Gluten-free hot cross buns

Victoria Glass shares her delicious gluten-free hot cross bun recipe, ensuring gluten-free foodies don't miss out on these beautiful buns this Easter.

First published in 2015

Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

One a penny,

Two a penny

Hot cross buns

For non-religious types like me, Easter just isn’t Easter without two things. The first, of course, is chocolate eggs and the second is hot cross buns. Who can resist sinking their teeth into a spiced and sticky hot cross bun? Even if they’re not as cheap as they were when their song was written in the 18th Century, why should gluten-dodgers miss out?

Well, fear not, my wheat-dodging friends, I have created a recipe for gluten-free hot cross buns that is sure to get your Easter celebrations back on track. And if you’ve missed Good Friday, just be thankful that Queen Elizabeth I’s decree of 1592 – that they could only be eaten on Good Friday, Christmas, and at funerals – is no longer enforced. You can eat them as often you like, with whomever you like. As the song says,

If you have no daughters

Give them to your sons

Although I’m a bit surprised anyone needed a song to explain that…




Gluten-free buns

  • 250g of plain flour, gluten-free
  • 150g of buckwheat flour
  • 70g of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7g of fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 225ml of whole milk
  • 60g of butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sunflower oil, for oiling the bowl
  • 100g of sultanas
  • 30g of mixed peel
  • 1 orange, finely grated zest only
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest only
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg

For the cross

  • 50g of plain flour, gluten-free
  • water

For the glaze


Sift the flour into a large bowl and the salt to one side of the bowl and the sugar, yeast and xanthan gum to the other. Make a well in the middle
Heat the milk and butter together until melted and just warm. Pour the milk and the beaten eggs into the middle of the flour well. Use a fork to start bringing the dry ingredients into the wet and then use your hands to knead the dough lightly until everything is fully incorporated and you have a streak-free dough
Put the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place (I pop mine in the airing cupboard) for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size
Add the sultanas, mixed peel, citrus zest, mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg to the bowl and mix into the dough. Cover again with cling film and leave in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size
Roll the dough into a long sausage and cut into 10 equal-sized portions. Gentle roll each portion into a ball. Place each ball of dough onto a large baking sheet lined with baking parchment, allowing room for spreading. Covering the buns with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for another 45 minutes to 1 hour
Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7
Make the cross paste by mixing the flour with just enough water so that you can pipe with it. Spoon the paste into a piping bag and snip off the very tip. Pipe crosses onto each bun and pop them in the oven to bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the buns are golden brown
Melt the jam, liberally glaze each bun and leave to cool
First published in 2015

Victoria is a London-based food writer and recipe developer. She was the Roald Dahl Museum’s first ever Gastronomic Writer in Residence and has written six books, including her latest, Too Good To Waste.

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