tin or similar.


Divide the risen dough into 12 pieces and roll each into a ball. Evenly arrange the balls in the tin, leaving space to rise.


Cover the buns with the tea towel and return to a warm spot to rise a further 30 minutes.


While rising, pre-heat the oven to 200°C.


Once buns have risen, place the extra flour and water in a bowl and stir to combine. Place in a piping bag or a plastic bag and snip the end off. Pipe crosses, using long strokes horizontally and vertically across the buns.


Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven, and immediately glaze with the maple syrup using a pastry brush.


Serve while hot. Keep wrapped up and toast the following days.


If using a square tin, you can divide the dough into 16 pieces and place them 4 x 4, as opposed to 3 x 4 in a rectangular tin.

Change up the mixed fruit if you’d like. Add some dried peel, chopped dates or cranberries for a fruity twist.

A great spot for the buns to rise is indirect sunlight or an oven with just the light on.

You can prepare the buns up until step 6, and place in the fridge to cook the next morning. Alternatively, freeze them ready for Easter.

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Lilli Reed

Bachelor of Food & Nutrition Science