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vegan hot cross buns on parchment paper

Homemade EASY Vegan Hot Cross Buns

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  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Proofing: 120
  • Cook Time: 23
  • Total Time: 2 hours 43 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Brunch
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: British
  • Diet: Vegan


These soft and fluffy vegan hot cross buns turn out perfectly every time- and they’re foolproof! With step by step photos and video, learn how to make the classic hot cross buns- but secretly dairy free and no eggs. Perfect for any Easter brunch or dinner!


  • 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) unsweetened dairy free milk
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) organic sugar, divided
  • 2 1/4 tsp (7 g) active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups (560 g)  all-purpose flour*
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 6 tbsp (80 g) salted vegan butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp dairy free yogurt
  • 1 cup (160 g) raisins or sultanas

Hot cross bun bread wash:

  • 1 tbsp dairy free milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam

Flour piped cross:

  • 1/2 cup (65 g) all purpose or bread flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) water
  • 1 tbsp orange juice


  1. Prep: Measure and weigh out all ingredients before beginning. Grease a large bowl with cooking or coconut oil and set aside (this bowl is for the rising and is different than the bowl you’ll use to mix the dough).
  2. Bloom the yeast: Heat the dairy-free milk to 110F. Use a food thermometer to ensure that it’s exactly 110F. Once heated, stir in 1 tbsp of the sugar to the milk in a jar. Add the yeast and stir with a wooden spoon and cover. Place the bowl in a warm area (75-80F) to activate for 7-10 minutes. Your yeast may bloom faster or slower depending on the warmth of the area. You’ll know it’s ready when it smells yeast-like and there is foam on the top of the dairy-free milk. If this hasn’t happened, you’ll need to start over.
  3. Make the dough: Pour the flour, plus the remaining sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, sea salt, and orange zest to the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the dough hook and gently mix the ingredients together for a minute on medium speed. Then pour in the milk mixture, along with the dairy free yogurt, and vegan butter. Turn the stand mixer on to medium-low speed and mix (or use a large spoon to mix if doing by hand). Mix until just combined. Keep the dough mixing until you get a sticky dough. Then add in the raisins, and then turn the speed up to medium-high, and allow the dough to be kneaded for 10-15 minutes, or until you’re able to do the window pane test without breaking the dough.
  4. First proof: Place the dough ball into the greased bowl, and cover with a thin clean dish towel. Place the bowl in a warm area that’s at least 85F. If your oven has a proof setting, you can use that. You can also heat the oven to 100F, then turn it off and keep the oven light on. Proof the bread until it’s doubled in size, about an hour and a half. If your area is cooler, it will take longer, if it’s warmer, it will be quicker.
  5. Make the hot cross buns: while the dough is rising, you can grease a medium casserole dish with cooking oil. Set aside. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down lightly and gently pull the dough from the bowl onto a clean surface. Use a pizza cutter or large kitchen knife to divide the dough into 12 even pieces, about 90-100 g each. You can weigh them out for a more accurate dough. First, weigh the full dough, then divide by how many rolls you would like to make. To form round rolls, gently roll a dough ball in between your palms. Then pinch the bottom of the dinner roll together to create a more round top. See this video for a visual demonstration. Repeat for the remaining hot cross buns, placing them in the casserole dish when done.
  6. Second rise: cover the hot cross buns with a thin clean dish towel again and place in a warm area (by the oven is fine) to nearly double in size again. Preheat the oven to 400F. Once doubled in size, mix together all of the bread wash ingredients, and brush the tops of the rolls with the apricot bread wash. 
  7. When the hot cross buns have doubled again: mix together the flour,  sugar, water, and orange juice in a small bowl. If you find the mixture is too runny to be piped, stir in another tablespoon or two of flour. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag, and snip the end of the piping bag. Pipe one long line over a row of rolls. Repeat for each row. Then pipe one long line across the columns of hot cross buns (i.e. in the perpendicular direction to create the cross). Repeat for each column.
  8. Bake the hot cross buns: once the oven is preheated, place the vegan hot cross buns into the oven to bake for 23-25 minutes.  The tops should be golden brown but not over baked. Remove from the oven.
  9. Brush again with the orange glaze: Brush the tops of the rolls again with more wash. Allow them to cool slightly, but serve warm with vegan butter.
  10. Storage: store any leftover rolls in an airtight container or baggy. They will last at room temperature for 1-2 days, in the fridge for 4-5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


See blog post for all tips and tricks!