Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns! One of the foods most associated with the Easter season, but certainly yummy enough to make and enjoy any time of year!

Legend has it that the first Hot Cross Bun was made by a monk in the 12th century. Legend also has it that if you hang a Hot Cross Bun in your kitchen, it will stay fresh all year long and will ensure that all that year’s baking will be delicious! 

Gluten free hot cross buns with tulips

I don’t know about all that, but I do know that these gluten free Hot Cross Buns sure are tasty! If you make them a day ahead, be sure to warm them before serving (you know, to make them HOT) and add a fresh drizzle of glaze for the cross to get the full effect. 

gluten free hot cross buns on pan

Oh, and although Queen Elizabeth I ordered that Hot Cross Buns only be made at Easter, Christmas and for burials, this is a recipe you should feel free to make any time of year.

My gluten free hot cross buns recipe is super easy, and can be modified depending on what ingredients you have on hand (I give lots of options). Be sure to start with my gfJules™ Flour though, to ensure they turn out light and fluffy, not gritty.

gluten free hot cross buns v

While they only take a few minutes to make, since they are yeast breads, allow 1 1/2 hours for rising and baking. A great thing to whip up before church, set aside to rise, and bake as soon as you get home for a hot, crossed bun experience the whole family will love!

Gluten Free Hot Cross Bun CU

For more Easter recipe ideas, hop on over to my Easter gluten free recipe roundup and my podcast on Easter menu planning!

gluten free hot-cross-buns

gluten free hot-cross-buns

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Yield: 8 buns
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns are one of the foods most associated with the Easter season, but certainly yummy enough to make and enjoy any time of year!



  • 2 eggs, room temperature (or flaxseed meal & water egg substitute)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, dairy or non-dairy (or So Delicious® plain coconut yogurt or coconut Greek style yogurt)*
  • 1/2 cup milk, or non-dairy milk (So Delicious® Coconut Milk or Almond +Protein Milk)
  • 3 Tbs. melted coconut oil, or light olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 6 Tbs. light agave nectar or honey
  • 1/2 tsp. orange or lemon extract
  • 2 cups gfJules™ All Purpose  Gluten Free Flour
  • 2 Tbs. flaxseed meal (or use 2 Tbs. gfJules™ Flour)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves)
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 Tbs. freshly grated orange or lemon zest (or use dried orange or lemon peel)
  • 2 1/4 tsp. rapid rise/instant/bread machine yeast -1 packet – (Red Star® Quick Rise Yeast)
  • 1 cup baking raisins (or regular raisins, boiled in water, then well drained)

Egg wash:

  • 1 large egg + 1 Tbs. water (or dairy or non-dairy milk of choice)


  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 Tbs. milk, dairy or non-dairy (or may use orange juice)
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated orange or lemon zest (or use dried orange or lemon peel)
  • 1/4 tsp. orange or lemon extract


In a large mixing bowl, stir the eggs, sour cream, milk, oil, agave and extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Slowly stir into the large mixing bowl, using a paddle attachment on a stand mixer, or mixing by hand with a wooden spoon.

Beat for 2 minutes until all ingredients are integrated well, then stir in the raisins.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Scoop batter onto parchment using an ice cream scoop or large spoon. They should form approximately 8 smooth buns (wet a rubber spatula to smooth tops, if necessary). Cut a cross slightly into the top of each bun using a sharp knife (or skip this step for smoother buns, using the glaze to draw the cross once cooled).

Set aside to rise in a warm area for 1 hour (on top of a preheating oven, or in an oven preheated to 200F, then turned off, is a good place to rise the buns).  Once risen, brush buns with egg wash or milk of choice.

Preheat oven to 375 F (static) or 350F (convection).

Bake buns for 15 minutes; check for doneness with a toothpick.  Remove to cool.

Whisk together the icing ingredients, taking care not to add too much liquid or the icing will drip all the way off the buns.

Once the buns are fully cooled, slowly spoon icing in a line across each cut of the cross on the top of the buns.

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns with whisk

Don’t forget: These make delicious buns any time of year!

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Hot Cross Buns (made gluten free)! One of the foods most associated with the Easter season, but certainly yummy enough to make and enjoy any time of year!

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns are one of the foods most associated with the Easter season, but certainly yummy enough to make and enjoy any time of year!

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Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns
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87 thoughts on “Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Recipe

  1. Your pizza mix receipe calls for four egg whites. My wife can take on or two, but not more. The magazine suggests Agar powder as a substitute for egg whites, but I don’t have any of that. On line suggests Cornstarch as a subtitute for Agar, two measures to one. What is your experience?

    • Hi Robert, there are several options. First off, the pizza mix makes two LARGE pizzas with 4 egg whites. So the 4 whites would be distributed through two very large pizzas. Would that be something she could tolerate? Another option: you can use 1 egg in place of 2 whites. Another option: use flaxseed meal and water in place of the egg whites. I do this at gluten free expos when I want to sample the pizza mix as focaccia or baguettes so that vegans and those with egg allergy can taste it — works great! Use 1 Tbs. flaxseed meal + approximately 5 Tbs. warm water mixed together and steeped in place of 2 egg whites, or double if you’re using the whole can. Here’s a link to my article on vegan egg replacers which has more information. Hopefully one of those will help her enjoy the yummy gluten free pizza mix!

  2. Wow these buns were so good! I made 14, from the recipe! Thank you Jules.
    I did forget to put on the egg wash. Didn’t hurt the taste.

    • So glad you made them already loved them, Susan! I think I’m going to make them a little ahead of time, too. Why not? We all have a little time on our hands, don’t we?
      Wishing you a blessed Easter!!

  3. I had never heard of hot cross buns! I love learning about all different types of food it is fun hearing the stories behind them. Plus they look delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh my goodness, Jules, you’ve made my day! I was rummaging around your website for a while wondering what bread roll recipes I could adapt in order to make our favorite British Easter treat,, and then I saw your Easter section and couldn’t believe my luck to find this recipe! I’ve just made my first batch of gluten free hot cross buns (Celiac disease has recently invaded the family) and they look and taste amazing – thank you so much!

    • I’m thrilled that this recipe was right there waiting for you and that you tried it so far in advance of Easter so you know you can count on it! May all your baking be happy, from here on out!

  5. Hi, Jules,
    I love the fact that I don’t have to mix flours to bake for my GF family members and can use your flour for everything.
    We like sour dough bread and I haven’t seen any reference to it on your site. Do you have a GF culture recipe and bread/muffin recipes to go with? Hope so!


    • Hi Pat, so glad you’re loving my flour and the convenience of having it handy for any recipe. Funny you should ask about sourdough … been working on that one for a few weeks and have a couple starters in the fridge as I write. The recipe will be coming soon (it’s wonderful!) so keep checking back or sign up for my free recipe newsletter at the top of every recipe page so you don’t miss it!

  6. Pingback: 25 Gluten Free Recipes for Easter and Passover

  7. I absolutely love this recipe! I made it this past Easter and my family loved it so much they had me make another batch. After making a couple of batches I had the idea to try making it without the spices or raisins and a little less honey and they turned out just like a regular dinner roll! These rolls have become a family favorite and go great with any meal.

    • Oh wow, Allie – what a fantastic idea! I can’t wait to try the recipe that way, too!!! Thanks so much for taking a minute to post your review/comment and sharing your modifications for regular dinner rolls!

  8. I just made this using 50/50 of almond flour and Namaste flour blend that I have on hand. Pretty sure the texture didn’t turn out, but they are delicious! I also didn’t use the lemon extract, and didn’t bother to do the egg wash and the crosses because it’s already 10pm. The buns didn’t rise during the rising period (this is my first time working with yeast), so after 45 minutes I just plopped the dough in mini muffin pans and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. So technically I didn’t make hot cross buns, just little raisin muffins, which is good enough for me! Maybe I’ll fashion some crosses in the morning so I can present them as hot cross buns to my 3yo – if there is any left 🙂

    • Hi Rita, good for you for trying the recipe even though you didn’t have all the ingredients … and started it at 10pm! That’s the sign of a true baker! Hopefully next time you’ll have my flour on hand and can see how delicious they’d be all puffed up and tasty! Happy Baking!

    • I can’t wait to hear how you like this recipe, Sarah! I tried to make the recipe as simple as possible and call for as few funny ingredients as possible, but I still think the key is really the flour. It gives stretch to the dough but keeps the bread light and airy without any grit or aftertaste, so what you wind up with is just an awesome roll you could make any time of year!

  9. can I omit the sour cream please , may be use just milk thank you , I loved hot cross buns before I was diagnosed with celiac disease 43 years ago ,looking forward to making these buns as they sound relatively simple even for me !

    • Hi Nita, you should be able to use milk (not fat free) in place of the sour cream here, but if the dough seems too wet to form the rolls, mix in a bit more of my flour to make up for it. You could also try baking the dough in large muffin cups to help them keep their shape. Happy Baking!

      • I was trying to locate the nutritional information and wasn’t able to find it. My grand-daughter is also Type One so we need to count the carb as well.

        • Hi Mike, you are a great grandpa to be working on tracking this all down for your granddaughter. Unfortunately I don’t have the software or the manpower to run nutritionals for all my recipes, but you can access the nutritional info for my flour here: (look down at the ingredients and nutritional info tab) and then the other ingredients are pretty standard if you have access to an on-line nutritional computation software. I hope to someday be able to offer nutritionals for all my recipes, as I know it would be super helpful for people like you, but at this point it’s just not feasible for me. I hope your granddaughter can enjoy these rolls this Easter!

          • 🙁 I just attempted to make these Hot Cross buns and failed. The batter was cake batter consistency. I have no idea where it went wrong. I measured everything according to the directions. I even go as far as weighing the ingredients when the information is available.

          • Hi Mike, I’m so sorry to hear that! Were you using my gfJules Flour? Did you make any other substitutions like eggs? Was your yeast fresh? Did you use skim milk or another more watery milk?
            My flour measures to 135grams per cup (for future reference) – that information is always found in the FAQs at the top of the page (at the ? symbol). I would start at the ingredients and make sure all of that was right and then we can try to figure out what might have happened beyond that. Hopefully they still tasted good, even though it sounds like they spread a lot!

          • Jules,

            I used Bob’s all purpose flour since that is what I had on hand. 🙁 The weight was 136 grams per cup and I used 2% milk and the yeast was brand new. As I mentioned the batter was cake batter consistency so I was not able to use it.

          • Hi Mike, everything else should have been fine – it has to have been the flour. All gluten free flour blends are SO different. I know it makes it hard, coming from using regular all purpose wheat flour we’re all used to being able to use any brand and they’re all the same, but that’s because they’re 10% wheat flour. GF Flour Blends all use a mixture of different individual GF flours with different properties and in different amounts, so they’re bound to behave differently. The reason folks love using mine is because it does let them return to most of their family favorite recipes without making many, if any, modifications, so it opens up a lot of baking doors restricted by other blends.
            I have not worked with the Bob’s flour, so I can’t tell you what to do to make it work in my recipe, but I can tell you that I don’t think it was your fault! 🙂 I do think the reason the dough didn’t come together was because of the flour you used. I hope you do try the recipe again sometime using my flour. I’d love to see what you think of my flour, too! We offer $5 samples and ship samples or regular sizes right to your door! Hope this helps!

          • You’re not kidding all GF flours are different. I’ve gone from blending 5 or 6 different GF flours in attempts to buying the prepared GF blends and everyone of them is different.

            I will try again using your flour blend. Is it only available on-line or is it carried in any local stores?

            Thanks again,

          • Hi Mike, I’m so sorry you’ve been through so much experimentation with disappointing results. Unfortunately your experience is too common. I can’t wait to hear what you think when you try my blend though – I think your search may be over! 🙂
            Here’s a list of the select stores around the country which carry my flour, but most people just go online and buy and we deliver to your door – the most variety that way and it’s super easy to have us deposit it on your doorstep. 🙂
            Here’s a link to my shop page – there are 3 flour sizes, but lots of mixes too. Let me know if I can help in any way!

  10. Jules,
    Saw your hot cross bun recipe, question I have is , is there a substitute I can use for yeast? We have just discovered my hubby is allergic to yeast. The bread mix I have from you, I am sending to my daughter in law. Any help will be most welcome.

    • Hi Doris, you can still use my bread mix without the yeast packet (although I’m sure your daughter in law would be thrilled to have them!). Here’s how: Using the same type of substitutions in the hot cross buns recipe, I’d recommend adding 2 1/2 tsp. additional baking soda and 1 Tbs. lemon juice to the recipe. Look over the directions for the no-yeast bread about how and when to add the extra baking soda and lemon juice. I haven’t tried it in the Hot Cross Buns recipe yet, but this would be where I would start. Please let me know if you try it! Also, I have other yeast-free bread recipes on my site and even a yeast-free modification for my pizza crust mix! So you and your hubbie won’t have to go without the fun stuff! 😉

      • Jules, thank you! Living without eggs was bad enough, but. Yeast? too much,I shall try the hot cross buns and let you know. I loved your cookies, but because of the cane sugar in them, I gave them to mygluten free Doctor . I have found coconut palm sugar that I shall try . It’s cup for cup also.


        • Hi Doris – I’m happy to help! And unrefined coconut palm sugar works well in most of my recipes – I actually LOVE it in my cake recipe – it makes the cake taste like a graham cracker (but soft, and moist like cake, of course!). You can use that sugar in my cookie recipes with great success too. Let me know how the Hot Cross Buns turn out!
          All the best,