Holiday or any other day, you’ll knock it out of the park when you serve these lightly sweet, spiced-to-perfection, vegan hot cross buns warm from your oven.
Apricot glazed on the crust, soft and warm inside, with a nudge of spices and sweetness from currants and sultanas this vegan Hot Cross Buns recipe ticks all the boxes when it comes to mouthwatering goodness.People will gobble them up and crown you Hot Cross Bun royalty. You seriously might double this recipe from the get go!
“Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns! One a penny. Two a penny. Hot cross buns!” This ancient rhyme with its crazy lowball price tells you how old this recipe’s tradition is. Dating back to the 1300s, these yeast bread treats are said to bring blessings and good luck. Hey, I’m in! Who doesn’t want blessings and luck?
As history marched on, this recipe became associated with the end of Lent and Good Friday, but don’t let tradition stand in your way. You can make these any day of the year and everyone will love them!
It’s possible some of these ingredient names are new to you. Don’t fret. All are easy to find in your nearest supermarket. You probably have many of them on hand already.
White Bread Flour- There’s special flour just for baking stuff? Yep! Baking flour has more protein than all-purpose flour, yields more gluten, makes a stronger, more elastic dough, and makes for nice texture.
In a pinch, all-purpose flour works fine. Unless you’re a pro hardcore, baker you won’t notice a difference. Bread flour also comes in whole wheat. If you’re determined to include the heartiness of whole wheat, I recommend only substituting 1/4 of the flour with WW. More than that and you risk a too dense, dry dough.
Caster Sugar or Baking Sugar- Never heard of it? No worries! It’s just very finely granulated white sugar. If you don’t have or can’t find any, just toss granulated sugar in the blender for a few whirls until it gets a little powdery. Do your dry measure after you whirl, not before. That’s it!
Mixed Spice- If you’re familiar with British cooking you might know this as pudding spice. In the USA it’s most similar to pumpkin pie spice, so feel confident stirring your trusty pumpkin pie spice into this recipe.
It’s a flavorful addition to your Hot Cross Buns and other recipes. No need for a trip across the pond!
Currants- Long story short, currants are tiny raisins. Most often made from drying those bitty little seedless champagne grapes, they’re packed with tangy flavor, fiber, potassium and antioxidants. Hello tasty healthy!
Sultanas- Who knew such a fancy name existed for dried Thompson grapes? Yep! Sultanas are just plump golden raisins. Raisins are a sweet constant in Hot Crossed Buns tradition.
Cuddled up next to those aromatic spices and currants, they bring the flavors together. If you prefer dark raisins they’ll taste great too.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Vegan Hot Cross Buns
Step 1 – Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Step 2 – In a small mixing bowl, place the lukewarm almond milk or other plant milk and dried instant yeast. Combine with a whisk and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to become activated- the mixture will become frothy.
Step 3 – In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the caster sugar, flour, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg, and salt.
Step 4 – Create a well in the center and pour in the melted butter, vanilla extract, and the yeast mixture.
Step 5 – Mix until a dough begins to form.
Step 6 – Transfer the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until smooth and soft. About 10 minutes. It will be slightly tacky, but not sticky. Knead in more flour if it is too sticky.
Step 7 – Add the orange zest, currants, and sultanas and knead together until well combined.
Step 8 – Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel . Leave in a warm place for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Step 9 – Punch down the risen dough and divide into 12 equal pieces into a smooth ball.
Step 10 – Place each ball into the baking dish
Step 11 – Cover the baking dish with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise and double in size.
Step 12 – While the buns are rising, make the paste for the crosses by combining the flour and water together in a small bowl.
Step 13 – Transfer to a piping bag with a small nozzle or tip.
Step 14 – Once the buns have risen, pipe a cross shape onto each bun.
Step 15 – Bake 20- 25 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
Step 16 – Make a glaze for the buns by whisking together the apricot jam and maple syrup
Step 17 – Brush on the glaze while the buns are still warm and then serve.
This Hot Cross Buns Recipe is both versatile and super crave worthy!
- Try them for dessert or breakfast with this dairy-free vanilla bean horchata.
- Be a hit at your next social gathering!
- Perfect baking fun for rainy, stay- inside days!
- Better lock em up to stop yourself from eating all of them!
Holly’s Insider Pro Tips
Bake the Next Day
Don’t have time for this whole process right now? Not a problem. You can split the work into 2 days. Just make the dough in the evening, place the baking dish with the unrisen dough balls in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap or waxed paper.
The next morning, pop them out of the fridge and bring to room temperature and let them rise to double their size. Pipe on the crosses and bake as the recipe directs.
Save Your Arms!
If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook feel free to use it for kneading your dough. It will do a bang up job and you can do other stuff while this process is happening. Check in with your dough periodically. It may not need a full 10 minutes of kneading.
More things to Note
- You can use all purpose flour, but just know that bread flour will yield better texture.
- The internal temperature of the buns should reach 94F to get completely cooked.
- Check your yeast to make sure it isn’t expired. Old yeast will not give you a good rise.
How to Serve and Store Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns are best eaten right away, but will last a couple of days in an airtight container. Refrigeration will extend their freshness a couple days more. Heated back up in the microwave, they resume their warmth and moistness. Yay for leftover flavor bombs!
They can also be frozen. Once your Hot Cross Buns have cooled you can freeze them in an airtight container for a month or two at the most. Defrost and reheat in a warm, low temp (200F) oven. Thawed, you can also zap in the microwave.
Hot Cross Bun Recipe FAQs
It’s a simple paste made of flour and water. A piping bag is used to draw the lines on the buns.
These vegan Hot Cross Buns may not be as nutrient packed as kale, but this recipe has a lot to offer in the way of good health, especially when you add up what isn’t in them like eggs, dairy milk and dairy butter. They are also low sugar. The raisins and currents have loads of fiber and antioxidants.
Yes! You can make freaking awesome vegan Hot Cross Buns using this recipe right here.
Tea cakes and Hot Cross Buns are both made with yeast and flour, but tea cakes are usually flatter and not spiced. There are no crosses on tea cakes either.
Fun fact: The ‘Hot’ in Hot Cross Buns refers to the aromatic spices that are traditionally used, not to their temperature.
Looking for more Vegan Comfort Food Recipes?
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Now that you know how to easy it is to make this vegan hot cross bun recipe, please give it a star rating below and comment letting me know how it turned out for you.
Vegan Hot Cross Buns
- 1 1/4 cup almond milk or any other milk-flavored plant milk, lukewarm
- 14 g 4 teaspoons dried instant yeast
- 1/4 cup caster sugar or baking sugar see notes
- 4 cups white bread flour see notes
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice or pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 75 g 2/3 cup vegan butter
- zest of one orange
- 3 ounces 1/2 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 Tablespoons water
- 3 Tablespoons apricot jam
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13 baking dish.
- In a small mixing bowl, place the lukewarm almond milk and dried instant yeast. Combine with a whisk and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to become activated – the mixture will become frothy.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the caster sugar, flour, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg, and salt.
- Create a well in the center and pour in the melted butter, vanilla extract, and the yeast mixture.
- Mix until a dough begins to form.
- Transfer the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until smooth and soft, about 10 minutes. Alternatively, you could mix and knead in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. It will be slightly tacky but not sticky. Knead in more flour if it is too sticky.
- Add the orange zest and sultanas, and knead together until well combined.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place for an hour, or until dough has doubled in size.
- Punch down the risen dough and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball.
- Place each ball in prepared baking dish.
- Cover the baking dish with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise and double in size, about 45 minutes.
- While the buns are rising, make the paste for the crosses by combining the flour and water together in a small bowl.
- Transfer to a piping bag or ziploc with the corner cut off.
- Once the buns have risen, pipe a cross shape onto each bun.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the buns are golden brown and cooked through.
- Make a glaze for the buns by whisking together the apricot jam and maple syrup. Brush on the glaze while the buns are still warm and then serve.