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Light and Fluffy Vegan Hot Cross Buns

If you’re looking for a delicious vegan option for hot cross buns, look no further! I’ve got the perfect recipe just for you. My light and fluffy vegan hot cross buns are made with plant-based ingredients, both flavourful and moist. Whether you’re vegan or not, you’re sure to love these buns. Give our recipe a try and enjoy the taste of Easter with a cruelty-free twist.

Hot Cross Bun

Of course, hot cross buns seem to fill the shelves around February and in many different flavours. My favourite is the classic fruited bun, but stores like M&S bring out all sorts of wacky flavours like marmite or cheese, and some that are really quite nice, like Bramley apple or marmalade.

This was inspired by my easy vegan Chelsea buns and currant buns recipes which are different types of fruited bun, but still really good and my spiced Easter shortbread. Got leftover hot cross buns? Try my delicious cheats vegan hot cross bun bread pudding!

“Half for you and half for me, between us two shall goodwill be”

I remember how exciting it was when the Easter goodies started to appear in the stores. Row upon row of brightly coloured Easter eggs, saffron-coloured edible chicks or bunnies, a surfeit of marzipan vegetables and, of course, the spiced hot cross bun.

A hot cross bun

Nowadays you can buy them all year round but there is something so intangibly Easter about biting into those soft, highly spiced and fruited buns, lightly toasted and spread thickly with butter.

I have wasted several pounds of ingredients trying to produce a decent vegan hot cross bun. One that retains that soft, bready texture of a traditional bun, with no compromise. I have made kneadable doughs that didn’t rise and buns that resembled cricket balls, until I had a “Eureka!” moment (I have a few of these).

Vegan Hot Cross Buns

I had used an online recipe for a Christmas panettone and remembered how it had risen sky-high and produced a delightful bready texture that was redolent of a true panettone. Why could this dough not work as a hot cross bun?

So, this vegan hot cross bun dough, similar to a butter-enriched brioche, gives us a light, fluffy texture, is simple to make, and you might just find yourself making these vegan buns all year round!


Ingredients for hot cross buns
  • plain flour or strong bread flour
  • yeast, I use instant
  • vegan butter, very soft. You might want to soften it in the microwave or put it near a radiator. You don’t want melted, but you do want very soft.
  • raisins and chopped peel. I cover them with a little warm water to help soften them. This helps them get incorporated into the dough much easier. Hard raisins tend to pop out of dough during kneading, and it’s really annoying!
  • spices: allspice and cinnamon
  • yogurt. This enriches the dough to give a very tender bun

This is ONLY a list of ingredients for the recipe; please see recipe card below for complete printable recipe.

A buttered hot cross bun


Mixing flour and yeast

Mix the yogurt mixture and activated yeast into the flour, spices and sugar

Adding to dough

Mix, then start to beat in the softened butter

Dough mixed

Once you have a soft dough that’s not too sticky, leave it to rest for 10 minutes or so.

Dough with raisins

Now knead in the raisins and peel, until you have a soft and smooth ball of dough.

Dough for hot cross buns

Leave to rise until doubled.

Weighing balls of dough

Weigh the dough and divide into 12 balls

Hot Cross buns raw

Place in your lightly oiled tin, just touching and leave to rise for another half an hour.

Making dough for Hot Cross cross

Make the dough for the cross if using and place in a piping bag

Raw hot cross buns with piping

and pipe across the top of the buns just before you put them in the oven.

Cooked hot cross buns

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown, then brush with some melted apricot jam.

Hint: if you don’t want to make the cross on the top of the bun using dough, you can just simply slice a cross into the buns after you have rolled them out and placed them for the second on the baking tin. Make the cross quite deep (although not all the way through). Or you can omit this step altogether.


  • flour – you could use a mixture of white and wholemeal flour if you prefer


  • Fruit– try adding some diced apple instead of dried fruit or try dried cranberries for a tangy fruit
  • Kid friendly – replace the dried fruit with chocolate chips


The buns are best eaten on the day you bake them, but if you store them in an airtight container, they will still be great toasted for up to 5 days.

These vegan hot cross buns freeze beautifully. Once cool, place in a Ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Remove them as you need, defrost at room temperature and then toast!

Top tip

Leftover hot cross buns? Try making my cheats hot cross bun bread pudding using leftovers!

Vegan Hot Cross Buns

Vegan Hot Cross Buns
How to make the Easter classic, veganised, all year round!
5 from 1 vote
Prep 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
rising time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 Baking tin 9" lightly oiled


  • 3 cups Plain flour - or use strong bread flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tsp Instant yeast
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Lemon - zest only
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ¼ cup peel - chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup Soy milk - warm
  • cups Plain yogurt - vegan
  • 110 grams Butter - vegan, very soft

For the cross (optional)

  • cup White flour
  • 5 tbsp Water


  • 3 tbsp Apricot Jam - warmed, to glaze


  • Place the raisins and mixed peel in a small bowl, and cover with a little water. This will soften them and help them to be incorporated easily into the dough when kneading.
  • Add the yeast to the warm milk and leave to activate for about 5-10 minutes
  • In a jug, whisk together the yogurt, vanilla extract and apple cider vinegar.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, lemon zest, sugar, spices and salt with the activated yeast.
  • Pour in the whisked yogurt mixture, and, using wooden spoon or electric mixer, start beating in the softened vegan butter, dropping it in by tablespoonsful.
  • Leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the raisins and mixed peel, then knead into the dough until fully mixed, continuing to knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is soft and smooth. You may need to add a little more flour if the dough still seems sticky.
  • Place mixture in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  • Knock down the dough and divide into 9 equal sized balls. I weigh the total dough first, then divide by 9 to work out how much they each should weigh.
  • Place the balls, very closely together on your lightly oiled baking tray, cover and leave to rise for another 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 220c.
  • If you want to make the cross, whisk together the 75g flour with the water until you get a thick, smooth paste. Pour into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.
  • Once baked, remove from the oven and brush immediately with the warm apricot jam to glaze, return to the oven for 2 more minutes to set the glaze.

Please note that where the recipe asks for milk, butter or yogurt, this refers to any plant-based version that you prefer.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Hot Cross Buns
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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