One a penny, Two a penny …Hot Cross Buns.

It is Good Friday on April 2nd and so I made some Hot Cross Buns and freezing it for Friday. In India most churches serve Hot Cross Buns and buttermilk at the end of a lengthy Good Friday service. Many people fast before coming to church and many break their fast only after eating Hot Cross Buns. In the Syrian Christian churches you are served Kanji , payar and pickle (Cooked rice porridge with cooked lentil) . I guess the only year there were no services were in 2020 and this year again in many places I don’t know if there will be services as COVID cases continue to surge.

All through my life the only kind of food I ate for Good Friday has been Hot Cross Buns or Kanji. However, 11 years ago when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I couldn’t eat the HCB’s because of course it was full of gluten. Over the past 11 years I have tried numerous recipes, then in 2017.. I decided I would just try making my own. Every year I tweaked it and this year finally I am happy with the outcome and happy to share my recipes . I intend to create another with sourdough as well soon 🙂

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns


Servings – 7

Time – 20 mins baking, 1 hour for prep and rising


  • Sorghum / Jowar Flour – 90 gm
  • Rolled Oats powdered or oat flour – 54 gm *
  • Rice Flour – 80 gm
  • Tapioca Starch – 50 gm
  • Psyllium Husk powder – 1 tbsp **
  • Honey or Liquid Jaggery – 1.5 tbsp
  • Milk or non dairy milk – 150 ml
  • Butter or coconut oil – 50 gm
  • Orange peel – 5 gm ***
  • Orange juice – 20 ml
  • Egg – 1****
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Instant yeast – 2 tsp
  • Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp
  • Powdered Nutmeg,cloves and a hint of pepper – all together just 1/2 tsp
  • Raisins – 70 gm
  • Glazed cherries or cranberries – 20 gm

For the cross

Rice Flour – 2 tbsp

Water – 1/4 cup

For the glaze

1/2 kg ripe apples

1/2 kg brown sugar

Half a cinnamon stick

3 tbsp of lime juice


  1. Line a baking try with parchment paper or grease it. Soak the dried fruit in water for 1 hour
  2. In a saucepan slowly heat the milk and add the butter to it. Once the butter starts melting , switch off the gas and leave it to slightly cool.
  3. In a bowl of a stand mixer or a handheld mixer , mix together the flours , psyllium husk, yeast, powdered spices, orange peel and mix. Then add the salt and slowly add the milk, butter mixture.
  4. Then add the honey, egg, orange juice ,give the mixture a good mix and then fold in the dried fruit ( only the dried fruit, not the water which it was soaked in) .
  5. The mixture should be a wet dough but a workable dough , if it is too dry the . Portion the dough into 7 pieces on to the baking tray, slightly wet your fingers and palm with water and slightly shape them into buns.
  6. Cover them with a wet towel and let it proof in a warm spot until they have almost doubled in size. Anywhere between half an hour and 1 hour depending on where you live.
  7. Towards the end of the rise pre heat the oven at 180 Degree Celsius and also place a bowl with water at the bottom , to create steam so the buns do no split and they are soft. When they are almost proofed. brush the buns with egg ( give them an egg wash or brush them with any kind of milk) , then make a paste with the flour and water either with a piping bag or a thin toothpick. Add more water if the paste is too thick and more flour if it is too runny.
  8. Bake the buns for 20 minutes
  9. Let them cool on a wire rack, spoon the glaze or jam over the buns.
  10. To make the jam – core and peel the apples, leave them in water for a few hours, then boil with a little water on deep dish pan on the hob. Once the water starts boiling, lower the gas to a medium flame and keep stirring till it is cooked. Then add the sugar, lime juice and cinnamon. Keep stirring till you get the consistency you want. It should be a thick mixture.
  11. You could also just use a good gourmet brand of jam.

Notes :

  • I only use certified gluten free oats from brands like Bob Red Mill’s or Sattvic . If you do not want to use oats you could use the same amount of buckwheat, sorghum or brown rice.
  • You could also use xanthan gum or chia seed powder in place of the psyllium husk.
  • Orange zest could be used if you do not have orange peel.
  • If you cannot use egg, use a flax egg or aquafaba .
  • Store them in a airtight container in a fridge , In India it is summer and that is the way best way to store them if you want them to survive for 2-3 days or you can freeze them individually in cling wrap.
  • This recipe can be doubled.

I hope you try this recipe and if you do please do tag me on Instagram , Facebook or Twitter.

For those of you interested in learning more about gluten free baking , I am conducting a bread and pizza crust class on 9th April at 6 pm (IST) on Zoom. A 2.5 hr online class where I will take you through fundamentals in gluten free baking, baking with millets, top 5 allergen free baking, making your own blends and also working with commercially available gf flour blends. The fee is Rs 3000 and can be paid via bank transfer, gpay or paytm.

Email me on .

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