Traditional hot cross buns made gluten-free, vegan, and allergy-free with no fuss! These slightly sweet and spiced buns with their iconic cross and raisins will be your family’s new go-to recipe for the Easter and Lenten season!
Okay, confession time. You know how I love to re-create my favorite traditional foods to be gluten-free, but hot cross buns are totally new! I can’t recall a time ever having them, but I know they are such a Lent/Easter classic. I’ve always WANTED to have a hot cross bun, but they just never made an appearance in my childhood. I did some research into their history. These buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, mark the end of Lent, and are an Easter season staple for many Christians.
Considering I grew up Catholic and celebrated Lent/Easter, I’m not sure why I never had them (probably the whole non-baking thing). Since I’m not religious now and I’m gluten-free, seems like the perfect time to finally make them, eh? Haha! But really, hot cross buns can be eaten anytime of year and by any one! Who would pass up a spiced sweet bun? A crazy person, that’s who!
Now, I want to take a step back down memory lane, which I’d started to talk about on Monday. Easter traditions! Easter was actually a big deal in my house growing up. A few days before, we would color hard-boiled eggs (the authentic vinegar and dye tablet way! SO FUN!). We would decorate them with wax crayons, the dye, stickers, etc. My brother and I would make an “egg” to give to each other (my mom, dad, him, and me) on Easter morning. Then, the “Easter Bunny” (my mom) would hide plastic eggs full of candy, money, little trinkets throughout the house on Easter Eve, which was also why we left him/her a plate of carrots and cookies!
When I said hid, I mean, HID and A LOT! Props to my mom for being such a trooper throughout my childhood with these kind of things. Keeping our fantasies and child innocence alive and well. She hid a lot of those eggs in every inch of the house, even sneaking around in our bedrooms once we were asleep. In the morning, my brother and I would wake up super early (just like Christmas), and take our big bunny baskets (with light up noses!) to fill with eggs as we hunted around the house. We never were able to find all the eggs in one shot. We would still be finding them weeks later (she was that good!)
Of course, once we got most of the eggs, it was time to open our Easter baskets! Like the stockings of Christmas morning, these baskets were just as good! Full of presents, PEEPS!, other candy, and general love! Haha! I loved Peeps and when I got the big packages, I would open the plastic right away so I could allow them to get stale (same with the peeps that would be stuffed individually in some of the Easter eggs we found. The staler the better!
I have such great Easter morning memories. Always a sunny, bright, Sunday morning (although I never liked being dragged to Church after the fun was over!). Another funny story about our plastic eggs. I mentioned we got money in some of them. After we opened out baskets, my brother and I would go through all the eggs to see what we got and make a pile and count up the money we received. One year my brother put all of his money in one massive clear plastic egg. He kept adding to it other the next few weeks, the money he got from relatives and his birthday which was later in the month.
After those few weeks, once my brother had enough money to buy some video game he wanted, my mom was going to drive us to Toys R Us so he could buy it. He brought the entire egg full of money as is and somehow the egg was left on the back of the bumper of our truck. (I don’t know why he put it there?). But as my mom pulled out of the driveway and into the street, that poor plastic egg fell off the bumper and shattered in the street with over $100 in it. The coins and dollar bills scattered and blew. However, we were oblivious and only realized what must have happened once we got all the way to the store and the egg was not in my brother’s possession. We raced all the way back home to see if the egg was simply in the driveway, but we so tragically saw bits of shattered green and white plastic in the road, along with a few quarters and dimes.
Remember how I said my mom was such a trooper? Well, she literally held up traffic and ran back and forth from our driveway to the road, trying to pick up as many coins as she could. This woman deserves a medal for what she’s down for her family. The craziness! I think she was able to collect about $20 from the road. All the dollar bills blew away though. Lucky for my brother, my dad’s friend heard about this tragic story and ended up giving my brother money to go buy the game he wanted. Easter miracle? Believe me, my childhood was never with a dull moment! Needless to say, we kept our money in the plastic eggs after that!
Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns
- 1 Packet of Active Dry Yeast
- ¾ Cup Warm Water
- ½ Cup Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
- ½ Cup Sorghum Flour
- ½ Cup Amaranth Flour
- ¼ Cup Arrowroot Starch
- ¼ Cup Tapioca Starch
- 1 TB Psyllium Husk Powder
- 1 Tsp Xantham Gum
- ½ Tsp Baking Powder
- ½ Tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ Tsp Nutmeg
- ¼ Tsp Allspice
- ⅓ Cup Granular Erythritol
- ¼ Cup Unsweetened Raisins
- Unsweetened Almond Milk (for brushing)
- For the Glaze:
- 2 TB Powdered Erythritol
- 1 TB Tapioca Starch
- 2 Tsp Water
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Heat the water in the microwave for about 60 seconds until it is warm to the touch, then mix in the yeast and let it proof.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients for the buns except the raisins. Whisk to combine. Now add the proofed yeast and water to the mixing bowl, mix, add the raisins, and then knead with your hands for a few minutes to activate the yeast.
- Now divide the dough into 6 flattened balls and place them in an oiled cast iron skillet (or baking sheet).
- Cover the skillet and set in a warm place for 45-60 minutes to allow the buns to rise.
- Once risen, brush the buns with some almond milk, smooth them out, and cut an X (cross) on the top of each bun.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- To make the cross glaze, simply combine all glaze ingredients, stir, and then lightly drizzle in the crosses of each bun.
- Serve warm with some coconut butter or nut butter!
Traditions, stories, and memories they make are the most important things in life. The love and laughs, the simple joy that plastic eggs full of Peeps and coins can bring. I don’t know what my life will be like once I’m “grown up”, I don’t plan on having kids, but if I did, these traditions and activities are what I’d hope to carry on and create memories with. These are the moments and funny stories that I want to remember always. That’s why I also love sharing them here on the blog along with the recipes that stem from these stories. Food and family traditions and stories are so entwined and they make each other even more special and beautiful! Cooking is love!
So tell me:
+ How does your family celebrate Easter (if you do)?
+ Have you ever had hot cross buns? They’re rather delicious warm and “buttered up” with coconut or nut butter!
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