Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe

With Easter just around the corner we’ve whipped up this delicious vegan hot cross buns recipe. These buns are cushiony and gooey with undertones of spiced sweetness. This recipe is simple to follow and uses easy to source ingredients so there’s no fiddling about with intricacies. So whether you’re one for traditional Easter eats or you just love a squidgy bun, give this delicious recipe a go and let us know what you think with the #veggievagabonds on social media.

What are hot cross buns?

A traditional hot cross bun is spiced and sweet, made with yeast and raisins and topped with a piped or etched cross. The exact origin of hot cross buns is unknown as there are a few version of how these delicious buns started their journey to our Easter table. With a history surrounded in Christianity, superstitions and tall tales, versions of the hot cross bun even date back to ancient Greece. Wherever they came from we love to bake up a fluffy batch of these perfectly sweet buns and top them to our heart content. Here are some of the theories of where these buns came from…

Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe

A 12th century monk introduced them

According to the story, an Anglican monk baked the buns on Good Friday and marked them with a cross in honour of the sacred day. Over time the buns grew in popularity and became known as the symbol of Easter. However, the first definite record of hot cross buns come from a Poor Robin’s Almanack 1733 which reads;

“Good Friday comes this month, the old women runs. With one or two a penny hot cross buns”.

The cross is traditionally made with a flour and water mixture or is etched in to the buns, nowadays however the cross can be made from icing or cream.

They originated in Elizabethan England

In 1592 Queen Elizabeth 1st decreed that hot cross were too special to eat on any old day and passed a law limiting the baking and consumption of hot cross buns to Christmas, burials and Good Friday. English folk at the time were not happy about being told when they couldn’t and couldn’t eat these tasty treats. People at the time were very superstitious and believed the buns carried medicinal or magical properties so continued to bake them in their kitchens at home. If people were found to be cooking hot cross buns at home they had to give them all away to the poor. As the buns grew in popularity the law became difficult to enforce and was eventually revoked.

Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe


There are many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns that indicate why they are commonly enjoyed on Good Friday. One tale states that if you bake hot cross buns on Good Friday and hang them in your home they won’t go stale for the whole year, during which time they will also ward off evil spirits from the home. This is linked back to the body of Christ, according to the Bible Christ’s body did not show any signs of decay after crucifixion and before resurrection. The buns would be replaced each year on Good Friday only taken down to be mixed with water and used as a medicine for the sick. Whilst hanging in the home it was also believed that the buns would prevent fries breaking out in the kitchen due to the blessed cross on the top.

There’s also a tale that tells of how taking hot cross buns on a voyage at sea protects the boat and crew from shipwreck. Another legend states two people who share a hot cross bun are said to enjoy a strong friendship as a rhyme tells; “Half for you and half for me, between us two, good luck shall be”.

The exact origin of hot cross buns is unknown but wherever they came from one thing we know for certain is that they’re bloody tasty! With a unique historical past these buns can now be enjoy all year round and no one is going to come and take them away from you if you bake them at home. With that in mind give this vegan hot cross bun recipe a go!

Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe

I’ve never been much of a bread maker but this recipe is super simple and yields such delicious results that it may have converted me. If you’re not a confident bread baker then give this one a go! The buns are so fluffy and squidgy on the inside and the orange glaze makes them sweet and sticky on the outside – the perfect texture. I used sultanas and apricots as my dried fruit of choice as I think they work well together but feel free to use whatever fruit you fancy. Just make sure whatever you use is chopped up in to sultana size pieces so the buns bake evenly. These buns are the perfect balance of sweet, spice and everything nice! Whatever you like tucking in to at Easter make sure these buns are at the table and you’re sure to thank yourself as soon as you delve in to the gooey, fluffy goodness of one of these bad boys.

As always this recipe is  a guide do if you don’t have fine brown sugar any sugar will do. So give this recipe a go and show us what you like to enjoy them with on social media using the #veggievagabonds! Peace and love, Veggie Vagabonds.

Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe

50 grams of fine brown sugar
250 grams bread flour
250 grams plain flour
1 ½ teaspoon salt
7 grams of instant dried yeast (one sachet)
2 teaspoons on ground cinnamon
2 handfuls of sultanas
1 handful of chopped dried apricots
50 grams of melted vegan butter
1 orange zest
125ml of plant milk
125ml of warm water
2 tablespoons of olive oil

For the cross;
45 grams of plain flour
60 ml of water

For the glaze;
1 tablespoon of orange marmalade
1 tablespoon of water

1. Mix together the flour, salt, yeast, sugar, cinnamon and orange zest.
2. Mix in the melted butter, sultanas and dried apricots.
3. Once fully combined add the milk and warm water and mix with a wooden spoon.
4. When the mixture has mostly stuck begin to knead it. Hold one end in one hand and stretch it out with the other. Reform the dough, turn it 90 degrees and start again.
5. When the dough is smooth put in a bowl and coat with a thin layer of olive oil. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 2 hours so it doubles in size.
6. Once the dough has doubled in size, work out all the air with your hands.
7. Weigh the dough out in to 12 equal parts.
8. Roll the parts in to circles and bunch underneath to make in to buns.
9. Grease a baking tin with olive oil and place the buns on so that they’re just touching. Cover with cling film and leave them for about 30 – 60 mins to double in size.
10. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
11. Prepare the cross by mixing the flour and water and pipe on to the buns in a cross pattern or whatever design you like. I did a “V V” for Veggie Vagabonds!
12. Bake the buns for about 15 – 20 mins.
13. Whilst the buns are baking prepare the glaze by heating up the marmalade and water on a low heat and stirring occasionally.
14. Once the buns are out of the oven, brush over the glaze.
15. They’re best eaten fresh out of the oven so serve with lashing of vegan butter, jam, whatever you fancy and enjoy!

Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Weigh out the plain flour and the bread flour
Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Mix together all of the dry ingredients
Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Grate the zest of one orange and add to the mixture
Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Stir in the dried fruit
Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Add the milk and warm water to the mixture and stir with a wooden spoon
Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Stir the mixture until it’s mostly stuck together then begin to knead
Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe
After kneading place in a bowl, brush with a thin layer of olive oil, cover and leave it in a warm place for 2 hours
Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe
After 2 hours it should have doubled in size. Place the dough on a surface and work out the air with your hands
Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Weigh the dough out in to 12 equal parts and form them in to buns
Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Place on lightly greased baking tray and cover with cling film to double in size
Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Prepare the topping by mixing flour with water
Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Pipe the design of your choice on to your buns
Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Bake the buns for 15 – 20 minutes and prepare the glaze
Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Brush the glaze on the buns fresh out of the oven
Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Serve straight out of the oven with your favourite toppings or keep these bad boys for up to two days to enjoy them at their best

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