Hot Cross Buns With Marmalade Glaze

Not just for Easter, these buns make a perfect breakfast or snack anytime of the year. Toast, spread with dairyfree butter and enjoy with a cup of tea.

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Total time

55 plus proving time




  • vegan-desserts
  • breakfasts




  • 60g/2oz (¼ cup) dairy-free butter
  • 250ml/9floz (1 cup) unsweetened plant milk
  • 50g/1¾oz (¼ cup) caster sugar
  • 1 x 7g/¼oz sachet fast action dried yeast
  • 410g/14½oz (3 cups) strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice (apple pie spice)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 150g/5½oz (heaped 1 cup) mixed dried fruit and citrus peel
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing

To decorate

  • 25g/1oz (3 tbsp) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 3 tbsp smooth (peel-free) orange marmalade


  1. In a small saucepan, heat the butter and half of the milk gently until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and the rest of the milk. The mixture should be lukewarm. If too cold, warm very gently and if too warm, allow to cool slightly. Sprinkle the yeast on top and leave for a few minutes, until you see bubbles start to appear.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, spices and orange zest. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk mixture. Stir until it comes together into a dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. Add the fruit and peel, a little at a time, and knead until well distributed throughout the dough.
  4. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil and add the dough. Cover the bowl with oiled clingfilm or a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1½ hours to rise. It should double in size. Meanwhile, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  5. Turn out the dough again and knead briefly. Divide into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place the balls onto the prepared baking tray, arranging them in rows to make a rectangle shape in three rows of four buns. Leave about 1cm/½in between each bun, cover with oiled clingfilm or a clean tea towel and leave to rise for another hour. They should expand so that they just about touch.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180ºC fan/200ºC/400ºF/gas 6 and prepare the icing. Mix the flour with 2 tablespoons cold water to make a smooth paste that’s of a pipeable consistency. Transfer to a piping bag with a 3mm/¹⁄8in nozzle. Remove the clingfilm or tea towel from the baking tray and pipe crosses onto the buns.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until well risen and golden on top. Whilst still warm, brush with marmalade for a sweet, sticky glaze. Allow to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. They also freeze well.

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