Hot Cross Buns…..Worth Making Twice

I still can’t believe that only a year has passed since I first posted this recipe! Spring is definitely in the air here so I decided to bake a batch of hot cross buns today.  I love the original recipe, but sometimes I can’t help making a few tweaks.  This is my updated recipe, but both recipes work well.  These Hot Cross Buns are a wonderful tea time treat with just a hint of sweetness and spice.  The orange zest in the dough and glaze give these buns a wonderfully bright flavor.  If you like things a bit sweeter, just be a bit more generous when glazing.


Like most gluten-free baked goods, these hot cross buns taste best warm out of the oven on the day they are made.  If you do have leftovers, wrap well and freeze.  Gluten-free muffins and rolls soften and regain most of their original moistness if you heat them gently in a microwave.  Ovens can dry them out. (If you only have access to an oven or toaster oven, you can wrap the item in foil while it warms up on low heat as this will help hold some of the steam, creating a moist warming environment.)

Millet flour is a wonderful tasting gluten-free flour, but it tends to make baked goods dry out quickly.  If you use the almond flour, the almond oils and added fat will help these rolls stay moist longer. 

Hot Cross Buns

  • 2 cups  all-purpose gluten-free flour (click here to see my basic flour blend)
  • 1/4 cup  millet flour or almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (I use Authentic Foods xanthan gum for a corn free variety)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (Hain brand or homemade for corn-free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Generous pinch of ground mace

—> Place the above dry ingredients in the bowl of your standing mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment.  Turn to low and incorporate the dry ingredients for about 30 seconds.

—> To the mixing bowl, add the following wet ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I use Frontier brand or homemade for corn-free version)
  • 3 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk or milk substitute, warmed to 110 degrees
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar

—> Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds more.  Then increase mixing speed to Medium-High and beat the dough with the paddle for 2 minutes.

—> Add the following ingredients to the dough:

  •  finely grated orange zest of one orange (approximately 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/4 cup raisins (pre-soaked for a 5-10 minutes in a 1/4 cup of very hot water, then drained)

—> Mix on low for a few seconds to distribute the raisins and zest.

—>  The dough will be quite sticky and very thick (see picture below).  If you are new to making gluten-free breads, please note that it will look more like THICK, STICKY waffle batter than bread dough! Using a large, 4 TB. scoop, place dough in paper lined muffin cups.  This recipe makes 9 buns.

—> Cover and let rise in warm place (I use the top of my warmed toaster oven) for 1 hour.

—>  After the buns have doubled in size, gently brush the tops with egg wash ( 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon milk/milk sub. or water).

—> Bake at 375F degrees for 16-20 minutes or until deep golden brown.  ( an instant read thermometer should read 200F degrees)

—> Remove from oven and cool on rack.

—> Frost with:

Royal Icing

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (use corn free version if necessary)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon, softened non-hydrogenated shortening, softened coconut oil or butter

Whisk together vigorously until you achieve the desired consistency.  If you find that the shortening won’t incorporate, you may need to warm the frosting a bit more.

5 thoughts on “Hot Cross Buns…..Worth Making Twice

  1. Now I know what hot cross buns are!! So excited to try these. They sound like such a wonderful afternoon treat to help me with my sugar cravings!

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