Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns – whether you associate it with Good Friday or the catchy nursery rhyme, it’s a deliciously warm and sweet bread that EVERYONE must try. Traditionally for many Christians, Hot Cross Buns are eaten on Good Friday. The piped icing in the shape of the cross is said to symbolize the crucifiction of Christ. It is the perfect little bun to complement an Easter dinner.

My version is Dairy, Egg and Nut Free, of course, and can be adapted to fit your family’s personal tastes. Some recipes call for the addition of dried cherries or cranberries, or even candied fruit peel. It can also include any assortment of spices including cloves and ginger. But I happen to like mine with just a little cinnamon and nutmeg, and a healthy dose of currants or raisins. 

As with many yeast bread recipes, you’ll need to add just enough flour to make a soft pliable dough. Add too little and the dough won’t hold, add too much and your dough will become tough. I call for 3 1/2 -4 cups of flour in my recipe; add only a little at a time to ensure your dough is perfect.

Don’t be intimidated by the fact that this is a yeast bread; it is SO easy! Even the placement of the crosses are easy. You can either cut crosses in the dough before baking, pour the icing mixture into a zip lock bag that has the corner snipped off and pipe directly onto the bun, or even take a little teaspoon and drizzle the icing right on.

My kids LOVE this little bread, and even say it reminds them of a warm and gooey cinnamon roll. They are so yummy, so easy and perfect for Easter. I hope you all have a wonderful Passover and Easter holiday!!

Happy Baking!


3/4 c. dairy free buttermilk (3/4 c. soy milk mixed with 3/4 T. vinegar, let stand 5-10 minutes)

1/2 c. vegetable or canola oil

1/3 c. brown sugar

3 T. water

3 1/2-4 c. unbleached all purpose flour

2 pkgs. active dry yeast

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

2/3 c. currants or raisins

Icing for crosses: Mix the icing ingredients together in a small bowl until it is easy to drizzle.

1 c. confectioners’ sugar

1-1 1/2 T. Soy or Rice Milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, gently heat soy buttermilk, vegetable oil, brown sugar and water until it reaches 110-115 degrees (about a minute or two). In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment combine 2 cups flour, yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and flour. Add soy buttermilk mixture and mix on low for one minute, scraping dough sides so it is evenly incorporated. Slowly add the remaining flour, 1/2 c. at a time or until dough is soft and pliable. Use a rubber spatula to stir in currants or raisins. Place dough into a bowl sprayed with dairy free cooking spray. Cover and let rise 1-1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch down, cover and let rest 10 minutes. Divide into 16 pieces and form smooth balls. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper 1 inch apart. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let rise 30-45 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 375 degrees. At this point you can either cut a cross into the top of each dough ball, or simply put into the oven. Bake 13-15 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool slightly and pipe on Icing mixture over the cut portion of the dough, or pipe the icing in a cross pattern.

Cool completely and serve.

14 Responses

  1. Oh I am excited. Months ago I started making your quick pizza dough all the time and then you encouraged me to try your other yeast recipes stating they are easier then they appear on paper. Well now I am little addicted to making my own bread and other yeast recipes. So thank you for my new hobby.

    I am going to make these tomorrow. We are having family over for Holy Saturday / Blessed food.

    Hope you are enjoying a long weekend with your family and have some of the great weather we have here in Western PA.

  2. These sound like fun — and delicious. My dairy, egg, and nut-allergic son will love them, and my soy-allergic daughter will love making them.

  3. These look great, Kelly! Any tips for measuring 3/4 tablespoon of vinegar? I’d like to make these for Easter. We’re already making your sugar cookies cut into cute Easter shapes and your French Puff Muffins 🙂 Yum!

  4. yay! i was gonna skip making dinner rolls this year b/c of stress with moving. but i think i can handle these! thanks so much!

  5. That’s awesome Liz!! Rachel…so glad you are trying these. Jamie, I promise you they are really easy to make…even with an unpacked kitchen. Lorraine, all you have to do is use 1 T. and fill it up 3/4 of the way full. Very scientific on my part, I know. lol… Vicki let me know how your kiddos like them! Happy Easter and Passover everyone!

  6. Another incredible recipe! You are great, you know it? 🙂 I would love to make this using Kamut Khorsan Wheat to since it is a flour that can be tolerated by some with gluten issues. Have you heard of it? Tried it?

  7. These look great. I have looked for a recipe for egg free hot cross buns for years. Thanks for coming through. A couple questions–the directions don’t call for adding the salt. I am assuming it is added with the dry ingredients? Also, it doesn’t say when to add the currants or raisins.

    We are looking forward to having these on Easter morning!

  8. Thanks so much!! You are too funny…I would LOVE to know what you think of that flour…I am testing more gluten free recipes…so interesting. Debbie, you are right! Forgive, I am so sleep deprived and busy these days that I can barely get two sentences together let alone bake. THANK YOU for bringing that to my attention..it is fixed. Happy Easter everyone!!

  9. No problem–we totally understand sleep deprivation! Just wanted to let you know the hot cross buns were wonderful this morning! We have also loved everything we have made from your cookbook so far! Thanks for all you do for kids with food allergies and their families. We appreciate it!

  10. I started making Hot cross buns last year. I use my bread maker. Using traditional pizza dough ingredients and just add in what you like. I add orange zest, cinnamon and raisins. Love my bread maker. Program to dough, when finished, take out the dough and make your buns. With a knife cut a cross on the buns. This will create a cross to form on the buns when baking. Brush the buns with butter and put in the oven. When the buns are baked it will have a cross shape on it from the cut before baking this will let the icing sit better on the buns.

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