Baked Good / Breakfast / Brunch

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns!


Ta Da! You are going to be really happy with these!  Hot Cross Buns appear in bakeries and some markets for a week each year in anticipation of Good Friday and Easter, a welcome harbinger of spring. I’ve never seen a gluten free version, and am often disappointed with conventional ones.  The recipe below substitutes golden raisins for currants (don’t think they have enough flavor.) It’d be fun to use dried blueberries, especially in Maine!  Be sure to identify a draft-free, warm (80F) spot for the rising. And get ready for delicious, beautiful Hot Cross Buns!


“One ha” penny. Two ha’ penny. Hot Cross Buns.” 

(Note: if you’re among our friends celebrating Passover, try Uncle Howards Chocolate Ganache Tart: ; it’s wheat and rice free.)

Hot Cross Buns!


2/3 cup (3 oz.) millet flour

1/3 cup (1.5 oz.) sorghum flour

1/3 cup (1.5 oz.) cornstarch

1/3 cup (2 oz.) potato starch flour

1/3 cup (1 oz.) tapioca flour

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons xantham gum

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 packet (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast granules, not “quick rise”

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

2 large eggs, room temperature

3 tablespoons melted butter, cooled

7/8 cup buttermilk, warmed to 110F

3/4 cup golden raisins

1 egg yolk plus 1 tablespoon water, well blended with a fork (for brushing the rolls prior to baking.)

Glaze ingredients:

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons half & half

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-2 drops almond extract


1.  Lightly grease a muffin tin with cooking spray. (I used a mini-muffin pan (24) and a large pan (6).

2.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a mixing paddle, combine all the dry ingredients, mix on low to blend.

3.  Add the eggs, buttermilk, and butter and mix to blend.

4.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix the (dough) on High Speed for three minutes. The dough will be sticky!

5.  Spoon the dough into the muffin pans, taking care not to fill the more than half way. (Room to rise!)

6.  Gently smooth down the dough with a small metal spatula.

7.  Place in a warm (80F), hopefully draft free) spot to rise for 45-60 minutes. The buns should almost double in size.

8.  Preheat the oven and prepare the egg wash with 15 minutes left in the rising time.

9.  Gently brush the tops of the pre-baked buns with the egg wash. Bake mini buns for 12 minutes, and larger ones for 15-18 minutes.  The shiny egg washed tops will turn golden and then dark brown within a minute, so watch the buns toward the end of the baking time.

10. Combine the half & half, confectioners sugar, vanilla, and almond in a small bowl.  Whisk to blend.  Put the glaze in a small baggie and cut a hole in the tip to squeeze the icing on to the cooled buns. I like a more generous application than appears in the photographs – the hole on the squeeze-bottle I used was small.

Enjoy these special Easter treats!

P.S.  Just  back from the March Book Group gathering with this: “What do you get when you pour hot water down a rabbit hole?  Hot, cross bunnies.”


21 thoughts on “Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns!

  1. So adorable! 🙂 I noticed that you have gelatin in your ingredients which I haven’t seen in yeast baking before since. I was wondering if the recipe would work if it was omitted, since it has other leavening and binding agents?

    • Gelatin seems to add tenderness and (elasticity) to GF bread. If you omit it, the buns might have a more rustic quality – not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you use golden raisins which already take this recipe in a bolder direction…. Let me know how it goes.

      ~ Gus’s Mom

  2. Love Easter and love hot cross buns, so this excited me. I’m actually working on adapting an egg bread recipe my nonna makes every year so I can have it gluten free 🙂

  3. These look fabulous! I tried making the regular hot cross buns but mine doesn’t get that lovely brown top even with the egg wash. Thanks for sharing this!

  4. These look great! I’ve never come across gluten free hot cross buns in the store either so am very excited to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing! Also thanks for visiting and liking my blog, come back soon 🙂

  5. Oh, we were SO with these! My whole family loved them (even those who eat gluten) and declared them superior to the gluten filled variety I usually make on Good Friday. Best thing we’ve made in our 3 months of gluten free baking. We will be eating these more than once a year. Thank you!

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  7. These are very yummy. I like to mix the dry ingredients for several batches in zip lock baggies and stick them in the freezer. Then I am that much closer when I want to make them. We add them into the breakfast rotation a few times a month. Thank you!

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