These kid friendly, healthy hot cross buns contain no added sugar and are packed with nutritious apple and carrot. Perfect for Easter or any time. These hot cross buns are suitable for vegans.
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Do your kids love hot cross buns? Mine absolutely love them - in fact I think they are their favourite thing about Easter - even more so than the promise of the chocolate that is to come!
We've been having hot cross buns for breakfast and for after-school snacks recently. While there are plenty worse things to eat, shop-bought ones are still made with white flour and have lots of added sugar.
So I had to create a recipe for sugar free, healthy hot cross buns - including a portion of hidden vegetables for picky eaters of course!
What are hot cross buns?
Hot cross buns are a spiced yeasted sweet bun that is traditionally served at Easter time.
They usually contain dried fruit, such as raisins and candied peel. Hot cross buns are spiced with cinnamon and ginger.
They are marked with a cross shape on the top and used to be eaten on Good Friday. Nowadays they're so popular that you can buy them all year round.
Healthier than traditional buns
I have created a healthier version of the hot cross bun. I've used a mix of white flour and spelt flour, with added fruit and veg, and no added sugar.
These vegan hot cross buns are sweetened with dates, apple and sultanas - and nothing else. They are a pretty delicious and healthy snack or breakfast for anyone.
It's great to start the day with a little bit of fruit and veg in your tummy.
This healthy hot cross bun recipe is a great one to make with the kids, especially if you have a day at home while they are off school over the holidays.
My kids were so proud to enjoy their very own homemade hot cross buns.
More healthier Easter recipes
- Tropical Easter frozen yoghurt bites
- Apple and carrot hot cross buns
- Vegan Easter chocolates
- Mini Easter simnel cakes
- Healthier chocolate rice krispie nests
- Vegan creme eggs
- Vegan hot cross buns
- Soda bread easy hot cross buns recipe
This recipe was mentioned in this almond Easter thumbprint cookies post by Tin and Thyme.
How to make healthy hot cross buns
NB: Make sure you leave enough time for your hot cross buns to rise properly.
If you have made this recipe I would love it if you’d leave a comment and rating below. Thank you!
Please do not reproduce this recipe without permission.
Apple and carrot healthy hot cross buns
- 50 g dates pitted weight
- 300 g strong white flour
- 200 g spelt flour
- 7 g sachet of dried instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 medium apples grated
- 1 medium carrot grated
- 50 g coconut oil melted
- 200 g sultanas or other dried fruit
- 250 ml plant-based milk warmed (I used oat milk)
- 1.5 tablespoon plain flour for the cross
- 50 ml plant based milk
- Place 300g strong white flour, 200g spelt flour, a 7g sachet of instant yeast, 1 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and 1 tsp ground ginger into a mixing bowl. Mix well. Stir through 2 grated apples 1 grated carrot, 50g melted coconut oil, the date purée and 200g sultanas. Mix well so that the fruit is well distributed.
- Heat up 250ml milk - it should be warm rather than hot. Gradually stir it in to the flour and fruit mixture, mixing all the time.
- Scrape out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for ten minutes. It can be fairly sticky to work with so if you have a stand mixer* with a dough hook by all means use that!
- Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film or a slightly damp tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1.5 - 2 hours, until doubled in size.
- Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Lightly oil your hands and tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knock it back - ie squash all the air out. Divide into 12 balls and place onto the baking trays. Cover again and leave for 45 minutes - 1 hour until doubled in size again.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (fan)/220°C/gas mark 7. Brush the tops of the buns with a little milk. For a stickier glaze you can make a sugar syrup (best added after baking) or use melted apricot jam.
- Mix 1.5 tablespoon plain flour with 1.5 tablespoon cold water in a small bowl until smooth. Use a piping bag to mark a cross on the top of each bun. You can do this with a spoon if you don't have a piping bag but it's harder to get the lines in the right place - alternatively use a freezer bag and snip one of the corners off.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and sounding hollow when tapped.
- Allow to cool slightly then serve warm as they are or with spreads of your choice.
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