Healthy Hot Cross Buns

It’s Easter time already! Can you believe it? This actually blows me away. You know what else blows me away… How damn delicious these hot cross buns are! Like seriously, get them out of the house, they are too flippin yum!! So anyway, I think since you have a whole Easter long weekend off there’s really no excuse why you can’t get into your kitchen and have a go at baking these guys.

I had wanted to recreate a healthier version of hot cross buns for quiet some years, but each year I would leave it too late, and you don’t want to be posting Easter recipes in June, that would be weird, right…

So why make them healthier?

Well after looking across a few generic store bought versions, I found that most contained roughly 16-20g of added sugar per bun (that’s 4 to 5 teaspoons per bun!) not to mention the various other crap found in them (excuse my language) things like: gelling agents, thickeners, gums, emulsifiers, colours, plus butter, and eggs... which by the way I only have a problem with because they would 100% be the lowest quality caged eggs.. and I'm a firm believer of: If you wouldn't support caged eggs by buying them in the carton off the shelf, why buy baked and processed goods that contain them- and why eat them at your local cafe if you don't know where they come from! sorry rant over :)


So this healthy version I have created is:

Dairy free, Vegan friendly
High in fibre: I have used wholemeal flour, chia seeds, unsweetened dried fruit, and dates which are all high in fibre.  
Low in sugar: roughly 10g per bun (half the amount of store bought)- plus I’ve sweetened with whole dates (bonus fibre) and a little bit of coconut sugar rather than 'glucose syrup' or processed cane sugar. 
Low in saturated fats: I have used olive oil and almond milk which are both high in unsaturated fatty acids- the good guys!

But yet, they are soo fluffy and tasty! The spices and dried fruit combo is so so yum! And really not as difficult as it seems.


Now if you wish to make a gluten free version- simply swap out the spelt flour for a GF mix (try buckwheat, rice and tapioca mixed)

Also, I would have preferred to have made my own sourdough starter and made them that way, but that is about a 1-2 week process of getting the sourdough ready- so anyway, I will leave that challenge for next year. Instead I have used some bakers yeast. Yeast consumes sugars in the dough and releases carbon dioxide and ethanol- making bubbles! this gives the rolls a nice rise and fluffy texture. Cool hey- bit of live biochemistry. If you wish to omit this, simply swap it out for 2 tsp of baking soda- I cant guarantee the texture will be as soft and delicious, but I would love to hear how it does turn out if you try it!

So anyway, here is the super healthy, super delicious recipe for the buns!

Healthy Hot Cross Buns

makes ~8 hot cross buns

DF, V  


2 cups wholemeal spelt flour (or just regular wholemeal)
½ tbsp bakers dried yeast
1 tsp coconut sugar (or other sweetener) 
½ cup almond milk 
½ tsp salt 
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 tbsp chia seeds + ¼ cup warm water (or 1 organic egg)
4 medjool dates
3 tbsp olive oil 
½ cup mixed dried fruit (sultana’s, cranberries, currants)  
¼ cup flour (any kind)
1-2 tbsp water
½ tbsp coconut sugar (or other sweetener)
½ tbsp water

How to make:

  1. Warm the almond milk to luke warm (not boiling), add the yeast, and coconut sugar, stir, cover and place in a warm place for 15 minutes (or until it is bubbly) 
  2. Sieve into a large mixing bowl the spices (cinnamon, mixed spice, vanilla), salt and flour. 
  3. Blend the dates (pitted), water, chia seeds and olive oil together then pour into the bubbly milk-yeast mixture, stir then pour into the mixing bowl with the flours. 
  4. Add the dried fruit to the bowl and combine to form a dough. Cover and place in a warm spot for approximately 45 minutes or until the dough has roughly doubled in size. 
  5. Turn oven onto 180 degrees celcuis (fan forced)
  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and punch out the air, kneed dough and then cut into 8 equal sized pieces. 
  7. Kneed/roll into balls and place in a baking tin (at this stage they probably won’t be touching), cover and place in a warm spot for a further 15 minutes or until they have risen slightly. 
  8. Mix the flour and water together in a bowl and pour into a piping bag (or a snap and seal bag with the corner cut off), set aside.
  9. Using the back of a knife, trace a + down the buns then pipe the mixing down the lines. 
  10. Place in the oven to bake for approximately 25 minutes, they should be golden. Meanwhile, mix the coconut sugar and water in a bowl. 
  11. Remove buns from the oven and paste the glaze over the buns instantly. 
  12. Serve warm cut open with a smear of nut-butter, jam, or on their own. 


Fresh home-made hot cross buns, a real treat for easter! 

I hope you have a wonderful long weekend, and get to enjoy some delicious and wholesome treats with friends and family. 

Remember to use the tag #elsaswholesomelife or #thewholesomelife so I can see what you recreate or tag me in the photos! @elsas_wholesomelife 

Stay happy and healthy,

Love Elsa,


Remember, if you love this recipe, you can find many more in my EBOOK, The Wholesome Life