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Vegan Hot Cross Buns

by Holly Jade from The Little Book of Vegan Bakes

The search for the perfect vegan hot cross bun is over with this clever plant-based recipe.

From the book


This is my vegan take on the traditional spiced sweet bun. They’re incredibly moreish (nobody is judging if you have more than one). I love mine toasted with a generous helping of dairy-free butter or margarine.

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For the buns:
500g (3¾ cups) bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2½ tsp fast-action dried yeast
50g (¼ cup) caster sugar
175g (1¼ cup) mixed dried fruit
1 tbsp allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp apple sauce
2 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
125ml (½ cup) dairy-free milk
125ml (½ cup) warm water
For the cross and glaze:
2 tbsp plain flour
1½ tbsp water
3 tbsp marmalade or apricot jam

Essential kit

You will need: a piping bag, ideally with a small round nozzle.


For the buns:

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, yeast, caster sugar, mixed dried fruit and spices. Then add the apple sauce and mix with a wooden spoon until fully combined.

Add the oil, milk and warm water. If you’re using a stand mixer, attach a dough hook and mix until the mixture has formed into a sticky dough. If you’re mixing by hand, use a wooden spoon or spatula.

Knead the dough until elastic and smooth – this will take around 10 minutes (or less if you’re using a mixer with a dough hook).

Grease a large bowl with oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a tea towel to stop the dough from forming a crust. Place the bowl in a warm area and leave to rise for around 1–2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.

Once the dough has risen, turn it out on to a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 12 equal-sized pieces. Carefully roll them into balls and place them in lines on a lightly oiled baking tray or dish. You don’t want to overwork the dough as you will reduce the air it contains. Leave some room in between, as the buns will spread a little. Cover the tray or dish with a tea towel and allow to prove for around an hour or until the buns have risen in size.

Shortly before the buns have finished proving, preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/425°F/gas mark 7 and make the cross mixture.

Tip: Swap the mixed dried fruit for your favourite dried fruit.

For the cross and glaze:

Place the flour and water in a bowl and mix until paste-like. Add a dash more water if needed. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a small round nozzle. (If you don’t have a nozzle, you can snip the end off a disposable piping bag.)

When the buns have risen, pipe a line along each row, then repeat in the other direction to create a cross on each bun.

Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the buns are golden in colour.

Gently heat the marmalade or jam in a small saucepan and sift to remove any large chunks. Brush the warm preserve over the tops of the warm buns. Then they are ready to serve. These are best served on the day of making. Once cool, store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Tip: Toast second-day buns or warm them in a microwave. It will give them extra life. Then just add butter or margarine and voila!

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From the book: The Little Book of Vegan Bakes

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