Apple & Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns


  • 450 grams buttermilk, warmed to 40-45 degrees celsius
  • 60 grams soft brown sugar
  • 6 grams yeast
  • 5 grams apple cider vinegar
  • 10 grams vegetable oil
  • 330 grams brown bread mix
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • A pinch of salt flakes
  • 150 grams finely diced dried apple. NOTE: Pre-soak the diced apple with 2 tablespoons warm water for 15 minutes to plump up. Drain and pat dry with paper towel before adding to the dough.

For the crosses:

  • 6 tablespoons of plain gluten free flour combined with just enough water so that can be piped onto the buns.

For the Glaze:

  • 1-2 tablespoons honey, warmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Heat oven to 210c and line a baking pan with baking paper.
  2. A pan with sides is preferred such as a lamington pan (or cake pan works well)
  3. Place the warmed buttermilk and one heaped teaspoon of the brown sugar into a bowl.
  4. Sprinkle the yeast over the buttermilk, whisk to combine and then cover with a towel.
  5. While the yeast is left to bloom, combine the flour, remaining sugar, salt and spices in a separate large bowl.
  6. Once the yeast has bloomed it will look like a layer of cream on top of the buttermilk.
  7. Add the vinegar and oil to the buttermilk mix, stir briefly to combine
  8. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk mixture
  9. Mix until a shaggy dough is formed. Don't worry! It will look a little shaggy at this stage.
  10. If using a stand mixer, knead for 8-10 minutes until smooth; or if kneading by hand, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 12-15 minutes until smooth
  11. With lightly oiled hands, use the heels of your hands to flatten out the dough into a rectangle about 30x20cm long.
  12. Sprinkle the diced apple over the dough, pressing the apple down.
  13. Fold over one third, then the other third over the top like an envelope to enclose the apple.
  14. Knead gently to incorporate the apple, then form the dough into a sausage approximately 30 cm long.
  15. Divide the sausage into 12 equal portions.
  16. Using lightly oiled hands, form each portion into little buns and place onto the prepared tray
  17. The buns should be almost touching, so they are “kissing” once doubled in size. This helps keep moisture in the crumb while baking.
  18. Cover the pan with lightly oiled cling wrap and place buns in a warm place to prove until double in size.
  19. When the buns are ready to bake, mix the flour and water together to make a thick paste.
  20. The mix should be not too thick but not too runny, almost the piping consistency of a thick whipped cream.
  21. Use a piping bag or a zip lock plastic bag with a small section cut out of one corner.
  22. Pipe a cross onto the top of each bun
  23. Lightly mist with water then place into the preheated oven with a pan of cold water in the bottom of the oven.
  24. When placed into the oven, reduce the temperature to 200c and bake 13 minutes
  25. After 13 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 175c for a further 35-40 minutes
  26. Turn the baked buns onto a cooling rack ready for glazing
  27. To make the glaze, heat the honey for 20-30 seconds, until runny.
  28. Add he ground cinnamon and mix well to combine.
  29. Gently brush the glaze over the buns with a pastry brush while the buns are still hot
  30. Allow the buns to cool before splitting open. If split when still hot the crumb will seem doughy.
  31. These buns best enjoyed when at room temperature, or only slightly warm
  32. Store in an airtight container at room temperature - do not refrigerate as this will dry out the buns.
  33. And yes! These can be made in advance and frozen too.