Healthy Hot Cross Buns
Easter is almost here! In Australia, that means hot cross buns are everywhere at this time of year.
I know these are a holiday treat in some places around the world, and in Australia, they are so popular!
For anyone who hasn’t seen or tasted them before, traditional hot cross buns are a sweet bun with spices and either dried fruit or raisins baked into them. These buns get their name from the cross on the top!
I wanted to give you this healthy hot cross buns recipe so that you have a sweet snack to share with family and friends over Easter — especially if you’re trying to stay away from the chocolate eggs. You’ll notice I have used some healthy baking substitutes to keep the flavour without relying on refined flours or sugars.
Healthy Hot Cross Buns Recipe
If you love hot cross buns, these are so delicious and smell amazing! For anyone who hasn’t tried these before, I am sure you will love them!
Prep time: 10 mins + 90 mins resting time
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins + 90 mins resting time
Serves: 12 buns
Dietary preferences: Gluten-free option, Vegetarian, Dairy-free option, Nut-free
- oil spray
- 250ml reduced fat milk or dairy-free milk of choice
- 1 (7g) sachet of yeast
- pinch of salt
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 400g wholemeal plain flour or gluten-free flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 8 medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped (optional)
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 30g wholemeal plain flour or gluten-free flour
- 80ml water
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (356 °F) and line a large baking dish with baking paper. Spray it lightly with oil spray.
- Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Pour the milk into the saucepan and heat it for a few minutes until it is lukewarm (do not let it simmer or boil). Remove it from the heat immediately and add the yeast, salt and maple syrup. Stir until well combined, then set aside for 10 minutes. The mixture will start to foam - this means the yeast is active.
- Meanwhile, place the flour, ground spices, orange zest and medjool dates, if using, into a large bowl and mix gently to combine. Add the yeast mixture, coconut oil and egg and mix until a sticky dough begins to form. Mould the dough into a ball with your hands.
- Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for 5-10 minutes until it is smooth.
- Return the dough to the bowl, cover it with a damp tea towel and set it aside for 1 hour to allow the dough to rise.
- When the dough has doubled in size, place the dough on a floured surface and knead for another 1-2 minutes until smooth. Divide the dough into 12 round buns and place them into the prepared baking dish (they can be touching). Cover the dish with a tea towel and set it aside to rest for another 20 minutes.
- To make the crosses, place the flour and water in a small bowl and mix until it becomes a smooth paste. Fill a piping bag with the paste and decorate each bun.
- Bake in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until the buns are golden brown.
- Brush with the maple syrup for a shiny glaze.
- To serve the Healthy Hot Cross Buns, cut them in half and spread them with your favourite topping or simply eat one fresh from the oven. Enjoy!
Try these healthy hot cross buns
You can enjoy these buns on their own or with a delicious orange marmalade, like the one I have shared in my Poached Pears recipe.
My healthy hot cross buns can also be warmed up or toasted — just make sure you do this first if you are adding marmalade.
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.