Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Many years ago, I asked Mr Smaggle this question.

‘If you could have one day where you could eat gluten without getting sick, what would you eat?’ 

Mr Smaggle replied ‘Croissants! And maybe a Danish! Oh and hot cross buns because they smell so good.’

Gluten-free pastry is a pain in the ass but I knew I could make gluten-free hot cross buns without too much trouble. God bless the genius that invented gluten-free flour. I don’t know what I would have done without it over the last decade living with a coeliac.

If you’re hosting Easter this weekend or you want to make an Easter themed treat for your favourite gluten-free person, these gluten-free hot cross buns are a total winner. They’re dense (as most gluten-free things are!) but they’re crispy on top and soft in the middle. They’re also spectacular spread with lots of butter straight from the oven. Is there anything more delightful than freshly baked treats? I think not.

I made these for the first time a few years ago and make a batch every year for Mr Smags because he loves them so much. Most hot cross bun recipes are fairly similar so I used a combination of a few different recipes and added my own mix of dried fruit and spices. Here’s my gluten-free hot cross buns recipe.


Gluten-Free Hot Cross Bun Recipe
What You Need
  • 700 g gluten-free plain flour
  • 300g sugar
  • 150g sultanas
  • 150g of finely chopped ginger
  • 600ml warm water
  • 3 x 7gm packets of dry yeast
  • Big pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of allspice
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • For the crosses
  • ½ cup gluten-free flour
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • Milk
What You Do
  1. Place dry yeast in a jug and add hot water. Wait at least 10 minutes for the yeast to activate. Mix all remaining dry ingredients in a bowl. Once yeast is ready pour into dry ingredients and mix well. Mixture should be a little bit runny, if it’s not just add a little extra water.
  2. Line a large, deep baking pan with baking paper and pour the mixture into the pan. Using a spatula, smooth the mixture so that it sits flat. The cooked tray will be cut into buns when after it’s baked!
  3. In a separate bowl combine the caster sugar and flour, then (very) slowly pour in milk and stir until it forms a thick paste. Using a zip lock bag with the corner cut out, pipe the icing in a checkered design on top of the buns.
  4. Bake in a 220 degree oven for about 25 minutes until they’re golden brown. Slice them up into buns and eat them fresh or toasted.


I have to time the making of these perfectly so we’re seeing enough people I can give the extras too. Otherwise, we end up eating a dozen between us over the course of the Easter weekend and then we end up with hot cross bun regret. Not fun.

I’ll be making these on Good Friday. I rarely take the day off on public holidays but Good Friday is such a serious public holiday for some reason. My gym is closed (and they only ever close on Christmas Day) and all the supermarkets have very reduced operating hours. I feel as if Good Friday is trying to tell me something there. ‘Calm the frick down, make some fancy Easter treats and binge watch the new season of Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix!’ 

Okay Good Friday! You’re on. I’m not religious at all but sometimes you’ve just got to go with right?

I have very tentative plans this weekend for a few catch ups but other than that, I’m thrilled to have a chilled weekend at home. Last weekend was pretty epic so I’m very keen to sit with cups of tea on my couch and potter around. I do have a family Easter Sunday lunch at my cousins house which will be lovely!

What are your plans for the Easter long weekend? Do you celebrate Easter at all?

Have you ever made gluten-free hot cross buns? How did you go? Awesome? Or kitchen disaster?

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  1. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid 8 years ago

    You make it look so easy. I caved and bought some fruit free ones the other day and after I’d indulged, I totally looked like I had a bun in my oven. I love my buns but not the bloating, I might have to give yours a go. That way I can have my buns and eat them! They look ah-mazing!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      They’re awesome! Mr Smaggle ate SO MANY! I had to give the rest away because he couldn’t stop himself!

  2. Christine 8 years ago

    They look brilliant – no faffing about with kneading, proving etc – you don’t even have to form individual buns! Bung it all in one bowl, then all in one tray – my kind of recipe. Thanks Carly xx

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      They were so easy! That’s what I liked about them too… no kneading or waiting for dough to rise.

  3. merilyn 8 years ago

    they look fantastic! thanks smags!
    you’re clever! <3 it m:)X

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      I’m sure they’d work with non-GF flour too!

  4. Simone 8 years ago

    I tried this recipe and I must have done something wrong because mine taste nice but did not rise or look like yours Carly 🙁

  5. a little bird made me 8 years ago

    Thank you! Very happy (coeliac) children after one of them made these buns today. We didn’t have crystallized ginger (which is what I assume the recipe is calling for) so we finely minced fresh ginger (about 3 tablespoons full) with about a tablespoon of fine sugar and substituted that – worked really well!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 5 years ago

      Oh that’s a great substitute! I might try that this year!

  6. Michaela 5 years ago

    I’ve made hot cross buns for Ostara before – I don’t celebrate Easter being a pagan and all.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 5 years ago

      What’s Ostara? I don’t really ‘celebrate’ Easter but I tend to hang with family and that kind of thing.


  1. […] I make gluten-free hot cross buns every year for Mr Smags and because there’s only two of us, we tend to have a few leftovers after the long weekend. That’s a lie, we generally eat them all but I’ll make extras so I can make this hot cross bun apple crumble. This leftover hot cross buns recipe is a great way to use up any rogue buns that didn’t get eaten over the weekend. The problem with hot cross buns is that they’re the best when they’re fresh. I don’t want to be a princess about it and believe me, I’ve eaten some very questionable food in time because I hate waste but you kind of need to eat hot cross buns within a day or two of buying them and then they get a bit past it. I also like using this recipe to STOP myself eating all the hot cross buns.  […]

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