Back in May 2010 I made wholewheat hot cross buns and I got a pretty good reception on them.

It’s not exactly the right time of year for Hot Cross Buns but I gave them another go, but then breads and sultanas never really go out of season!

Golden Hot Cross Buns straight from the oven

So how can I claim these are healthier than my wholewheat 2010 buns? Well this time I substituted coconut oil for butter, low fat coconut milk for milk and Light At Heart sugar for, uhm, sugar.

Light at Heart, Stevia based sugar

I guess I should be up front about it – I was given Light At Heart sugar for free by Tate and Lyle, however I had been hearing about stevia based products for years and been dying to try them. Unfortunately until December 2011 they weren’t allowed to be sold in Europe! The good thing about Stevia based sugar is that it’s half the calories of normal sugar but it’s all natural. (i.e. Not weird Splenda type stuff that was invented in a lab).

If you don’t have or want to use the substitutions you can instead follow my wholewheat hot cross buns recipe instead.

See all photos for Even Healthier Hot Cross Buns.


Wholewheat Hot Cross Buns


~ makes 12 small buns. Adapted from this BBC hot cross bun recipe.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • 450 grams of Strong Wholewheat flour
  • 7 grams of fast acting yeast
  • 50 grams of white Light at Heart Stevia based sugar (to use normal caster sugar add 100g)
  • 100 grams of currants, I used sultanas
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of all spice
  • 32 grams of Coconut Oil (for butter use 50 grams)
  • 250 ml of warm milk, I used 200ml coconut milk and made it up to 250 ml with water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 75 grams plain flour
  • 2 tbsp of white Light at Heart Stevia based sugar, 4 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp of water
  • 1 tbsp smooth marmalade, I used rhubarb and ginger jam
  • 1/2 tbsp of brown Light at Heart sugar
  • 2 tbsp water

Add the flour, yeast, sugar, along with the spices and the sultanas into a bowl and mix throughly.

In a small pot add the coconut oil (or butter) under a medium heat till melted. I find coconut oil slightly difficult to measure, so sit the tub on the scales and watch by how much it drops.

Measuring Coconut Oil

Then add the coconut milk, till it begins to heat up.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg.

Pour the eggy mixture into your flour mixture and mix. Once it starts to form a ball, remove it from the bowl. My mixture was rather too wet and I ended up adding another 50 grams of flour to make it suitable for kneading.

Knead for 10 minutes. (I used the dough hook, which is probably the best thing I have ever been given…)

After you have finished kneading, split the dough into twelve rolls and leave to rest on a well oiled baking tray with a damp cloth on top.

Keep Calm and Get Cooking

While you are waiting for them to rise you should make the mix for the cross. Add the flour (this time definitely use white flour rather than wholemeal flour this time), sugar and water, and mix it should form a thick paste. Add the paste to a piping bag.

Preheat the oven to 200oC.

After about an hour they should have doubled in size. Using a sharp knife slice a cross into each bun, then use the piping bag to pipe the cross.

Add the cross

Hot Cross Buns ready for the oven

Place the buns in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes.

While the buns are cooking make the glaze. Add the ingredients to a small pan and cook until glossy.

Once the buns are cooked, glaze them as soon as they come out of the oven.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes, but eat warm.

For leftovers lightly toast.

I love these hot cross buns, I have had them for breakfast two days in a row and as a cheeky Sunday afternoon snack. While they are perfect warm from the oven, I almost like them more toasted with morello cherry jam. Yum.

Interested in more Easter recipes? Follow me on twitter, I am @coffeemuffins.