Gluten-free hot cross buns

Gluten-free hot cross buns

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(15 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 20 mins Plus proving

More effort

Makes 15

Paul Hollywood's fruity bakes are just as delicious when you make some simple swaps to make them wheat-free

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal226
  • fat4g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs41g
  • sugars14g
  • fibre2g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.5g


  • 300ml full-fat milk, plus 2 tbsp more



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 50g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 500g gluten and wheat-free white bread flour (we used Doves Farm gluten & wheat free white bread flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 2 tsp quick or fast-action yeast



    Yeast is a living, single-cell organism. As the yeast grows, it converts its food (in the form…

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 75g sultana
  • 50g mixed peel
  • zest 1 orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped



    Grown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are…

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the cross

  • 30g gluten and wheat-free plain flour, plus extra for dusting

For the glaze

  • 3 tbsp apricot jam


  1. Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast with the warm milk and egg in a mixer with a dough attachment, or with a wooden spoon, then bring together the dough with your hands. Don't knead.

  2. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.

  3. Tip in the olive oil, sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and cinnamon and mix into the dough. Shape into buns by lightly oiling your hands and dividing the dough into 100g pieces before rolling into balls. Leave to rise for another hour.

  4. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix the flour with about 3 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.

  5. Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Charlie Dickinson's picture
Charlie Dickinson
1st Mar, 2020
These look great! As long as you follow the recipe then they turn out great - you also need to remember that gluten free food naturally has a different consistency to food with gluten in it, so a slightly looser batter is normal. Make sure you let the milk cool down!
Marilyn Lacey's picture
Marilyn Lacey
11th Apr, 2019
Only given one star, because although the result did not look remotely like a hot cross bun, it did taste good in spite of resembling a rock bun. This recipe has major errors. Having followed it to the letter, there was no way that the dough could be ‘brought together’ with one’s hands! Far too liquid a mix for that. So, being determined to make a success of it, decided to cut down the milk to 250ml. Still too soft a mix. Even if you persevere - and it did prove fairly well after a couple of hours - when you add the fruit, spice and oil, once again, there is no way that you can form this sticky mess into a ball. I simply put spoonfuls of the mixture onto a baking tray. In the oven as I write, so watch this space!
16th Apr, 2017
In short: Great if you're looking for hot cross scones - but remove the yeast and proving time. I haven't made hot cross buns before, let alone gluten free ones but I am a pretty good baker and everything I make turns out pretty well (if I do say so myself). This recipe however is not very good. I followed the ingredients and instructions to a t and I was not impressed. As is the problem with most gluten free bakes including yeast, the buns did not rise on either prove or expand in the oven, so I ended up with hot cross scones. The hot cross scones I did end up with are very very tasty, if a little hard and great warmed up in the over with butter. But if it's hot cross buns you're after - this is not the recipe for you.
3rd Apr, 2015
just made these after following a recipe a couple of years ago that was a complete and utter disaster. followed this recipe to the letter. always a must with gluten free. they were wonderful. million times better than shop bought. I'm a bit of a rank amateur, but the result was lovely. I didnt use Doves Farm, used a plain flour blend from a small company called most marvellous baking. After years of fairlures with doves farm flours . I switched to theirs and always pleased with the results. so much more consistant whatever I am baking.
20th Feb, 2015
I have just made these, although only half the quantity was used, and they a gorgeous! They are soft and moist and very morish. The only alteration made was to sub extra sultanas for mixed peel. Highly recommend this recipe, if followed to the letter. Gluten free baking can turn disasterous so this recipe is going on my account. If i could post a photo, it would be on here. Thanks you!! x
15th Apr, 2014
I can confirm that this is an extremely poor recipe. BBC good food should definitely delete it. Flavourless,rock hard, Fail!
22nd Jul, 2013
I am wondering whether ANYONE has made this recipe and had it turn out successfully yet?
nigeds's picture
1st Apr, 2018
Mine a disaster! Wish I could post a photo on here..... LMFAO!!!
31st May, 2013
Too dry and unappealing. I regret the time I spent baking these.
6th Apr, 2013
So disappointing. I have to agree with Flossie and Aldazita - absolutely disgusting. Bad rock cakes is a good description - taste was just about OK but absolutely not related to Hot Cross Buns at all. Please remove or test texture was unacceptable (and change that photo!). Not sure how meateater gave them 10 out of 10 and would be curious to know how our results can be so different. I don't know how to give a zero rating so have had to give one star - but deserved zero.


13th Nov, 2013
Can I use Soya milk in place of whole milk. Son is on Gluten free, dairy free, wheat free diet (3yrs old). Still trying to find alternative recipes that work for all. Thanks
19th Apr, 2014
If he is ok with oat gluten I find that oatly milk alternative gives the best result in baking, but soy milk works too in baking, and make great pancakes too!
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