Gluten Free & Dairy Free Hot Cross Buns

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Hot Cross Buns - Quirky Cooking

The other day I thought I’d have another go at making gluten and dairy free hot cross buns, because I wasn’t completely happy with the ones I already have on the blog. And since I’m finding I react more and more to gluten these days, my spelt recipe is out for me. I remember giving in last year when I made a batch at an Easter demo – it’s very hard to resist hot cross buns when they’re fresh from the oven, dripping with a spicy glaze, and slathered with butter. But I regretted it the next day. Not doing that again…

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one craving these sweet, spicy buns, and although they’re never going to be quite as soft and fluffy as the spelt or wheat versions, they are quite delicious, especially hot out of the oven!

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Hot Cross Buns - Quirky Cooking

As with most gluten free baking, these are best eaten warm, or at least only a couple of hours old. By the next day they will be a lot drier, only good for slicing up and toasting. Although you could use the leftovers to make a hot cross bun ‘bread and butter pudding’… (Hmmm, might have to try that, yum!) My suggestion is, make the dough, then only bake what you will eat that day – save the rest of the dough in a container in the fridge for another batch. The dough will last for about 5 days in the fridge in a sealed container. (The flavours will actually develop as the dough sits in the fridge, and the mixture will thicken so they will rise a bit better.)

I made this recipe without gums (guar or xanthan) as I know a lot of people try to avoid those, and they’re also expensive. If you prefer, you can use 2 tsp xanthan gum instead of the psyllium husk. The xanthan gum has pros and cons – with it the buns will be heavier and denser, but they do stay moist longer. The psyllium husk dough will be quite runny (almost a batter), but with the xanthan gum it’s firmer and can be gently molded into balls with wet hands once it’s been refrigerated overnight. I make the buns in cupcake cups so it doesn’t matter if the dough is more of a batter – it works great this way.

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Hot Cross Buns - Quirky Cooking 

 I did intend to have an egg free version for you as well, but I just haven’t had time to test it yet. If anyone does have success with egg replacer or ‘chia eggs’ or other egg substitutes, let me know. Otherwise I’ll test that version when I can. Also a yeast free version. So many recipes to test so little time! Especially when the weather is MUCH too nice to be inside…

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Hot Cross Buns - Quirky Cooking
Note: You can find fine sea salt and vanilla powder for this recipe in my online store!
Gluten Free & Dairy Free Hot Cross Buns
Yields 20
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  1. 150g brown rice, raw
  2. 110g sorghum or millet, seeds or flour
  3. zest of 1 orange (peeled with potato peeler)
  4. 1 Tbsp instant yeast
  5. 190g arrowroot or tapioca starch
  6. 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  7. 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  8. 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  9. 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  10. 40g coconut sugar or Rapadura
  11. 1 Tbsp psyllium husk
  12. 2 eggs
  13. 200g coconut milk (homemade), or preferred milk
  14. 150g water
  15. 40g macadamia oil or other light oil
  16. 100g sultanas
  17. 100g currants (or try dried sour cherries or cranberries)
  18. muffin papers
  1. 50g gluten free plain flour
  2. 50g water
  1. juice of 1 orange (approx. 50g juice)
  2. 50g coconut sugar or Rapadura
  3. 1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  4. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Place brown rice and sorghum or millet seeds (if using) into Thermomix mixing bowl and mill
  2. 1 min/speed 9. If using sorghum or millet flour, mill rice on its' own, then add flour.
  3. Add orange zest and blend 15 sec/speed 9.
  4. Add yeast, arrowroot or tapioca starch, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, sugar, and psyllium husk, and mix 20 sec/speed 5. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula.
  5. Add eggs, milk, water, oil, sultanas and currants and mix 20 sec/reverse/speed 4. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula and mix another 10 sec/reverse/speed 4.
  6. Pour mixture into a large container, place lid on, and leave to rise for 2 hours at room temp.
  7. Once mixture is risen, container can either be put into the fridge to be used the next day (best results, as flavours intensify and mixture thickens), or you can make the buns straight away.
When ready to bake
  1. Mix the flour and water for the crosses in a small bowl with a fork until smooth, then pour into a small a small ziploc bag. Seal the bag and cut a very small corner off. Set aside.
  2. Place paper muffin cups into a muffin tray (depending on how many you want to make).
  3. Take the dough out of the fridge and scoop out heaped tablespoonfuls, and using a spoon and butter knife, drop a large spoonful into each muffin cup. Muffin cups should be 3/4 full.
  4. Cover muffin tray loosely with a plastic bag (so that plastic does not touch dough) and leave to rise for about 30-40 mins, or until dough has barely risen to the top of the muffin cup. (Don't over-rise buns or you'll find they flatten out, and will sink in the middle once cooked.) Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 200C (fan forced). Pipe crosses onto buns.
  5. Once oven is hot, place tray inside on middle shelf, and cook for 20 mins, or until lightly browned and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  1. Place all glaze ingredients into mixing bowl and cook 2 mins/Varoma temp/speed 2, with MC off to let out steam. Brush hot glaze over hot buns (removing papers if you like and arranging on a plate first, so that the glaze drizzles down the sides). Serve warm.
  2. Store any leftover, cooled buns in an airtight container at room temp for 1 day - best eaten on day of baking.
  1. Non-Thermomix Version: To make without a Thermomix, use bought rice and sorghum/millet flours and bought coconut milk, and mix with a food processor or by hand.
  2. Makes approx. 20 muffin-sized buns
Quirky Cooking

18 thoughts on “Gluten Free & Dairy Free Hot Cross Buns

  1. ryza says:

    Hi jo,

    The alternate egg substitute could be the flaxseeds . I didnt try the same for this recipe, but it worked well for a cake i tried in the past. The proportion is 2Tbsp of flaxseed powder soaked in 6Tbsp of warm water and let it sit for 10 minutes. The mixture will become gluey like an egg.

  2. Lisa says:

    Hi Jo,

    What other flour could I try instead of rice as I’m intolerant to it, I will also be using chia seeds or flax as a egg replacement. Thanks.

  3. Vicky says:

    Hi Jo,
    These look delicious! I can’t wait to try them. However, I need to avoid rice. What would you suggest as a substitute?

  4. Liz says:

    I made the mix up and have refrigerated it to let the flavours go through 😀 I made mine fruit free as I am not only lactose (I just used lactose free milk in this recipe) and gluten free but low fodmap (to treat diagnosed IBS) and didn’t want to risk bloating due to the dried fruit. They smell amazing and can’t wait to bake them up in the morning 😀 .

    In previous years I made spelt ones but like you said, spelt doesn’t work if we become more and more sensitive to gluten. I used to be fine with spelt and now I can’t handle pretty much any gluten at all. And last year I didn’t get to have any Easter treats as I was unable to eat at all (another story all together, in short I had undiagnosed IBD in severe flare).

    I am also allergic to corn so using Xanthan is out of the question. Psyllium husks are a life saver when it comes to baking.

    Just want to say thank you for the recipe and can’t wait to try out some others.

  5. Bonnie says:

    Hi Jo!
    Just wondering what I could best substitute the brown rice and sorghum or millet with if you’re following a Paleo Diet?
    Thanks! Bonnie

  6. Zuzana says:

    Hi Jo, I am making these today 😀. Is the dough supposed to be quite runny? I don’t have TM so using traditional method. Thank you.

  7. Georgie says:

    Hi Jo, made your hot cross buns yesterday and had one for breakfast this morning! Even hubby was impressed! They were great. As you mentioned, they where heavier than a ‘normal’ hot cross bun but we felt the flavors were all there! the one for breakfast was heated for about 8 second in the microwave, cut in half then buttered and it was just as good!! First time I’ve enjoyed Easter without indigestion!! Cheers!

  8. Kylie says:

    Jo, I’ve made this recipe in the past, I can’t remember the raw texture? is it dough like or runny? Would it work as the pull a part bread with orange glaze? I just realised last time I made the pull apart I could eat spelt… now I can’t!!! 🙁

  9. Shirley Bergin says:

    Looking forward to a yeast free version as that is the thing that affects me. Can have bread from sourdough but not introduced yeast

  10. Zoe says:

    I love love LOVE these hot x buns, was so excited to find the recipe two years ago and have been making them for Easters since – definitely the best GF DF recipe I’ve come across 😀

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