Have you ever had a gluten free hot cross bun that’s so close to those with gluten that people are in disbelief when you tell them they are actually gluten-free?!
Well these are those buns.
They have the texture that you read about – or see in the bakery department of the grocery store – With a pull-apart consistency and a taste that says “no one will know I’m gluten-free!” They’re sweetened with a hint of brown sugar and chock full of plump raisins and dried cranberries… Plus they double as a beautiful table decoration for Easter!
These hot cross buns are just the thing for a special Easter celebration.
Hot cross buns actually date back to the 16th century. So making hot cross buns gluten free means taking a centuries old tradition and applying the power of gluten free flours, starches and liquids to transform it. No tasteless, dry or crumbling buns here – you want just the right balance of ingredients to get tender buns that will impress a crowd.
Tips for making the best gluten free hot cross buns
Considering the tradition behind hot cross buns, creating this recipe meant adhering to long standing ‘bun’ expectations, but also having something so delicious that no one would even know it’s gluten free! I think we’ve nailed it with this one. In fact we definitely nailed it.
It’s my new Easter, go-to recipe and now it can be yours too.
And here’s how to make these delicious gluten free hot cross buns…
The ingredients may look like a lot, but there’s nothing out of the ordinary here. In fact, the flours and starches make up a good chunk of the ingredients. Then it’s just mixing the dry ingredients together…
And then adding in the wet ingredients and those all important raisins and cranberries…
The fully mixed, hot cross bun dough will resemble thick cake batter. It will be thinner than bread dough, but should be thick enough to hold it’s shape when portioned into the pan. For easy portioning, use a 1/3 cup measuring cup and a spatula to scrape the batter out.
For the best results, use a baking pan, like this one, not a glass baking dish.
Raisin and Dried Cranberry Combination
While these hot cross buns are probably amazing even without raisins or cranberries. It’s these dried fruits that make them truly mouthwatering. Using both raisins and dried cranberries adds to the perfect balance of sweet and slightly tart. Could you use all raisins? Sure, but the real treat is in the combination.
The glaze is what makes a hot cross bun, a hot cross bun. But this glaze is what makes these buns perfect. It’s deliciously sweet and slightly thick. If it’s dripping off the sides of the buns, add a little more powdered sugar and mix it again. It should hold it’s cross shape and, after it sits for a few minutes, will be dry to the touch.
A word about storage
Easter can be a busy time. If you’re trying to figure out how to time these buns along with baking and cooking all your other Easter fare, I’ve got good news for you. These gluten free hot cross buns CAN be made ahead of time and frozen! Don’t apply the cross glaze until after you’ve defrosted and warmed them, but other than that, they are your make-ahead bread!
Another delicious gluten free bread to check out is our Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread
If you enjoy this recipe, don’t forget to rate it!
Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns
- 1 cup potato starch
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- ½ cup tapioca starch
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- 1 ¾ tsp. xanthan gum
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 ¼ tsp. instant yeast not active dry
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 Tbls. butter softened or use coconut oil for a dairy free version
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water warmed to 110° F
- ½ cup raisins
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. – 1 Tbls. milk
- Prepare a 9 x 13 baking pan by spraying with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add the potato starch, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and yeast. Combine with a whisk.
- In the bowl of stand mixer, or a large bowl for a hand held mixer, add the brown sugar, eggs and softened butter. Mix on medium for 1 minute.
- Add the vinegar and water and beat on high for 2 minutes.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix on high for 2 more minutes.
- Using a spatula, fold in the raisins and cranberries.
- Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, portion out 12 lumps of batter in the prepared pan.
- Cover the pan with a piece of plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tops are browned.
- Remove from the oven and let the buns cool in the pan on a wire rack for a few minutes.
Combine glaze ingredients.
- Scoop the glaze into a small plastic baggie. Cut off a very small corner of the baggie (a little larger than the thick part of a toothpick)
- Pipe crosses on each bun.
- The batter will resemble thick cake batter, not bread dough.
- Softened coconut oil can be used as a butter substitute for a dairy-free version.
- Buns are best when eaten the same day or freeze for longer storage.