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Recipe  •  23 March 2022


Mouth-watering hot cross buns

Don't deprive yourself of this Easter favourite.

Year after year, the social media posts decrying how early the hot cross buns have landed in supermarkets leave me feeling deprived. That ends this year! While I didn’t initially set out to create a vegan bun, I found they were the best of the bunch by happy coincidence. Using water and oil allows the spices to shine and keeps the buns moist for days.

Lactose free

Free from high-starch flours

Gum free

Egg free


Fodmap friendly

Gluten free

Makes 8 to 9 buns

Prep 20 mins

Proofing time overnight + 1 hour 

Cook 30 minutes 

  • 60 ml (¼ cup) FODMAP-friendly plant-based milk of choice, warm
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (any type)
  • 7.5 g (1 sachet) dried yeast
  • 160 g (1 cup) fine brown rice flour
  • 120 g (¾ cup) buckwheat flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 150 g light or dark brown sugar
  • 20 g psyllium husk
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 125 ml (½ cup) olive or vegetable oil
  • 500 ml (2 cups) water


  • 2 tablespoons good quality dried peel
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free chocolate chips
  • few sprigs of finely chopped rosemary (optional)


  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons buckwheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon oil of choice
  • Water, as needed to form a thick but flowing paste


  • Pure maple syrup, or marmalade, melted



      1. Place the warm milk and sugar in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Sprinkle over the yeast and set aside for 10 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling and foamy. If you have no action after 10 minutes, start again with new yeast.

      2. Place flours, spices, brown sugar, psyllium and orange zest in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the activated yeast mixture, oil and water, whisking until smooth. Don’t panic at how wet the dough looks – the psyllium husk will firm it up overnight. Cover and refrigerate overnight.


     3. After the fridge rest, the dough should look spongy and be borderline wet. Stir in your add-in ingredients. Using oiled hands, divide mixture into 8 or 9 portions and quickly roll into balls. Place buns in a 20 x 30 cm baking dish, lightly greased or lined, or on a lined baking tray. Buns baked on a tray will lose more shape, but still taste delicious. Cover and leave to proof in a warm draught-free place for 1 hour, or until they have tangibly risen and feel light and puffy to the touch.

    4. Preheat oven to 180°C. To make the crosses, combine flours and oil in a small bowl. Add enough water to make a thick but flowing paste. Transfer mixture to a piping bag. Pipe crosses onto the buns using even pressure and motion. I go for the ‘homemade’ look, as you can tell.

    5. Bake buns for 25–30 minutes, or until lightly browned and baked through. Remove from oven and glaze with maple syrup or marmalade while still hot. Allow to cool for 10–15 minutes before eating.

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