Vegan Hot Cross Buns; moist with grated apple, warm with gentle spices, and sweet with dried cranberries, these are worth every minute of work. Get baking, there’s less than a month till Easter!
It just wouldn’t be Easter without Hot Cross Buns. Maybe this is something very specific to the UK but here you know Christmas is over when the mince pies are replaced with Hot Cross Buns even though Easter is still 3 months away! That being said, this is not a complaint as I love the ever changing seasons, and what better way to celebrate than with food that reminds you that warmer weather is on the way.
This is my second Hot Cross Bun recipe on the blog. Without eggs, these are slightly lighter and more justifiably a breakfast food, and potentially slightly better for you! For me, this was all about making sure I still had a way to eat a tasty, delicious, and fresh Hot Cross Bun in time for Easter!
My Hot Cross Buns are heavier with fruit than normal. As well as the traditional mixed peel and sultanas, I’ve added grated apple and dried cranberries for a nice sweet and sour hit. The apples tend to melt away here, but they keep the buns deliciously moist and sweet.
These don’t need any topping apart from a light scraping of dairy free butter, and perhaps a smidge of honey or golden syrup if you eat these for elevenses. Personally, this is one of my breakfast treats, but that doesn’t mean I can’t eat them at 11, and again at 4, and again after dinner!
Makes 12 hot cross buns. Takes 1 hr 10 plus proving and baking time.
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 65g caster sugar
- 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 level tsp mixed spice
- 10g salt
- 10g instant yeast
- 40g dairy free butter, melted
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 120ml non dairy milk (I used almond milk, but any non dairy variety would work)
- 180ml water
- 80g sultanas
- 60g dried cranberries
- 80g chopped mixed peel
- Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
- 1/2 dessert apple, peeled and cored
- For the crosses:
- 75g plain flour
- 75ml water
- For the glaze:
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp orange juice – boil together for 5 mins until syrupy.
- Add the flour, sugar, spices, salt and yeast to the bowl, being careful to place the yeast and salt at opposite sides. Add the melted butter, milk and half the water and use your hands to incorporate it into a rough dough. Continue to add the remaining water until the dough is soft, sticky and picks up all the flour from around the bowl.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 – 10 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.
- Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to prove at room temperature until at least doubled in size (about 2 hours) but ideally leave in the fridge to prove overnight (or longer – I left mine in the fridge for 20 hours and it was fine).
- When the dough is almost doubled in size, grate the apple using the largest setting on a box grater. Dry off the apples slightly using a piece of kitchen paper.
- Once risen, tip onto a generously floured work surface and scatter the sultanas, cranberries, mixed peel, zest and grated apple over the top. Knead together until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated in the dough. Leave to rest at room temperature in the same bowl covered with clingfilm for 1 hour.
- When the dough is almost fully rested, line 1 large or 2 medium size baking trays with baking paper and preheat your oven to 220 degrees.
- Tip the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface and fold the dough into itself until all the air has been knocked out. Divide into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls (pull the edges of your piece of dough into the centre until it forms a ball shape. Pinch the edges together, flip it so the edges are now on the work surface, and then use the sides of your palms to cup the dough and pull it down so it is shaped into a neat ball).
- Space out the buns on the trays so that they are fairly close, but not touching – try and get them as straight as possible, it will make piping the crosses easier. Cover with lightly oiled clingfilm and leave to rest for 45 minutes, or until the dough springs back quickly if you lightly prod it.
- When the buns are ready to bake, quickly make the dough for the crosses by mixing the flour and water together. Spoon into a piping bag, snip the end off, then slowly pipe the crosses over the buns.
- Bake for 15 – 18 minutes until golden brown.
- Make the glaze by boiling the orange juice and sugar together for 3-4 minutes until thick and syrupy. Brush the buns all over with the glaze as they come out of the oven. Cool on a wire rack.
- To reheat, put back in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes at 150 degrees.
- Store the remaining buns in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or alternatively freeze the baked buns.