Since living in Berlin I have never found Hot Cross Buns in stores. I thought it was because they were selling out before I got to them, turns out it’s because they’re not a thing here. Say what?? This year I decided to do something about Berlin’s Hot Cross Bun void and bake some myself. See below for the most delicious vegan Hot Cross Buns this side of internet.
I used dates, figs and sultanas in the recipe below but you can really use any dried fruit you like. Dried apricots would be awesome, or you could stick to straight up raisins if you are a traditionalist. Have fun and Happy Easter!
**I took a bunch of photos of the making process of this recipe which I will add to this post at a later date. For now, I just wanted to get the recipe up so that y’all can start making Hot Cross Buns in anticipation of Easter next weekend!
Makes 12 buns.
3/4 C lukewarm almond milk, plus extra to brush the tops with
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
75ml melted coconut oil
2.5C flour, plus additional for rolling
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
Pinch of salt
1 handful sultanas
1 handful dates, chopped
3 dried figs, chopped
1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
1 tsp orange zest (optional)
For the Crosses:
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
Drizzle of water
For the Glaze:
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp orange juice
Takes 2-3 hours but only a small amount of that time requires you to do anything.
Combine the warm milk, sugar and yeast in a small vessel and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to sit for a few minutes while you prep your dry ingredients and fruit.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and chop/zest your fruits. Once milk/sugar/yeast mixture looks foamy, add the melted coconut oil and then pour all of the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients. Stir to lightly combine and then add the fruit and knead a few times to work the fruit into the dough. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave somewhere warm until the dough is doubled in size. This will take about an hour, sometimes two if it’s cold where you live.
Once the dough has doubled in size, remove from the bowl and knead again, on a lightly floured surface, for about 5 minutes. Roll it into a log and cut the log into 12 pieces. Roll each of these pieces into a ball and place in a lightly greased pan, allowing enough space between them for them to expand. Cover with a tea towel again and allow to rise for about 45 minutes.
While your buns are rising, make the crosses by combining the flour and coconut oil in a small bowl and working together with your fingers until the texture resembles breadcrumbs. Add a little water – just a few drops is usually enough – so that you can form a nice little ball of dough. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface and the cut into 24 thin strips to be placed on top of your buns.
Once your buns have risen to puffy, fluffy buns of goodness, turn your oven on to 180°C. Brush the tops of your buns with a little almond milk and arrange the crosses on top. Place the buns in the hot oven for 25 minutes.
While your buns are cooking, combine the orange juice and maple syrup in a small bowl.
Once cooked, remove your buns from the oven and brush the tops with the orange maple glaze. Allow to cool for a few minutes – or not – before devouring.
Notes and serving suggestions:
I use coconut oil on my buns and Andy uses vegan margarine. Both are delicious.
Hot Tip! If your home is on the chilly side, turn your oven onto the lowest temperature (mine is 50°C) and let your rising happen in there.