+ Well Nourished | Healthy Hot Cross Buns (or buffins)

Healthy Hot Cross Buffins

With Easter approaching, this is my recipe for a healthy hot cross bun or ‘buffin’ (according to my creative recipe tester).  I have purposely chosen to move away from traditional yeast leaven buns and create a buffin for two reasons.

Firstly, I have found that yeast burdens the gut of lots of people.  Many wheat or gluten intolerant patients I have consulted with over the years have discovered that it actually isn’t the grain so much, as it’s the yeast that adversely affects their gut.  I consider myself to have a cast iron gut, but yeast does not make me feel good at all.  That is why I always choose a sourdough bread if I’m going to eat it and why these are yeast free.

Secondly, I personally just don’t have the time or motivation to wait for my dough to prove.  I like a throw it all in approach and that’s what I’ve done here.

A note..whilst I think these taste on the mark, these aren’t and never will be the soft doughy, shelf life of many weeks style of hot cross bun gracing our supermarket and bakery shelves in the months leading up to Easter.  They are best eaten out of the oven or toasted.  Although my husband enjoyed them the next day as is (maybe he is just accustomed to my sometimes shoddy baking though)!

Why are they so healthy?

It really is a struggle not only to find a ‘healthy,’ whole food only hot cross bun but one that isn’t actually damaging to you and especially your kids health.  Even ‘fresh’ bakery buns have a long list of ingredients (I counted 29 in a ‘traditional’ supermarket baked bun).  Common ingredients include dangerous vegetable oils, excessive amounts of sugar (almost 4 teaspoons per bun), and a cocktail of additives and preservatives. To make matters worse, ALL supermarket brands contain Palm Oil (why you need to avoid Palm Oil here).

If you value your families health, please don’t buy these buns.  I have made it as easy as possible for you to make your own with ‘real’ ingredients that your body can identify and thrive with.

Makes 6-7 buffins

Note – delicious grain, gluten, dairy-free and low fructose versions below the main recipe.


200g (1 ½ cups) wholemeal spelt flour(white spelt will give a more commercial result)
125mls (½ cup) milk
85g (¼ cup) sweetener of your choice (maple syrup or rice malt syrup)
60g (¼ cup) butter, melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon acid (lemon juice or apple cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
½ teaspoon of vanilla powder, extract or essence
80 grams  (½ cup) currants, sultanas or raisins (or a mixture), and preferably preservative and vegetable oil free.

For the glaze (optional)
Mix ½ teaspoon of cinnamon with 1 tablespoon of sweetener and 1 teaspoon of water

For the cross (also optional)
Mix 2 tablespoons of flour with enough water to form a dough.  Roll it into little sausages to lay over the buns in a cross.  This is a great job for the kids.

Personally, I’m too lazy for crosses and they don’t improve the flavour at all.  My recipe testers mum suggested cutting strips of apple for the crosses which are an idea I love (and it would taste better too).  Your call!


  1. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees celsius.
  2. Place your flour in a big bowl and make a well in the middle.
  3. In a blender or food processor, mix your milk, sweetener, butter, egg, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, acid, cinnamon, mixed spice and vanilla for about a minute until well combined and a little frothy (Thermomix melt your butter, 1 minute, temp 80, speed 4, then add the milk, sweetener, egg, rising agents, spices and mix 1 min, speed 5). Gently mix in your dried fruit (Thermomix reverse blade, 10 seconds, speed 2).
  4. Add this to the flour and fold through gently until just combined.  Don’t over mix it.
  5. Spoon into the muffin cases and place your cross.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through (firm to touch in the middle).  Brush over the glaze whilst hot.
  7. Enjoy hot out of the oven or toasted in a sandwich press.
  8. Can be frozen in an airtight bag or container.


Gluten and grain-free
Substitute the flour with 130 grams of buckwheat (or sprouted buckwheat) flour and 70 grams of almond meal.  They may need an additional 5-10 minutes in the oven too.

Substitute the butter with melted ghee or macadamia nut oil.  Replace the milk with an unsweetened nut milk or coconut milk  (I have only recipe tested the coconut milk and macadamia nut oil at this stage).

Choose rice malt syrup as your sweetener and omit the dried fruit or replace with cacao nibs.

Chocolate hot cross buns
Add 1 tablespoon of cacao powder to the wet mix and replace the dried fruit with approximately 50g of cacao nibs.  If you tolerate fructose, you might like to replace the fruit with chocolate chips.


Would love your feedback so please post a comment below.


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“They are just wonderful. The apple cross worked fabulously! I was only reading the ingredients of the supermarket ones the other day and was overwhelmed by all the nasty stuff in them!” Sally


Chocolate hot cross bun

This is the fructose free chocolate spelt version – yum!

  • Mary

    These look so gooooooood! Can’t wait to try later tonight for sure. I so
    agree with yeast burdening our guts, my situation for sure. I’m just
    feeling a little outraged today because I have a sensitivity to wheat,
    and definitely yeast (not prescribed but from developing my body’s own
    self knowledge) I was told by someone last night that it “..might be in
    my head” because I chose not to eat the pizza or pasta. So over
    ignorance and not giving people enough credit for owning decisions about
    their health! We all make choices that are valid for own truth, and
    that of our own families. Your posts are consistently making a
    difference to my enthusiasm in striving for health – major thanks!!!!

    • Thanks Mary, really pleased you like them. Good on you for being in touch enough to identify your sensitivities. We are all so different and others need to honour that. Warms my heart to be able to inspire you, G x

  • Georgie

    Sooo yummy- I had to extend the cooking time as they were slow to cook in the middle but very delicious!

    • Thanks Georgie for your feedback. Really pleased you enjoyed them, G x

  • Tina

    These look brilliant. I buy spelt hot cross buns from the health food shop but they are so expensive. When they reduce the supermarket hotcross buns to half price they are so tempting to buy for a quick afternoon tea. I am going to make a batch and freeze them so we can toast them when we get home from school. I will let you know how we go.

    • Thanks Tina, lots of positive feedback so far so hope you like them too. Yes the freezer is your best mate with any home baking. I have quite a stock pile of these after recipe testing lots of variations over a short period of time!! Let me know how you go, G x

  • Paula

    These are amazing – so simple to make and taste spot on. Love them thanks so much

    • Thanks for your feedback Paula, so pleased you liked them. G x

  • Nicola Berna

    Thanks so much these were divine! Will be making these from now on. What a great blog you have, very inspiring

    • Thanks Nicola, thrilled to be able to inspire and that you liked these buffins! G x

  • Bernadette Anderson

    I made these last night and they are delicious – used ghee and rice milk as my son and I are both better for no dairy. I have had 2 for morning tea this morning with my cacao drink – perfect for a rainy morning. Thank you!

    • Oh that’s wonderful to know Bernadette as I recipe tested with macadamia oil and coconut milk. Thanks for letting me know, G x

  • Leanne

    Made these today – yum. Thanks for the recipe!

    • So please you like them, thanks for the feedback Leanne, G x

  • Mel

    These look great can’t wait to try I need to do dairy free do you think coconut oil would work to replace butter?? Also my son has an egg allergy so I will try with chia egg. Fingers crossed 🙂

    • Hi Mel, I would replace it with macadamia nut oil as coconut oil shrinks up/hardens when it cools. So they would be great out of the oven but will harden when cooled. Good luck, love to hear how the chia eggs go? G x

  • Lucy

    Yum yum yum! I’ve made the standard ones and they are delicious! Currently have a batch of choc chip ones in the oven….. mmmmm! Loving not buying them with palm oil from the supermarket – so important! Thanks so much for the great recipe! xx

    • You’re welcome Lucy, really pleased you enjoy them. G x

  • Hayley

    Amazing! I used the buckwheat almond combo and they were so soft and just like regular muffins, not at all stodgy like general gluten free muffins. Thank you for all of your recipes, I’ve loved every one that I’ve made!

    • Thanks for posting a comment Hayley and really glad you like them as much as I do. Happy Easter, G x

  • jude

    These were great! My whole family loved them even Grandma who thinks shop bought hot cross buns are healthy because they have sultanas in them!!! Jude

  • Kailani Clifton, Age 9

    These are SO YUMM! Thank you for the idea Georgia 🙂

  • Jodie

    I made these a couple of months ago when I started seeing Hot Cross Buns in the supermarket not long after Christmas. Tripled the recipe, and packaged them in the freezer, so I wouldn’t be tempted to buy any. These are so tasty, I won’t be going back to bought ones. I will have to make another batch before Easter though! Delicious!!

    • Just polished one off myself – they are good and so easy to make. Like you said, no excuses for supermarket ones G x

  • Jaye

    Love that you are now including thermomix method too. Thank you!!

  • Kat

    Could coconut sugar be used as a sweetener for this Recipe?

  • Courtney Jones

    Made these babies up today. So quick. So easy. So tasty. LOVED the apple cross! Worked perfectly!!!

    • Thanks Courtney, yep the apple crosses are a winner. The less fuss the better in baking! G x

  • Lauren

    These were lovely – as you said, better warm/fresh. Ours were a little crumbly like cake after a day out (though still enjoyed toasted with maple/cinnamon/vanilla flavoured butter).
    I did substitute one batch to coconut milk & coconut oil & DF/SF/EF chocolate bits which melted slightly and so didn’t go hard. Lost some of the spice flavour though. The other batch used homemade organic butter & the buttermilk for milk in the fruit version, reportedly yummy.
    Thank you for another wonderful whole food recipe.

    • Thanks so much for your feedback Lauren, glad you enjoyed G x

  • Rebecca

    Hi there, just wondering if these can be made entirely with almond meal or some other gluten free flour? Can’ wait yry them!

    • I havent recipe tested them this way but I think it will work fine, enjoy G x

  • Jacqui

    These are DELICIOUS! I made the original version, then the gluten free option with macadamia nut oil and rice milk, and they were equally as delicious. My new favourite treats!

  • Linda Robinson

    My husband can’t stand hot cross buns – he will vacuum up most things in a flash but has never bothered with these ‘Easter treats’. BUT…he likes the Buffins!!! I’m also getting into the bone broth big time at the moment to clear a head cold – I swear I can feel the stuffiness going as soon as I start sipping. My 8 yr old is even happy to give it a shot – but then he’s a total WN convert 🙂 Happy Easter to you and yours Georgia xxx

    • Yay – a buffin convert, ha ha! Yep, agree the broth, I sometimes just crave it and it’s always a go to at the first signs of becoming run down. Hope you had a great Easter Linda G x

  • Just popped these in the oven! Just wait to see how they turn out. xx

  • Holly Jones

    Thanks!! So yummy 🙂 I had mine with cranberries and homemade chocolate chunks.

  • Kama

    Having just started cutting our family sugar consumption down even more, I have been looking for Easter treats and came across your recipe. These were delicious and loved by the whole family, thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

    • That’s great, thrilled they were well received. We love this recipe too, made frequently over the Easter period. G x

  • Bernie

    Just made my first batch of these with Apple cross they are delicious and feel so much better without the yeast additives and preservatives – taking them to the fitness group tnite and another batch for Easter Sunday whoop de doo can finally enjoy hot cross buns thank you Georgia for another winner

    • Glad you enjoyed them Bernie – yes I don’t do well with yeast either. Have a very happy Easter G x

  • Kerri

    I love these more every time I make them!! Just made the gluten free dairy free version today with apple crosses and the kids have devoured them! Thanks so much Georgia for all of your amazing, family friendly recipes. Happy Easter!

    • You’re very welcome Kerri, thrilled you are loving my recipe. Have a wonderful Easter break too G x

  • Ashley

    Hi these were so beautiful i made them with half spelt half wholemeal flour and almond milk. Thanks for a lovely recipe!

  • You’re very welcome Ashley – thrilled you enjoyed x

  • Natalie Griffiths

    Thank you for this recipe – it was one of the first I have tried and must say I was nervous to go sugarless with my kids. I couldn’t believe when they all ate them for breakfast this morning 💙 I’m going to be in the kitchen making you lemon blueberry bread next!!! They requested buffing for breakfast tomorrow too. Living healthy tummies

    • Glad they enjoyed them – my kids have started asking for these too. Hope they enjoyed the lemon Blueberry loaf as much G x

  • Julie

    Have been meaning to make these the past 3 easters, finally did for breakfast this morning and they were absolutely delicious! – As with all your recipes. Thanks – Love your page.

  • Thanks so much for the feedback Julie, so glad you enjoyed them G x

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