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Eggless Easter Hot Cross Buns in a baking pan

Eggless Easter Hot Cross Buns

These Eggless Easter Hot Cross Buns are soft, fluffy a deliciously spice flavored! Make some traditional hot cross buns from scratch, with this easy step-by-step recipe.
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rising time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 12 buns
Calories 291kcal



  • 3 ½ cups (490 g) bread or all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons golden flaxseed meal
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) water
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) whole milk, warmed to about 110°F
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (9 g) dry yeast
  • ½ cup (100 g) brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoon (75 g) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cup raisins

Flour Cross (see notes):

  • 1/2 cup (70 g ) all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons (75 ml) water


  • 1 tablespoon orange or apricot jam
  • 2 teaspoons (30 ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon (14 g) butter

Icing Cross:

  • 1 cup (120 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) fresh or bottled orange juice


Make the dough:

  • Place flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt in a large bowl; mix to combine.
  • Mix 6 tablespoons of cold water and 2 tablespoons golden flax meal in a small bowl until well combined. Let it rest for 5 - 10 minutes to thicken.
  • Whisk the warm milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer. Cover and allow to sit for 5 -7 minutes, or until foamy. NOTE: If your yeast doesn't go frothy, it means that the yeast is not active, so your buns won't rise.
  • Add brown sugar, butter, vanilla orange zest, and flaxseed mixture to the yeast mixture. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Add flour and raisins. Beat on medium speed until the dough is smooth, elastic, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 8 - 10 minutes. Dough should be a little sticky and soft. If it’s too sticky and not pulling away from the sides of the bowl, mix in additional flour, one tablespoon at a time.
  • Spritz the top of the dough with a little bit of oil spray and cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Place the covered bowl in a warm place. Let rise for 90 minutes in a warm place or until the dough is full and puffy. It will double or triple in volume.

Form the Rolls:

  • Gently deflate the dough and pat out to a rough rectangle about 8 inches by 12 inches. Cut the dough into 4 equal long strips, then cut each strip into 3 portions for a total of 12 dough balls. NOTE: For smaller rolls cut each strip into 6 portions for a total of 24 dough balls.
  • Line with parchment paper a 9x13 inch baking pan or lightly grease with either butter or cooking spray and set aside. NOTE: You can place the rolls into any baking pan: rectangular, round, or a combination of pans.
  • Take each piece of dough and roll it into a smooth ball, place the ball seam side down in the prepared baking pan. Cover the baking pan with a kitchen towel so that the formed buns won't dry out. Return pan to warm place and leave for 30 - 45 min, until the dough has risen and almost double in volume.
  • Preheat the oven to 350º F (180º C) and position one of the oven racks into the center of the oven.

Once the rolls have risen, add the flour cross. If you want to make your crosses with icing, skip this step and go to bake.

  • Flour Cross: Whisk the cross ingredients together. You want a thick paste that will pipe easily. Spoon the paste into a piping bag or zipped-top bag. Snip off a small piece at the corner. Pipe a line down the center of each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.


  • Bake the buns for about 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove buns from the oven.


  • Place jam, water, and butter in a bowl, microwave for 30 seconds. Mix to combine.
  • Brush them with jam mixture immediately when they come out of the oven.

If you prefer the icing cross:

  • Let the buns to come to a warm temperature.
  • Mix confectioners’ sugar and orange juice until no lumps. Spoon icing into a piping bag or zipped-top bag. Snip off a small piece at the corner. Pipe a line down the center of each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.
  • Serve warm.


Store: As with all homemade bread, it is best served on the day it's made. Store leftovers in a plastic bag for up to 3 days. To serve, reheat them for 10-15 seconds in the microwave to make them soft and moist again.
Freeze: these rolls are freezer-friendly.
  • Unbaked Rolls: After the dough rises for the first time. Shape the rolls and place them in the baking pan. Place the baking pan into the freezer and freeze until the rolls are very firm. Transfer the frozen shaped rolls into a plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 weeks. When ready to bake, cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise until puffy, about 2- 3 hours, then bake.
  • Baked Rolls: Let them cool completely, then wrap them tightly in aluminum foil. Place the foil-wrapped rolls in a freezer bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Make-Ahead: roll the dough into rolls then cover and refrigerate overnight (uncooked). When you’re ready to bake let them rest in a warm place for 45- 60 minutes and then continue with the following steps in the recipe instructions.
Crosses On Hot Cross Buns:
There are a couple of ways to make crosses on hot cross buns:
  • Flour Cross: the cross is made with a flour and water mixture and is added on top of each bun BEFORE baking. This is the most traditional application of the cross. The problem with the method, in my opinion, is that the cross gets a little hard after baking.
  • Icing Cross: the cross is made with icing (confectioners’ sugar and milk or orange juice) and it is added on top of each bun AFTER baking. This is the method I usually choose.
Extra Tips:
Instant Yeast. If using instant yeast you don't need to activate it (step 3). In that case, add to the flour in step 1. 
Make sure your milk is not too hot. If the milk is too hot it will kill the yeast. If you don’t have a thermometer to check the temperature here is a trick: Heat the milk for 45 seconds on high in the microwave. Stick your finger into the milk. The milk must be hot but not too hot to burn your finger.
Soak the Raisins. For extra plump and moist raisins, soak them in hot water for 5-10 minutes. You can also use dried cranberries, too.
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Please note that nutritional information is a rough estimate and it can vary depending on the products used.


Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g