Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Sticking to a gluten free diet isn’t straightforward. I think that eating out is the only thing that is really hard and I’ve yet to perfect it. On the whole though the diet is easy to maintain and the only two things that I’m still crying over are croissants and baklava. That said there are some everyday foods have really bad gluten free replacements. I often wonder whether the companies that develop these foods have actually tasted them. Gluten free alternatives, for pasta and bread especially, can be pretty hopeless. I’ve found that the San Remo gluten free pasta is the best one I’ve tried. The gluten free bread from Deeks in Canberra is the only one I think is worth paying for. That covers my daily diet, but special occasions call for a host of treats that I’d love to be able to enjoy. At Christmas time my truly remarkable grandmother makes both fruit cake and pudding for me and my uncle (the coeliacs of the family). The pudding is particularly special because it tastes exactly like the real thing.

Now that it’s Easter I haven’t got a feast of baked treats from my grandmother, so I thought I’d make something myself. With the smells wafting from the toaster at tea time at this time of year I’ve been really jealous of people eating hot cross buns. To satisfy my cravings I’ve made this gluten free hot cross bun recipe by adapting a recipe for a fruit loaf.


The recipe I adapted came from a wonderful woman at the NSW Coeliac Society. It works quite well, but I’d suggest going for some stronger flavours. More spices, more fruit and maybe even some peel would improve the flavour out of sight. I’m presenting the recipe to you now though, even though I haven’t quite perfected it, because Easter is upon us. The method is very similar to the gluten free bread rolls I posted about earlier. Remember that the “dough” needs to be the consistency of a cake mix, so you’ll need to check it a few minutes in and add water or flour if required.


I used the dough cycle on my bread machine to prepare the dough.


Then I spooned it into large muffin pans to rise before I put on the Easter crosses. I allowed the buns to rise for half an hour, then added the crosses before I baked them. My cross mix was made from flour and water and was quite runny. I found it difficult to put it on with a teaspoon, so I think a thicker mix would be easier to manage. A piping bag would also help with this job.


The buns came out of one of my pans more easily than the other. I suppose that proves it’s worth paying for good quality non-stick finishes.


The hot cross buns were beautiful fresh from the oven with raspberry jam. I’ll definitely add more fruit and spices next time though. I’d like to replicate the smell of a real hot cross bun more accurately.

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Wet Ingredients
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp white vinegar
3 eggs (60 g)
480-500 mL water

Dry Ingredients
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup besan flour
1 cup arrowroot
2 cups white rice flour
1 tab castor sugar
3 tabs brown sugar
1 tab xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon (I’d double this in future, and maybe add mixed spice and ginger too)
2 tsp dry yeast

3/4 cup sultanas (I’d go for 1 to 1 1/2 cups next time)

rice flour and water, mixed to a paste

Add the wet ingredients in the order listed.
Add the dry ingredients, in order, yeast last.
Add the fruit to the fruit dispenser if you have one, or add when the machine beeps.
Run in the bread machine on the dough cycle (which takes around 1 hour, 30 mins).
Spread the mixture between two muffin pans, filling each cup to 1/2-2/3 full. This makes 12 buns.
Preheat oven to 180-200 Celcius.
Allow the buns to rise for 30 minutes. They should reach the top of the pans.
Top the buns with crosses made from rice flour paste.
Bake for 20 minutes.

Makes 12 hot cross buns.

I’ve submitted this post to Yeastspotting. This week’s host is Zorra from 1x Umrรผhren Bitte.

10 thoughts on “Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

  1. Obviously this is the time of night to check to get in with the first comment! And the first comment is: om nom nom nom. I expect to be part of the taste testing team as you perfect these ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Oh yum! They look pretty snazzy actually, and the smell coming from your oven would have been to die for. I love the smell of baking hot cross buns! Good luck with the trials and of course errors.

    Can you believe its almost easter and I STILL havent had a hot cross bun! Your post is giving me cravings! Now, should I hunt for a hot cross bun at 10.30 at night or wait until morning tea? If I go to sleep now, it will be tomorrow sooner….ok its settled.

  3. How cool! At first I thought you’d made hot cross pies! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh, and I’ve had gluten free pasta before. Just the once, in solidarity when my cousin was on a gluten free diet. Ack!

  4. I’m sure it is difficult sticking to a gluten free diet when eating out…and sometimes the gluten free alternatives to baked goods just don’t compare…but it’s great to see that you’re adapting and creating your own gluten free baked goods…I’m hungry for a hot cross bun now!

  5. Are you coelliac or is this something you’re just testing out for a while? I totally agree with you in the range of poor and good gluten free offerings… and would be crying over croissants too (particularly almond croissants!) if I were you too! Courage…

  6. Oh lovely, home-made hot cross buns. I haven’t made gluten free ones before, but agree they do need quite a lot of spice and fruit – because that’s the good stuff in a hot cross bun really! And also – what a good idea to bake them in muffin tins. Perfect hot cross bun size.

  7. Very glad to see there are gluten-free options for people at Easter.. it would be so sad to miss out. Keep us updated on changes you make to improve them ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Pingback: Gluten Free Apple Bun « Hoglet K

  9. hi to help you out with the cross try mixing a little baking powder gf of course, they split because there is no stretch in the flour with the lack of gluten . the cross needs to expand as the dough rises.

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