Le Famished Cat

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns     
Sweets & Snacks,  Gluten Free

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns     

Today’s recipe is for my Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns – just in time for your Easter baking. There’s nothing better than the aroma of hot cross buns wafting through the air. Especially when they have been toasted and lovingly smothered with butter. 

But before we get to that, let me be honest with you – it took three attempts to get this recipe right. It is never easy to cook with gluten-free flours, especially when creating doughs because yeast needs gluten to rise. No gluten = very little rise, meaning very dense crumbly buns.

However, there is a way around this problem. A few tweaks to a recipe can help the dough to rise slightly and become a springier, softer bun.

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns     

By using Xanthan Gum, a tiny bit of vinegar, full cream milk and very little kneading, I have managed to create a Gluten-Free Hot Cross Bun recipe that just like a normal hot cross bun, albeit a little bit denser.

Tip: I used a syringe to add the white cross because I had one on hand. 😂

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns      3

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

You will need to eat these buns as soon as they come out of the oven, (that should not be a problem – they are delicious) because they tend to dry out quite quickly. You can, of course, slice them up and toast them the next day – but past day three, they start to get stale quite quickly.

Before you judge my baking abilities, Gluten-free breads dry out quickly because they do not have the protein (gluten) to keep them moist and tender. Gluten adds structure to bread. It gives them elasticity and tenderness that is tough to mimic. While a tiny bit of eggs and milk can help – it’s not enough and that is why breads made without gluten tend to dry out fast.

So, make them for your family, eat them as they come out of the oven and LOVE these Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns. 🤤

gluten free hot cross buns

I glazed mine with maple syrup, but you can use jam, honey or golden syrup.

I hope that you enjoy baking these and let me know your thoughts if you do!

Happy Gluten-Free Hot Cross Bun Making,


Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns      6

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

Toast and Eat with Butter – or eat by themselves – but enjoy these Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns this Easter!
Course Dessert
Keyword Gluten Free, Hot Cross Buns, Raisins, Sugar, Yeast
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12


For the buns

  • 3 tsp. Yeast
  • 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 500 g Gluten Free Bread Flour Woolworths variety
  • 100 g Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon heaped
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 300 ml full cream milk
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 60 g unsalted butter must be unsalted
  • 1 jumbo egg
  • 120 g Raisins

For the Glaze

  • 1/4 cup of either maple syrup apricot jam or honey
  • 3 tbsp. of boiling water

For the crosses

  • 3 tbsp. gluten-free flour
  • 2 tbsp. water


  • In a large glass bowl, sift together dry ingredients
  • In a small microwavable jug, add the milk and butter and microwave for a minute or so, or until the butter is melted
  • Add this buttery mixture into the dry ingredients and mix till just combined using a wooden spoon
  • Now add your egg, vinegar and raisins, using the wooden spoon to incorporate all ingredients – do not overmix.
  • Cover bowl with a dish cloth and place in a sunny spot for an hour
  • Preheat oven to 175C and line a baking sheet with baking paper
  • Portion the dough into small buns, making sure not to overwork the dough.
  • Leave the formed buns on a baking pan and move on to make the crosses paste (you don't need to space the buns out too much as they don't expand a lot)
  • Make a paste for the crosses with the ingredients listed above.
  • Now, bake the buns for 15 minutes and then remove briefly and use the paste created above to form the cross over the buns - using either a syringe or drizzling with a spoon
  • Bake for another 5 minutes and then remove to glaze with your preferred glaze mixture. It is easier to use a pastry brush to glaze the buns.
  • Return to oven and bake for another 2 minutes so that the glaze browns slightly. See 'notes' regarding golden brown buns. 
  • Serve immediately with lashings of butter 


  • You can leave out the raisins if you don't like them. 
  • You can also add a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to your glaze if you like spicy hot cross buns 
  • Be careful not to overwork the dough - and make sure it rises in a warm place 
  • You need to use dairy milk as it adds a protein element to the dough which the yeast needs 
  • You can get Xanthan Gum from Dischem 
  • Baking time can differ based on oven. If your buns aren't looking brown enough, leave in for an extra few minutes or turn the grill on and let the glaze caramelise for two minutes or so 
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