Healthy Hot Cross Buns

Healthy Hot Cross Buns Vegan Gluten Free

Healthy Hot Cross Buns Vegan Gluten Free


Holy sheeshkabob. Gluten free, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free Healthy Hot Cross Buns. I don’t normally eat bread, mostly because there are far healthier options (gluten free whole grains like quinoa, cooked simply in a little vege stock – yum!). But it’s Easter. And there are buns galore. And I want one.

So, disclaimer – as you can see – these buns ain’t no oil painting, they cracked a little on the surface, and, they only taste good the next day if you slice them and toast them up, but they smell like heaven and they taste pretty damn amazing considering they aren’t made with any of your usual suspects.

Healthy Hot Cross Buns: gluten free, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free. Try it here! Click To Tweet

It took four goes to get these to a good place. Four. The first time I made it, I started with a standard vegan hot cross bun recipe from the internet and subbed out the regular flour for a store bought all purpose plain GF flour mix. They were so terrible – hard as rocks. The boys sampled them – laughed at me – then shouted ‘more raisins!’.

Round two I changed a few things around and used quite a bit of apple sauce in place of eggs, an old favourite trick when you’re after a plant based alternative in baking. But, they were also terrible – doughy as all hell and wouldn’t set. They boys sampled them again and still kept shouting ‘more fruit!’.

Round three was made predominantly with quinoa flour. I thought I was getting all cool adding in a whole grain, protein rich flour. Again, terrible. Quinoa has a really strong earthy/nutty flavour that just didn’t do the recipe any favours. And yes, still the boys still wanted more fruit.

Round four, I made my own gluten free flour mix – a mixture of brown and white rice flour with tapioca starch. I’m not making a song and dance about the white rice or the tapioca flour as they are refined, but in the context of making a yummy tasting treat I think they’re ok. I also cut way back on the apple sauce and went crazy with the amount of spices. The boys were happy this time, no words, just scoffing. That’s a good sign. We’re up to a whole cup of raisins now, so if you want to go easy on the sugars cut it down to half or even ¾ cup.

If I had time I’d make this once more – the recipe is absolutely delish – especially with lashing of soft coconut butter – but I think next time I will experiment with a leavening agent – I just didn’t have any aluminium free baking powder in the cupboard on hand this time round.

Enjoy the fruits of my labours these last few days!

Healthy Hot Cross Buns


P.S: If you’re after some more healthy Easter treats, the following recipes are all raw, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free:

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Healthy Hot Cross Buns

Gluten Free, Vegan Hot Cross Buns.
Makes 10.
Course Baking
Cuisine Vegan
Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 10
Author Lauren Glucina, ©Ascension Kitchen



  • 200 g brown rice flour
  • 150 g white rice flour
  • 150 g tapioca starch
  • 1 cup warm nut milk almond/cashew, hemp or oat milk
  • ½ cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon active dry gluten free yeast equivalent to 1x 7g sachet
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup coconut oil melted
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon clove powder
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • Zest of one orange and one lemon
  • 1 cup raisins


  • 2 tablespoons of the brown or white rice flour and enough warm water to mix into a paste


  • 1 heaped tablespoon coconut sugar dissolved in boiling water


  1. Pre heat oven to 180˚C.
  2. Mix the warm nut milk (body temperature is warm enough), maple syrup and yeast in a bowl and leave for five minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine apple sauce and coconut oil. Then add the yeast mixture and whisk well.
  4. Add the flour mix, spices, zest and raisins.
  5. Kneed into a dough, adding a little water or flour if needed.
  6. Dust a board with gluten free flour.
  7. Pat dough into a rectangle then divide into 10 equal portions.
  8. Shape them further into a bun and arrange them close together in a rectangle again.
  9. Cover with a tea towel. Let sit to rise for at least an hour, although, to be honest, there wasn’t a lot of rising action happening (perhaps with a leavening agent?).
  10. Mix up the paste for the cross then pipe over the buns.
  11. Bake for 15 to 20 mins.
  12. Once cooked, brush with the glaze.

Healthy Hot Cross Buns

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Lauren Glucina is a plant-based whole foods Nutritionist, Naturopath and Medical Herbalist. She is a passionate advocate for food as medicine. Lauren has also formally trained as a Raw Foods Chef and has a soft spot for raw treats. 

Lauren is available for Natural & Nutritional Medicine consultations here.

  • Julia Budd

    They look amazing! I tried to make gluten free vegan hot cross buns last year and it was a bit of a disaster… Will definitely have to try this recipe out soon!