Healthy Hot Cross Buns


Hot Cross Buns
Serves: 12  | Prep time: 1 hour 15 minutes | Cook time: 25 minutes


  • 300ml warm milk
  • 60g sugar
  • 2 sachets (7g) dried active yeast, about 4 teaspoons
  • 600g plain wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 60g butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sultanas, dates or dried apricots
  • 2 eggs

For the top of the buns:

  • 60g plain wholemeal flour
  • 60ml water


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the milk, sugar and yeast until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside and cover until the yeast has activated (the mixture will become frothy).

3. In a large bowl, sift the flour, salt, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla essence and nutmeg. Rub in the butter with you fingers until the mixture appears like fine breadcrumbs.

4. Stir the sultanas, eggs and yeast mix into the flour mixture until all is combined.

5. Lightly flour a surface area and knead the dough for about 5 minutes (until smooth and elastic). Add the dough to a large slightly greased bowl and cover with cling wrap and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes (or until the dough has doubled in size).

6. Remove the risen dough and slightly knead then divide into 12 balls.

7. Place the balls (buns) into a greased 20x30cm baking tray, cover with cling wrap then leave in a warm place to rise for 15 minutes.

8. To make the garnish: whisk together the flour and water to a smooth paste. Place in a disposable snap-lock bag and cut off the tip. Using the bag, pipe a cross on the top of each bun.

9. Transfer to oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

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