Vegan hot cross buns

I know. They look good.

Last year, I attempted to make a version of these and utterly failed that I was too embarrassed to post any pictures on social media. Yes, they were that bad. It's now 2020 and I'm going to try making them again. However, during these uncertain times, with most countries in lockdown, we may not have all the ingredients to bake. I've gone back to the drawing board to find "the one" recipe with a few substitutions. I've scoured the internet, read all my baking books, and attempted to make my own recipe. I have finally done it, and I'm ready to share it with you all.

Give this recipe a go and I promise you’ll never buy the shop bought versions again.

This recipe has no eggs, but to make it completely vegan, I've used vegan "butter" and used plant-based milk instead. The one thing I would change is to place the rolls slightly closer together on the baking tray so they touch - but that's just me being a perfectionist. I've kept the flavourings for these buns fairly classic using a lot of spices for a kick and used any dried fruit I can get my hands on - you can literally put any kind of fruit in here, and it'll taste amazing. Trust me.

As it's also quite difficult to buy flour at the moment, I actually mixed some plain and strong white flour together. You can even try using spelt flour if you have that. Did I mention that these are also freezable? No? Well, they definitely are. Again with the pandemic affecting the world, you may not be able to share these goodies with your friends and family, so popping them in the freezer after they've cooled is a great idea. Just defrost them and serve them warm whenever you want a treat for breakfast!

OK, so I've waffled on enough about these buns. I'm just so happy that they turned out great, and I'm looking forward to perfecting another version of these for 2021.


Makes: 12 buns | Prep time: 20 minutes | Prove time: 1hr 45 minutes

Baking time: 20-25 minutes



  • 500g flour (I used a mix of plain and strong white flour)

  • 7g fast-action dried yeast

  • 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

  • 2 tsp mixed spice

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 50g caster sugar

  • 300ml almond milk (other plant milk should also work fine)

  • 65g vegan ‘butter’ block

  • 150g dried fruit

Vegan Egg Wash

  • 3 tbsp almond milk

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or brown sugar

The Cross

  • 3 tbsp flour

  • 3-4 tbsp almond milk

Apricot Glaze (optional)

  • 2 tbsp smooth apricot jam

  • 2 tbsp water


Make the dough

  • Place all the dry ingredients (the flour, salt, spices, sugar and yeast) into the bowl of a stand mixer and add in the milk and fat

  • With the dough hook attached, mix on low speed until a shaggy dough is formed. Continue mixing for another 3-5mins or until the dough becomes smooth and looks a little elastic

  • Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface and press into a flat disc. Add the dried fruit and lightly press them into the dough. Knead the dough so it's evenly distributed. Add the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and set aside to prove for about an hour or until doubled in size

Time to roll

  • Once your dough has risen or doubled in size, roll them into 12 equal pieces and place them on the tray

  • Lightly cover the buns and set aside to prove for another 40-45 minutes

  • Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan)

Make the cross

  • Just add the flour to a small bowl and mix in enough milk to form a thick so that it's pipeable. Scrape mixture into a piping bag

  • Take 2 tbsp of plant milk and add about 1 tsp of agave, maple syrup or brown sugar, and mix together to combine. Brush a thin layer onto the buns.

  • Cut the end of the piping bag to make a small opening - pipe a cross on the buns then place in the oven to bake for 20-35 minutes or until golden brown

Make the glaze (optional)

  • Place the jam and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil until it becomes a syrup-like consistency. Brush over the buns whilst still warm



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