With Easter approaching, this is my recipe for a Healthy Hot Cross Buffins (a cross between a bun and a muffin 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.
Healthy Hot Cross Buffins
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.
Take a look at the variations (below the main recipe) for suggestions to alter the recipe to suit many specific dietary requirements.
Hot Cross Buffins
- 200 g wholemeal spelt flour (1½ cups) or if you'd prefer, white spelt will give a more commercial result
- 125 ml milk (½ cup)
- 85 g rice malt syrup, honey or maple syrup (¼ cup)
- 60 g butter, ghee or macadamia oil (¼ cup) melted
- 1 free-range or organic egg/s
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp vanilla -powder, extract or essence
- 80 g currants (½ cup) or sultanas or raisins (or a mixture) preferably preservative and vegetable oil free
For the glaze (optional)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp rice malt syrup, honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp water
Pastry crosses (also optional)
- 2 tbsp wholemeal spelt flour
Apple crosses (recommended)
- 1 apple/s -julienne (personally, I’m too lazy for crosses as they don’t improve the flavour at all). My recipe testers mum suggested cutting strips of apple for the crosses which I absolutely love and it tastes better too. Your call!
- Preheat your oven to 160℃/320℉ (fan-forced).
- Place your flour in a big bowl and make a well in the middle.
- In a blender, food processor or by hand, beat 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).
- Add this to the flour and fold through gently until just combined. Don’t over mix it.
- For the crosses, 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.
- Alternatively, julienne apple to make quick, easy, delicious crosses.
- Spoon into the muffin cases and place your cross.
- For the glaze, mix all ingredients together.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through (firm to touch in the middle). Brush over the glaze whilst hot.
- Enjoy hot out of the oven or to reheat, toasted in a sandwich press.
- Can be frozen in an airtight bag or container.
Gluten and grain-freeSubstitute 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.
Dairy-freeSubstitute 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).
Low-fructoseChoose rice malt syrup as your sweetener and omit the dried fruit or replace with cacao nibs.
Chocolate hot cross bunsAdd 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 (or even better rate this recipe).
"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