These delicious vegan hot cross buns are made with plant-based milk, apple purée and sunflower oil. All the flavours of Easter, none of the dairy and eggs.
Hot cross buns are an essential part of Easter
It just wouldn’t be Easter without hot cross buns would it? While they’re baking the house slowly fills with the delicious scent of warm, spiced bread. I always end up nearly scalding my mouth on one because I just can’t wait for them to cool down!
A hot cross bun is a spiced fruit bun that is decorated with a cross shape. They’re traditionally eaten on Good Friday, although you’ll see them in the shops as early as February nowadays.
Why aren’t typical hot cross buns vegan?
Hot cross buns are made from an enriched dough – meaning that ingredients like butter, milk and/or eggs have been added. This makes the buns much richer.
What ingredients do you use to make them vegan?
I’ve used apple purée, sunflower oil and plant-based milk to make my vegan hot cross buns. Oat milk is my milk of choice but almond milk or any other plant milk will work well – apart from coconut milk in a tin.
I first used apple purée instead of eggs to make an enriched bread dough when I attended a vegan cookery course at Demuths in Bath. Read my review of the Indulgent Vegan course.
I think they’re just as delicious. I hope you agree!
More vegan Easter recipes
How to make vegan hot cross buns
If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook I would recommend using it for this recipe. The dough for the fruit buns is quite sticky and it’s easier to work with in a mixer.
Vegan hot cross buns
- 500 g strong white flour
- 1 x 7g sachet instant yeast
- 50 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- Pinch nutmeg
- 250 ml plant based milk warm
- 200 g apple purée
- 200 g mixed dried fruit eg sultanas candied peel, chopped dried apricots
- 50 g sunflower oil
- Extra plant based milk for brushing
To make the cross
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp water
- First place 500g strong white flour into a large bowl and add the sachet of yeast, 50g caster sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp mixed spice and a pinch of nutmeg.
- Mix 250ml warm milk with 200g apple purée.
- Add this to the flour mixture, stir together, then fold in 200g mixed dried fruit.
- Knead for five minutes on a lightly oiled surface or in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- After five minutes gradually add the oil, a tablespoon at a time.
- Knead for 10 minutes in total.
- Lightly oil a clean bowl and place your dough inside. Cover with a damp cloth or cling film and leave to rise for one to one and a half hours.
- Cover two baking trays with non stick baking paper.
- Use your hands to squash the air out of it - this is called knocking back.
- Transfer to a lightly oiled surface and divide into 12 balls.
- Put them on the baking tray, cover again and leave them for 45 minutes or until double in size.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C/gas mark 6.
- When risen brush the tops of your buns with milk.
To make the cross
- Place the 2 tbsp plain flour in a small bowl and gradually add in a little cold water until you have a thick paste.
- Pipe or spoon a cross shape onto the top of each bun.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes until golden brown.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack then store in an airtight container.