Healthy Hot-Cross Buns!

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Just in time for Easter! Here’s the perfect hot-cross bun recipe to satisfy your taste for something sweet without piling on the pounds

Love hot-cross buns? So do we! But this year we’re swapping the traditional high-sugar, refined carb variety for a superfood option.Rob Hobson, nutritionist and co-author of the Detox Kitchen Bible (Bloomsbury, £22.50), has created a low-gluten and dairy-free recipe for Apple, walnut and cinnamon hot-cross buns. Rob has switched regular flour for rye flour – a good choice due to its high fibre content. Even better, rye is also wheat-free, although not suitable for coeliacs or those with gluten sensitivity as it still contains small amounts of gluten. Dried fruit and walnuts  boost the buns’ nutritional content while adding a sweetness that keeps them in the running as an Easter sweet treat. The only downside? You’ll keep coming back for more!

Apple, walnut and cinnamon hot cross buns

Makes 10

250 calories

10.3g fat, 3g sat fat, 35.2g carb, 9g sugar, 7.4g protein, 2.7g fibre

Source of magnesium, selenium, B6, B12 and folate




                 250g wholemeal rye flour

                 200g gluten-free white flour

                 1 tsp salt

                 1 tsp ground mixed spice

                 1 tsp ground cinnamon

                 1/2 tsp ground ginger

                 85g butter

                 2 x 7g sachets of easy-blend dried yeast

                 325ml almond milk, slightly warmed

                 4 medium eggs, beaten

                 3 tbsp honey

                 2 small apples, peeled and chopped

                 85g sultanas

                 30g walnuts, crushed


             Cross glaze

                 100g gluten-free white flour

                 2 tbsp water



1.     Grease two large baking sheets and lightly dust with rye flour.

2.     Add the flours, salt and spices to a large bowl and combine.

3.     Add the butter and rub into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

4.     Stir in the yeast the add the milk, eggs and honey then beat with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth.

5.     Stir in the apples, sultanas and walnuts until evenly dispersed.

6.     Use a tablespoon and drop the mixture onto the baking sheets making sure each one is widely spaced. Use a knife dipped in water to shape each one into a round shape.

7.     Cover each of the baking sheets with greased cling film and leave somewhere warm to rise for 40 minutes until doubled in size and small holes appear on the surface. Remove the cling film.

8.     Preheat the oven to 200C.

9.     In a small bowl combine 100g gluten-free flour with 2 tbsp of water to form a thick paste.  Transfer to a piping bag and pipe crosses on the buns.

10.   Place the baking sheets in the centre of the oven and cook for 30 minutes. They will not rise like a usual hot cross bun as they have been made using rye and gluten-free flours.

11.   Once cooked transfer to a wire rack.  In a small bowl, combine a little honey and water then brush lightly over each bun to create a glaze.

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