Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns are sweetly spiced and studded with dried fruit. There is no xanthan gum involved and they are best served warm with a slick of salted butter.

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

The scent of Easter has been afoot in my kitchen for a while now as I have been recipe testing the perfect Gluten-Free Hot Cross Bun. Every year I plan on this recipe but it has taken me a long time to perfect the right flour blend.

Fresh Hot Cross Buns from the bakery are one of my favourite things ever and I have been missing them like crazy. The good news is your gluten-free versions are finally here and they are easier to bake than you think.

This final version even passed Cole’s taste test. He declared them as good as the one Henry from football shared with him, and his had chocolate chips in it. Since all my previous batches had gone down like lead balloons with him I was confident that I was onto a winner here. There is no more exacting critic than a three and a half year old.

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

What are Hot Cross Buns?

Hot Cross Buns are sweetly spiced buns studded with currants and recognisable for their white cross baked onto the surface of the bun. Traditionally Hot Cross Buns are eaten on Good Friday in the UK but really any time between January and April is perfectly acceptable (or between April and December).

Why are Hot Cross Buns eaten at Easter?

Hot Cross Buns symbolise the end of Lent. The cross on the top represents the cross on which Jesus was crucified and the spices signify the embalming of his body.

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

How do you make Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns?

Fresh Homemade Hot Cross Buns are quicker to make than you think. Although you do need to include an hour for the dough to rest so do build that into your prep time. Here are the essential details:

  1. Make the dough. Flours, sugar, spices, yeast are whisked up then the eggs and milk are poured in and the dough is brought together.
  2. Add the dried fruit.
  3. Knead the dough, a little.
  4. Prove the dough for 1 hour.
  5. Shape the buns. Then place on the baking tray.
  6. Make the flour paste for the crosses. Pipe the crosses onto each bun.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Glaze the buns with a simple sugar syrup.

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

Gluten-Free Flours

To make these Hot Cross Buns gluten-free I have swapped out the wheat flour for the following alternative flours:

  1. Gluten-Free Oat Flour: Chosen to make the buns light and fluffy. However if you cannot digest oat flour then use 100g sorghum flour and 100g millet flour in its place.
  2. Almond Flour: Used for its soft tender crumb so the buns are not too dense. Plus flavour!
  3. Sweet Rice Flour: It helps bind the flour mix together so the buns are not dry and crumbly.

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

What spices do you use in Hot Cross Buns?

Ground cinnamon and nutmeg are a must in a Hot Cross Bun. Ground mixed spice is also added here but if you don’t have it to hand you can substitute with an extra ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves.

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

What dried fruit do you put in Hot Cross Buns?

Traditionally the fruit inside a Hot Cross Buns will include currants, sultanas and mixed peel. However the world is your oyster and you can add in any dried fruit you desire.

In this recipe I have used currants, sultanas and dried cranberries. I switched out the mixed peel for the zest of a lemon and orange.

However, why not try?
Chopped dried apricots
Dried blueberries
Dried sour cherries
Dried apple pieces
Or even… Chocolate Chips!!

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

How to shape Hot Cross Buns

Take the risen dough and tear off 100g. Use the scales to weigh so every Hot Cross Bun is the same size. Roll between two slightly cupped palms. The balls should be very smooth, particularly on top to avoid too much splitting. However a little splitting is inevitable in this recipe, particularly under the cross.

Once you have a very smooth ball flatten the bottom slightly against one of your palms and then place on the baking tray.

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

What is the cross made from on Hot Cross Buns?

Traditionally the white crosses on the top of the Hot Cross Buns are made from pastry. However more modern recipes use flour which is much quicker for the home cook.

The flour is mixed with a little water to form a paste then piped over the top of the Hot Cross Buns. This recipe uses a mix of sweet rice flour and oat flour.

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

Success Tip: Glaze the Hot Cross Buns.

Do not skip the glazing when the Hot Cross Buns are removed from the oven. It is what makes them look so shiny and inviting and gives a lovely sweetness.

I recommend a simple syrup of equal amounts white sugar and water. Heat until the sugar has dissolved then brush this simple syrup over the Hot Cross Buns once they are baked and still warm.

Can you freeze Hot Cross Buns?

Yes! You can freeze them prior to baking or already baked. If you freeze them before they have been baked then shape them, place them on the baking tray and place the tray in the freezer. Freeze for four hours then remove the tray from the freezer. Transfer the uncooked buns to a freezer bag and place back in the freezer. This means you can take the buns out individually to defrost and bake. They can freeze for up to 3 months.

To defrost, remove the buns from the freezer bag and place on a rack overnight to completely thaw. Pipe the crosses on, then bake as instructed.

Or you can freeze the Hot Cross Buns after baking once they have cooled. Again, flash freeze for four hours on a baking tray before transferring to a freezer back. Defrost in the same way as above.

What can you do with leftover Hot Cross Buns?

  • Hot Cross Bread and Butter Pudding
  • Hot Cross Bun Trifle
  • The bun for a bacon sandwich (amazing, especially with extra marmalade!)
  • Use them as a base for an ice cream sundae
  • Turn them into breadcrumbs and use for a crumble topping
  • Hot Cross Bun French Toast

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

Variations of Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns:

Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns – Remove 75g of the dried fruit and add in 150g dark chocolate chips
Orange and Cranberry – Swap out the lemon zest for zest of another orange and use just dried cranberries.
Apple and Cinnamon – Use dried apple instead of the currants and cranberries (keep the sultanas) and just use 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg instead of the other spices.

If you like this recipe then you may like:
Gluten-Free Eccles Cakes
Easter Welsh Cakes
Easter Cookies
Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

If you make these Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns are sweetly spiced and studded with dried fruit. There is no xanthan gum involved and they are best served warm with a slick of salted butter.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 10 Hot Cross Buns
Calories: 366kcal
Author: Georgina Hartley

Ingredients

  • 200 g oat flour
  • 150 g almond flour
  • 130 g sweet rice flour
  • 50 g unsalted butter cold, cubed
  • 50 g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried quick yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • ¼ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
  • zest 1 lemon
  • zest 1 orange
  • 200 ml whole milk warmed
  • 2 medium eggs beaten
  • 80 g sultanas
  • 60 g currants
  • 40 g dried cranberries

Crosses

  • 20 g oat flour
  • 20 g sweet rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons water

Glaze

  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar

Instructions

  • Whisk the flours together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add in the unsalted butter then rub together between your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the sugar, yeast, salt, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg and the lemon and orange zest until well combined.
  • Beat the eggs in a medium sized mixing bowl and gently pour in the warmed milk in a thin stream, whisking all the time until combined.
  • Pour the liquid mixture into the middle of the flour mixture.
  • Use a wooden spoon to mix at first, then as the dough begins to come together use your hands.
  • Knead gently until the dough is almost smooth but still has some loose flour then add the dried fruit.
  • Continue to knead the dough so all the fruit is evenly incorporated then turn into a smooth ball. It will still be a little sticky.
  • Leave the dough ball in the mixing bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel. Rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan assisted/gas mark 4
  • Remove the tea towel then tear off 100g pieces of the dough. Roll into 10 balls and place evenly spread out on a large baking sheet.
  • Set the baking tray aside whilst you prepare the crosses.
  • Mix the oat flour and sweet rice flour together in a small bowl then add the water. Stir together until it forms a paste.
  • Spoon the flour paste into a small piping bag, or food bag with tip snipped off.
  • Pipe crosses onto the top of each bun.
  • Place the Hot Cross buns in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the Hot Cross Buns from the oven. Place the buns on a cooling rack and set aside whilst you prepare the glaze.
  • Heat water and sugar in a small saucepan until bubbling and the sugar has dissolved.
  • Use a pastry brush to brush the glaze over each Hot Cross Bun.
  • Serve warm or cooled, split in half with a slick of salted butter.

Notes

Oat Flour Substitution. If you cannot digest gluten-free oat flour then substitute with 100g sorghum flour + 100g millet flour.
Yeast. I like to use Doves Farm Quick Yeast. You can use 175g total weight of any mixed dried fruit. Diced apricots, blueberries, sour cherries, raisins, mixed peel, glace cherries, stem ginger are all good choices.
Baking Sheet. Use a baking sheet sized around 39 x 27cm.
Storage. Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns keep up to 3 days in an airtight container. However they are best on the day they are made.
Freeze. You can freeze the Hot Cross Buns either pre-baked without the crosses added, or baked and cooled for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 249mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 4.1% | Vitamin C: 0.7% | Calcium: 8.9% | Iron: 11.3%

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Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

This Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread has no yeast so is incredibly quick to make and this version also happens to be vegan and uses no xanthan gum.

gluten-free irish soda bread on a cooling rack

It’s St Patrick’s Day this weekend and although it’s not really a holiday we celebrate, despite my grandfather being Irish, I have relished this opportunity to perfect and share this Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread.

My struggles getting a really good gluten-free bread up on the blog have been well documented in my Insta Stories. Most of my bread endeavours have been perfectly edible but to get a loaf that is uncomplicated, tasty and not terribly dense is a tough ask. Especially if you need to avoid using xanthan gum which I always am.

cut open and a slice of gluten-free irish soda bread

Irish Soda Bread has been the perfect antidote to my struggles. There is no yeast involved, no kneading, no rising and no complicated ingredients. It takes 15 minutes to mix up the dough and only 45 minutes in the oven. So that’s pretty much 1 hour from start to finish.

Sifting flour into a bowl

Whisking flaxseed into non-dairy milk

pouring milk into flour for gluten-free bread

pouring bread dough into cake tin

please note the above photo was taken before I realised the need for lining the cake tin with baking parchment – see top tips below.

What is Irish Soda Bread?

Irish Soda Bread is a traditional very quick bread recipe which is made without yeast so there is no proving time to be considered. Instead the bread rises through the reaction of bicarbonate of soda and acidic buttermilk.

cutting gluten-free irish soda bread

How Do You Make Vegan Soda Bread?

Regular Irish Soda Bread uses a combination of buttermilk and bicarbonate of soda to create the rise. To make the recipe vegan (or if you don’t have any buttermilk to hand) you can use a non-dairy milk mixed with a little acid to create the same buttermilk effect. This recipe uses oat milk with apple cider vinegar but you can use any non-dairy milk and you can swap lemon juice in for the vinegar if that is what you have.

sliced gluten-free irish soda bread on bread board

The Flours

I tested this recipe a bunch of times with a different combination of flours. I finally settled on the following mix:

Oat Flour
The oat flour is the perfect light and fluffy texture for the bread, as well as providing a delicious oaty taste. You can substitute with sorghum flour if you can’t digest oats but some brands of sorghum flour can be a little gritty which does come through in this bread recipe since such a large amount is needed.

Almond Flour
The almond flour also gives the bread a lovely texture and taste. It is light but also helps keeps the bread from being dry and crumbly.

Potato Flour
Potato flour and not starch is used to alleviate the density of the loaf.

Tapioca Flour
Tapioca flour is chosen as it gives the bread a lovely golden crust and also helps bind all the other flours together in lieu of gluten.

Cut open gluten-free irish soda bread

Why Do We Use Ground Flaxseeds?

The bread needed a little more binding. Many wholegrain Irish Soda Bread recipes compensate by adding an egg. I wanted to keep this bread vegan so turned to flaxseeds which when added to liquid have a certain viscosity which helps to keep the bread tender.

What Can You Substitute For The Flaxseeds?

If you don’t have flaxseeds then ground chia seeds work in exactly the same way, so just swap in the same quantity.

A slice of gluten-free irish soda bread on a bread board

How Do You Make Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread?

  1. Whisk the milk and vinegar together.
  2. Sift the flours with the bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  3. Add the flaxseeds to the milk.
  4. Pour the milk into the flours and mix well.
  5. Tip the dough into a cake tin and bake for 45 minutes.

A slice of gluten-free irish soda bread on a bread board

Top Tips for Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

  • Regular Irish Soda Bread can be baked free-form just on a baking sheet. Here I recommend baking this gluten-free version in a round cake tin. This dough is a little looser and it helps the bread stay in shape during the bake.
  • Also, do use line the cake tin on the bottom and sides with baking parchment to stop the bread from sticking. Cut out a circle of parchment and place on the bottom. Cut out a straight line of parchment and curl it round the insides of the cake tin. Do not grease the parchment.

bread dough in cake tin

More Gluten-Free Recipes You Might Like
Happiness Bread
Gluten-Free Scones
Easiest Gluten-Free Banana Bread

If you make this Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Click here for instant access

Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread on a cooling rack.
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

This Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread has no yeast so is incredibly quick to make and this version also happens to be vegan and uses no xanthan gum.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: gluten-free, soda bread, vegan
Author: Georgina Hartley

Ingredients

  • 180 g oat flour
  • 120 g almond flour
  • 60 g potato flour
  • 60 g tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 350 ml non-dairy milk
  • tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 20 g ground flaxseeds

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan assisted/gas mark 4. Line the bottom of a 6 inch x 4 inch round cake tin with baking parchment on the bottom and around the insides of the tin.
  • Whisk the milk with the apple cider vinegar in a jug and leave to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Sift the flours into a large mixing bowl with the bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  • Whisk the flaxseeds into the milk and leave for 5 minutes.
  • Make a well in the middle of the flours and pour in the liquid. Mix well.
  • Pour the bread dough into the lined cake tin and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the bread from the oven, leave to rest for 5 minutes before carefully inserting out of the tin and leave to cool on a rack.

Notes

  • For the non-dairy milk you can use oat milk, coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk or a combo of any of them.
  • Instead of the apple cider vinegar you can use the same amount of lemon juice.
  • If you don’t have any flaxseeds to hand then you can swap in ground chia seeds.

SHOP THE RECIPE


This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

PIN THIS POST TO READ LATER!

Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

Happiness Bread {gluten-free}

Happiness Bread is a soft savoury paleo bread, perfect for kick-starting your day, nay your year. It is also pretty much summing up the January I am having so far, I am feeling so positive and sunny that I really don’t recognise myself.

Happiness Bread is a soft savoury gluten-free and paleo bread, packed with sweet potato, nuts, seeds, coconut and turmeric. Perfect for kick-starting your day, nay your year.

I feel like I have changed drastically since giving birth 18 months ago. Not just because I have become a mother and all that entails but I have become less tolerant, more irritable and my sense of humour has drained dry. Also since my downtime is non-existent I never really relax. Basically I am joy, hey come and meet me.

But the major thing that has changed about me is my appearance. There’s no discreet way to approach this but I have put on a lot of weight. Okay so I have never been a size zero. I have always fought a vicious battle with my body and only have to think about a Cadbury’s Caramel to put on another kilo. But since I ballooned during the first sleep deprived months of motherhood my body has been resolute in its new- found magnitude. Despite what my clothes size will tell you I am actually quite a healthy eater. Salads are an obligatory part of my day, I avoid gluten, I only drink in moderation and I don’t eat junk or processed food. So why have I been rolling around North London like a beach ball this past year?

Happiness Bread is a soft savoury gluten-free and paleo bread, packed with sweet potato, nuts, seeds, coconut and turmeric. Perfect for kick-starting your day, nay your year.

Well, okay my food choices have relaxed slightly and I am eating more. Way more to counteract my everyday exhaustion and I do eat more cake than I used to due to baking for a living and recipe testing. Although what’s really changed is my fitness which has take a drastic nosedive. I am not a natural keep fitter but I have taken pride in the fact that since taking up training 8 years ago I have strived to subvert my tendency to curl up on the sofa with my cats by going for a run or doing a CrossFit class. However after giving birth I have had two minor but significant setbacks. My back pain, caused by residual pregnancy issues, became so severe that I struggled to pick up Cole at all and I have a Morton’s neuroma which has meant running, jumping or any form of using the ball of my foot during exercise has been excruciatingly painful. I completely lost confidence in exercise as my body hurt too much, I stopped training and went downhill.

Happiness Bread is a soft savoury gluten-free and paleo bread, packed with sweet potato, nuts, seeds, coconut and turmeric. Perfect for kick-starting your day, nay your year.

Well these past couple of months have seen a little improvement, thanks to the amazing work of my physio, osteopath and personal trainer. My back has finally begun to loosen up, my Morton’s neuroma, although not gone, has become more manageable with a rigid exercise plan and I have just started doing cardio and actually working out again. As my body has been feeling better I have had more energy. So much so that I am now taking control of my diet; meal planning, mindful shopping and food prepping at weekends for the coming week. Plus it has helped that Cole is currently happy to stand on a stool and watch mummy make dinner, as opposed to running around the kitchen ripping the knobs off the oven and turning the dishwasher on and off. With this small change I have been able to eat better, eat less and have given up drinking, caffeine and sugar this month. I feel almost terrific and vaguely saintly.

Having a loaf of Happiness Bread helps me out immeasurably during the week. Baking it is a two-step process as the sweet potatoes need to be cooked before you can begin. I have started making sure I chuck a few sweet potatoes in the oven every few days if I know I am going to be at home for the next couple of hours. Cole thinks sweet potato is the best food invented so it’s a must to have some for him on dinner standby and then if I have the baked sweet potato on hand it only takes about 10 minutes to get this loaf mixed and in the oven.

Happiness Bread is a soft savoury gluten-free and paleo bread, packed with sweet potato, nuts, seeds, coconut and turmeric. Perfect for kick-starting your day, nay your year.

Happiness Bread is hearty and filling, packed with protein in the form of nuts and seeds and full of goodness thanks to the sweet potato, coconut oil and turmeric which is incredibly good for you. Turmeric is an antioxidant and has strong anti-inflammatory effects and is a great ingredient as you don’t need a lot of it for it to be beneficial. Plus the colour makes this bread so beautifully sunshiny. The coconut and turmeric flavour really come through and it is so delicious just slathered with butter or piled high with turkey and avocado – my current favourite way to enjoy it.

This is a paleo bread as well so ideal for anyone following that lifestyle and that means it is also gluten-free. The texture is almost cake like so cannot be used the same way you would use a sandwich loaf but it’s a great start to the day and will satiate you until lunchtime.

Happiness Bread is a soft savoury gluten-free and paleo bread, packed with sweet potato, nuts, seeds, coconut and turmeric. Perfect for kick-starting your day, nay your year.

Since introducing this bread to my morning routine I have felt very happy, it’s not just about the bread but having an easy and filling breakfast has definitely contributed to my general feeling of well being. Plus to cap it off I have even just finished reading a book, a trashy thriller mind, but a book nonetheless – so take that no downtime!

Happiness Bread is a soft savoury gluten-free and paleo bread, packed with sweet potato, nuts, seeds, coconut and turmeric. Perfect for kick-starting your day, nay your year.

Happiness Bread

A soft savoury gluten-free and paleo bread, packed with sweet potato, nuts, seeds, coconut and turmeric. Perfect for kick-starting your day, nay your year.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: British
Keyword: gluten-free seed bread, happiness bread, paleo seed bread
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 362kcal
Author: Georgina Hartley

Ingredients

  • 400 g cooked sweet potato*
  • 4 eggs
  • 140 g cashew butter
  • 60 g coconut oil melted to liquid state
  • 75 g coconut flour
  • 30 g tapioca flour
  • 75 g walnut halves
  • 30 g chia seeds
  • 25 g flaked almonds
  • 25 g pumpkin seeds
  • 20 g sunflower seeds
  • 20 g sesame seeds
  • 15 g ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 170°C and line and grease a 9 inch loaf tin.
  • Beat the sweet potato, eggs, cashew butter and coconut oil in a large mixing bowl or food mixer.
  • In another mixing bowl combine the coconut flour, tapioca flour, walnuts, chia seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseed, turmeric, baking powder and sea salt.
  • Tip the dry ingredients into the sweet potato mixture and beat until well combined.
  • Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 50-55 minutes or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.

Notes

*To prepare the sweet potato I bake my sweet potatoes by wrapping them individually in tin foil then placing them in a baking dish. I then bake them for between 1-1½ hours depending on how big the potato is. I then leave the potatoes to cool a little then unwrap the foil and peel away the skin with my fingers which comes away very easily. Then I refrigerate the potatoes until needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 242mg | Potassium: 452mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 115.4% | Vitamin C: 1.5% | Calcium: 12.3% | Iron: 17.1%