Vegan Hot Cross Buns

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Vegan Hot Cross Buns

Get ready for Easter with our slightly tropical take on vegan hot cross buns! The tropical dried fruit mix adds an extra sweetness to this absolute classic recipe.

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These sweet buns are iconic Easter treats in the UK, but now you can enjoy them all year round if you like with this incredibly moreish recipe.

Why do they call them hot cross buns?

Hot cross buns are sweet yeasted buns that are packed with dried fruit. The name comes from the cross that sits on top of the buns, which is traditionally considered to be the sign of the crucifix.

The cross is usually made from either a paste made using flour and water, or piped with icing.

Are hot cross buns suitable for vegans?

Hot cross buns are usually made from a dough including butter, milk and eggs, which makes them unsuitable for vegans.

However, more and more brands and supermarkets are developing great vegan versions for you to buy.

Making your own at home means you can be slightly more creative with the flavours though.

Variations to the recipe

This recipe uses a tropical fruit mix, but if you want to go slightly more traditional you can just stick to raisins and sultanas.

To mix up the flavours, add some orange peel to the mix and swap the fruit for dark chocolate chunks or chips to create a chocolate orange flavour.

Alternatively, substitute some of the warm water for warmed orange juice to flavour the dough, and use dried cranberries for your dried fruit.

Once you’ve got the basic recipe nailed, there are lots of different substitutes you can make to take your vegan hot cross buns to the next level.

Total Time: 1 hour and 50 minutes

Prep Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 12


Total Time: 1 hour and 50 minutes

Servings: 12




(Servings: 12)

  • 1.1666666666667 1.1666666666667 g dried yeast
  • 41.666666666667 41.666666666667 g strong white bread flour
  • 0.16666666666667 0.16666666666667 tbsp caster sugar
  • 0.083333333333333 0.083333333333333 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 0.083333333333333 0.083333333333333 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 4.1666666666667 4.1666666666667 g dairy-free butter
  • 0.083333333333333 0.083333333333333 tbsp lime zest, grated
  • 16.666666666667 16.666666666667 g dried mixed tropical fruit
  • 0.083333333333333 0.083333333333333 tbsp apricot jam, mixed with 1 tbsp boiling water, to glaze
  • a large pinch sea salt flakes
  • For the crosses
  • 2.5 2.5 g plain flour
  • 0.083333333333333 0.083333333333333 tsp caster sugar
  • a pinch sea salt flakes


  1. Combine the yeast and 1 tbsp of the sugar in a bowl with 125ml warm (but not boiling) water. Mix well and set aside to let the yeast activate and the mixture to become foamy.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the bread flour, salt and spices. Stir in the remaining sugar.
  3. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until well combined. Stir through the fruit and zest.
  4. Make a well in the centre and add the foamy yeast water, plus another 185ml of warm water. Mix the water in with your hands until a rough dough is formed
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, dusting with flour as you work.
  6. Once the dough is smooth and elastic, return it to the bowl and cover it with a damp tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  7. Once risen, knock the air out of the dough and divide it into 12. Roll each piece into a bun shape and place 1-2cm apart on a floured baking tray. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
  8. Mix together the plain flour, sugar and a little water to make a paste. Place into a plastic sandwich bag or piping bag and snip off the very corner. Use this to carefully pipe crosses onto the tops of the buns. Transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
  9. Gently brush the tops with the apricot glaze to add shine. Serve immediately whilst still warm, or toast and spread with non-dairy butter. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Get ready to celebrate with these indulgent vegan Easter recipes!

Written by

Vegan Food & Living

Vegan Food & Living is a magazine dedicated to celebrating the vegan lifestyle. Every issue is packed with 75 tasty recipes, plus informative features.

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