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square photo of buns with icing going on them in cross shapes
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5 from 2 votes

Vegan Hot Cross Buns

Vegan hot cross buns are unbelievably soft and fluffy with the perfect amount of sweetness. They are filled with spices, orange zest and juicy raisins and decorated with an orange glaze cross.
Prep Time1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 15 buns
Calories: 266kcal
Author: Nora Taylor

Ingredients

Hot Cross Buns

  • 4 cups all purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast*
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk, warmed
  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter, softened
  • 1 cup raisins or currants
  • zest of 1 orange, optional but good

Sugar Glaze

Orange Glaze for Crosses

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh orange juice*

Instructions

Prepare the dough

  • To the bowl of a stand mixer or other large bowl, add 4 cups of flour, yeast, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Mix to combine.
  • Now add the warmed soy milk, softened vegan butter, currants or raisins and orange zest, if using. If using a stand mixer, mix with a dough hook on low speed for about 5 minutes, until a dough forms. Add additional flour as needed, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Alternatively if you don't have a stand mixer, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed.
  • The dough should be slightly sticky, smooth and stretchy. Be careful not to add too much flour, or the buns will be dense and not rise as well.

First rise

  • Place the dough in a large bowl sprayed with oil, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Shape the rolls

  • Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan or two 8-9 inch round pans.
  • Punch the dough down gently to release the air and divide into 15 pieces. To make them as smooth as possible, pull the seams downward and shape each roll so the top is smooth. Place the less smooth side down onto the prepared pan or pans, right next to each other.

Second rise

  • Cover with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes (they won't quite double in size this time.)
  • While they are rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake

  • Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top.

Sugar glaze

  • While the buns are baking, place the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved, then set aside off the heat.

Orange glaze

  • Whisk the icing ingredients together in a bowl until combined, then add to a piping bag and refrigerate until ready to use.

The rest

  • When the buns are done, brush them with the sugar syrup. Let them cool for 20 minutes or so before piping the icing over the buns to form crosses. Serve and enjoy!
  • Cover leftover rolls tightly and store at room temperature for 2 days, or refrigerate for 4-5 days. They can also be frozen.

Notes

  1. Gluten free - I haven't tried a gluten free version, but a 1:1 mix would work best. If you try it, let me know how it goes!
  2. Yeast - I like using instant yeast (also called rapid rise yeast) because it works faster. You can use regular active yeast if desired, but know the rise times will be longer.
  3. May use another non-dairy milk in place of soy, such as almond, cashew, coconut or oat milk.
  4. You could skip the sugar glaze if needed, but it adds a sticky quality that will be missed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 15 servings | Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 216mg | Potassium: 150mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 337IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2mg