Grain Free Hot Cross Muffins (GAPS Friendly)

Grain Free Hot Cross Muffins (GAPS Friendly) - Quirky Cooking

You’ve probably noticed that I’m a very last minute kinda person. I’ve been meaning to work out a grain free, GAPS friendly hot cross bun recipe for the last month, but of course I wait until breakfast time on Good Friday to begin!! But hey, it’s lunch time and I did it, so all’s well that ends well! Ha ha!

Sorry if it’s a bit too last minute for you, I hope you can find the ingredients before Easter Sunday! I did try to give lots of variations, just in case you need to swap some things around, so see how you go. 

Grain Free Hot Cross Muffins (GAPS Friendly) - Quirky Cooking

My first batch had a bit of a failure with the crosses (they were made out of almond meal, coconut flour and water), but I had a sudden brainwave, due to the yummy marshmallows I’d made the night before… marshmallow crosses!!! The kids thought it was a great idea, so here you are – grain free, dairy free, yeast free hot cross buns (ok, muffins), with marshmallow crosses! And if you don’t have the ingredients for crosses, you could always use toothpaste… HA HA, kidding!! (That was my friend Sarah’s suggestion, thanks Sarah! *wink*)

Here’s my amazingly easy recipe for Honey-Sweetened, All Natural Marshmallows for the crosses!

Note: Use the leftover mixture after making the crosses to make marshmallows – I coated mine in naturally coloured coconut and cut into squares, to give to the kids on Easter Sunday. They’re very excited about that – they don’t get too many sweets on GAPS!

Grain Free Hot Cross Muffins (GAPS Friendly) - Marshmallow topping - Quirky Cooking

For those of you worried about the amount of sweetness in this recipe, you can easily reduce or even leave out the honey in the muffins, as the dried fruit and the marshmallow cross and the optional glaze may be enough. I’ve made them to be to most people’s taste since it’s a special occasion, and we are sharing them around with friends and family and not eating them all on our own.

Grain Free Hot Cross Muffins (GAPS Friendly) - Quirky Cooking

The texture is soft and moist, and they keep well for a few days in a cool spot or in the fridge. They also freeze well and can be thawed out in the oven if you don’t put the crosses on. So pop some in the freezer for another day!

I hope you like them, have a wonderful Easter, and enjoy the holidays!

Jo xx


Note: You can find fine sea salt and vanilla powder for this recipe in my online store!


Grain Free Hot Cross Muffins
Yields 15
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  1. 6 eggs, separated
  2. 320g blanched almond meal (or blanched almonds or other nuts)
  3. 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  4. zest of 1 orange, peeled off with potato peeler & dried with paper towel
  5. 1 vanilla bean, cut into quarters (or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or paste)
  6. 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  7. 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  8. 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  9. 1/2 tsp bicarb soda (baking soda)
  10. 100g honey or pure maple syrup (or less, to taste)
  11. 60g coconut milk (or preferred milk)
  12. 60g coconut oil (or macadamia oil)
  13. 100g sultanas
  14. 100g currants
Glaze (optional)
  1. 2 Tbspns honey
  2. 2 Tbspns water
  3. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 180C, and place muffin papers into muffin tins. (I use If You Care baking cups, as they don't stick.)
  2. Prepare all your ingredients first, so that the egg whites are not sitting for too long after being whipped, or they will begin to separate.
  3. Place egg whites into clean Thermomix bowl, insert butterfly whisk, and mix for 4 mins/speed 4. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Place almond meal (or blanched almonds/nuts) into bowl and add salt, orange zest, vanilla bean, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and soda. Blend 20 sec/speed 9. Scrape down sides and lid of bowl.
  5. Add egg yolks, honey or syrup, milk and oil, and mix 30 sec/speed 6.
  6. Add sultanas and currants and a third of the beaten egg whites, and mix 30 sec/reverse/speed 3.
  7. Remove to a large mixing bowl. (Spin blades on bowl 2 sec/speed 9 to get all the batter off.)
  8. Carefully fold the remaining egg whites into the batter using a silicone spatula. Be very gentle, take your time, until all the egg white is mixed in. (If you mix instead of folding, the muffins won't be as light and fluffy.)
  9. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.
  10. Place into 180C oven and cook approx. 20 mins, or until a skewer inserted in centre muffin comes out clean.
  11. Set aside to cool while you make marshmallow for crosses.
  12. For the marshmallow crosses, see Honey-Sweetened, All Natural Marshmallows (on my blog)
Glaze (optional)
  1. If you want buns to be shiny, you can melt together the honey, water and cinnamon (2 mins/100C/speed 2 in Thermomix), then brush over muffins.
  2. Place buns in a cool place for marshmallow to set.
  3. Can be frozen and thawed for another day.
  1. You can swap the sultanas and currants for other dried fruits, or for chocolate chips, or just leave out.
  2. Orange zest can be omitted if you don't have it.
  3. If you don't want to bother with the crosses, just brush with the glaze.
  4. Nuts can be swapped for raw cashews or a mixture of nuts, but will work best if they have no skins.
Quirky Cooking

29 thoughts on “Grain Free Hot Cross Muffins (GAPS Friendly)

  1. Pingback: Grain Free Gingerbread Biscuits - Quirky Cooking

  2. Tony says:

    Hi Jo,

    Tried a batch of these today, as the shops here have ALREADY started putting out hot cross buns on the shelf. Trying to steer the family in healthier directions this year, so thought I’d give these a go. Not bad! A bit more “cakey” than bread-like, but the flavour is great! Is there anything that can be changed to give it more of a bread consistency, or is that a gluten thing?

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Yes that’s a gluten thing, sadly… You can add psyllium husk or xanthan gum for a more ‘chewy’ texture, but then it wouldn’t be GAPS. Sorry!

  3. Lainie Hailstone says:

    Hi Jo, how important is it to use the ‘blanched’ nuts? Will it work if a make almond meal without blanching them first?

  4. Ty says:

    I’m going to try these with sunflower seeds (nut allergy over here unfortunately!) Do you think they’ll work ok or will I need to add psyllium husk or something else to bulk them up?

  5. [email protected] says:

    Hi, thanks for the recipie. I tried it with substituting egg for chia seeds. I used 5 tablespoons with 15 water as suggested, 6 just seemed too much. They turned out ok and needed twice the cooking time. I added the entire chia into the bowl with the other ingredients. Chia obviously dominated the final result, do you have any better suggestions to what ratio to add this as an egg substitute? I feel I could have done this better but Im only new to these recipies.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Tania, I would add some baking powder if using chia instead of eggs, as the eggs not only help to bind the mixture, they also rise the mixture. So about 1 tsp baking powder should help. Otherwise, try apple sauce (reduce sweetener) plus baking powder. 🙂

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  7. Popsy22 says:

    These were absolutely brilliant! Wonderful flavor, moist, excellent texture (for a non gluten bun). So stoked to find a super tasty treat for my GAPS son and husband for Easter. Everyone loved them – non GAPS people included- and ate three each at a time. The marshmallow crosses are inspired and worked perfectly.

  8. Luciana says:

    Hi Jo, we don’t like cooked fruit so I’d like to make this minus the fruit. Is it ok to just omit them or would I need to adjust the recipe in some way?
    Cheers 😊

  9. Mel says:

    Hi Jo do you have a recipe for the hot cross buns that doesn’t involve the thermomix? I like the look and sound of a lot of your stuff but can’t make it. If not that’s ok as I am sure I can find something similar elsewhere.

    • Quirky Cooking says:

      Hi Mel, you can just use a food processor to mix the ingredients – that’s how the thermomix is used in this recipe. Instead of milling your own nuts, just buy blanched almond flour. 🙂

  10. stephen mcculloch says:

    Hi Jo, just wondering if you have a certain brand of cookware you use like for frying pancakes, baking muffins and bread what is the least toxic or one of, do you know ? thank you

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Angela, it is difficult subbing for eggs when more than three are used in a recipe. You can use chia eggs instead (1 tbsp chia mixed with 3 tbsp water per egg) but you may find the chia dominates the recipe (as someone else who tried this found) and you would need to add some baking powder too as the eggs not only bind, but also help the muffins rise. Otherwise, you could try applesauce (reduce the amount of sweetener you use) and 1 tsp baking powder but not sure how this would go as we haven’t tried this ourselves. Let us know if you try! 🙂

  11. Jacorine says:

    Hi I have a severe honey allergy can I sub the honey in die glaze for rice syrup or maple syrup?

  12. Lauren says:

    Hazelnut meal and cacao nibs in place of fruit, no sweetener in base and honey glaze, a few with marshmallow crosses – sublime treat for our family. Thank you.

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