Healthy Hot Cross Bun Recipes For The Easter Weekend

The buns that appear every spring (if we can even call it that at the moment) are back, freshly baked according to English tradition today on Good Friday. Now, you could head to your local supermarket and buy them ready-made or you could make them yourself and benefit in two major ways:

1. You can alter the ingredients according to your requirements, reducing the empty calories that are usually found in these seasonal treats and...

2. You get a great arm workout from endlessly kneading the dough!

Below are two recipes that will help you make perfect and more nutrient rich hot cross buns this Easter weekend. We have even included a gluten-free recipe for those who are sensitive to gluten or are perhaps following a Paleo diet.

Wholewheat, Oat and Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns


220g Wholewheat Flour

50g Rolled Oats

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Dried Yeast

125ml Milk of Choice (Dairy, Almond, Rice, Oat, Soy...)

1 tbsp Honey

1 tsp Vanilla Bean Extract

60ml Macadamia Nut Oil/ Olive Oil

1 Medium Egg

120g of Currents/ Raisins/ Dried Cranberries

50g 85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate

How to make them:

1. Mix the wholewheat flour, oats, cinnamon and yeast in a mixing bowl.

2. Warm the milk, vanilla and honey until slightly warm and pour into the mixing bowl along with egg and oil.

3. Mix the dough until smooth and elastic. Add the dried fruit of your choice and mix through.

4. Cover the mixture and leave to double in size in a warm environment for one hour.

5. Place dough onto your kitchen surface or worktop and knead.

6. Shape into 10 equal rolls.

7. Cover the separated rolls and allow them to rise for a further 30 minutes.

8. Preheat your oven to 160⁰C.

9. Bake for 20 minutes until golden.

10. Leave the buns to cool while melting the dark chocolate.

11. Make the crosses on top using the dark chocolate.

Approximate Nutrient Value Per Bun:

Kcal: 200

Protein: 4.8g

Carbohydrate: 28g

Fat: 7.6g

Of which saturates: 1.2g

Fibre: 3.5g

Gluten-Free/ Paleo Hot Cross Buns


300g Ground Almonds

½ tsp Baking Soda

¼ Cup of Olive Oil/ Coconut Oil

2 tbsp Honey

Zest from 1 Orange

1 tsp Vanilla Bean Extract

2 Medium Eggs

1 tsp Cinnamon

80g Dried Cranberries/Cherries

50g 85% Dark Chocolate + extra for cross topping

How to make them:

1. Mix all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl until smooth and elastic.

2. Scoop out 14 portions into a baking tray.

3. Preheat the oven to 160⁰C.

4. Place the buns into the oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden.

5. Leave to cool and decorate with dark chocolate crosses.

Approximate Nutrient Value Per Bun:

Kcal: 200

Protein: 5.7g

Carbohydrate: 10g

Fat: 17.7g

Of which saturates: 2.2g

Fibre: 2.3g

You can adapt the above recipes as you see fit. Both of these recipes can last for up to 5 days in an airtight container and make a great power snack.

About the Author

Job Role Sports Nutritionist and Social Media Coordinator Qualifications Bsc Sport and Exercise Science Steph has a competitive athletic background which spans 19 years. As a child she performed with the English Youth Ballet and had performed on the West End stage by the age of 10. Her enthusiasm for sport and fitness continued to grow as she did, encouraging her to learn more about nutrition and training. She began using her knowledge and personal experience to help others when she began coaching at the age of 16. From here, she went on to study Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Essex during which time she also received the Most Promising Newcomer Award from her University to mark her outstanding contribution to sport. During her first year of study she was introduced to partner stunt acrobatics and artistic gymnastics. After one year of dedicating herself to a lifestyle revolving around her sport, she was training with the best team in the UK who are currently ranked fifth in the world. Steph has worked in both the private and public sector coaching children and adults from grassroot to elite level as well as providing them with cutting edge advice on how to reach their goals. Steph has received awards for her choreography and has competed nationally and internationally meaning that she can back up her scientific knowledge with a wealth of experience. As our resident Sports Nutritionist, Steph is here to provide the most current and evidence based fitness, health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals.


  • Amy

    Literally just made these. So easy and so perfect! I used marzipan instead of chocolate (added before cooking) and delicious. My last ones (different recipe) were more like scones. These ARE hot cross buns. Photo: thanks!

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