6 Reasons Why I Think Hot Cross Buns Are Essential All Year Round

Home made, healthy hot cross buns

Those little dough balls of goodness, spices and a hit of sweetness should be available all year round!

There was no way I would miss out on hot cross buns this year. It so happens that I’m on a very strict diet to settle my SIBO and start to lead a normal life without pain, lethargy and continual discomfort. Sacrificing those things I love and eating in limited amounts during the week is fine. But, after I made my own healthy, sugar-free, and SIBO-friendly hot cross buns this long weekend, I wondered why I had wanted to do so for so long!

Hot cross buns, traditionally enjoyed during the Easter season, possess a timeless appeal that extends well beyond their religious connections. These spiced sweet buns, marked with a distinct cross on top, have a rich history and a taste that resonates with a wide range of flavours and textures.

They blend fruit, spice, and tender dough to create a satisfying snack or an accompaniment to a meal.

While they may be associated with a particular time of year, their versatility and enduring popularity suggest they can be savoured throughout all seasons.

One might wonder why hot cross buns deserve a spot at the table year-round. They are a treat steeped in tradition and can be enjoyed in various ways in modern culinary practices.

Hot cross buns are adaptable. They are versatile, whether served warm with a pat of butter, used as a base for a unique sandwich, or paired with a favourite seasonal jam.

Their ability to complement various accompaniments makes them a pantry staple.

Additionally, incorporating whole grains or alternative flours can transform them into a health-conscious option without sacrificing flavour.

Cultural Significance

Hot cross buns hold a remarkable place in cultural traditions worldwide, intertwining religious symbolism and celebratory customs that surpass seasonal limits.

Historical Roots

Initially linked to Christian observances, hot cross buns carry a deep-rooted symbolism for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, particularly noted for the cross on their tops.

This emblematic pastry has since transcended its Easter associations and become a culinary icon that embodies heritage and history.

Year-Round Festivities

Apart from their religious connotations, hot cross buns have become a part of various global festivities throughout the calendar year.

They are a treat that graces tables during different cultural celebrations, evolving from a strictly Lenten delicacy to a symbol of hospitality and enjoyment regardless of the occasion.

Nutritional Value

Hot cross buns offer a combination of ingredients that can contribute to a balanced diet. They also provide a source of energy, making them suitable snacks for various times of the day.

Balanced Ingredients

Hot cross buns are typically made with flour, sugar, egg, and butter. They also often contain raisins or currants, a dietary fibre and natural sugars source.

The inclusion of spices like cinnamon adds micronutrients.

These ingredients come together to create a bun that offers a variety of nutrients.

The buns can also be made with whole wheat flour to increase their fibre content, benefiting digestive health.

Five Reasons I Think Hot Cross Buns Are An Essential All year Round

Advocates for their year-round availability argue that these buns are too delicious to be confined to just one season. The unique blend of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, combined with the sweetness of dried fruit, makes them a versatile treat that can complement a variety of occasions and meals beyond the Easter period. With their comforting flavours and association with warmth and nostalgia, hot cross buns have the potential to become a year-round staple, bringing joy and satisfaction to people’s lives regardless of the season.

One: Versatility in Recipes

Hot cross buns are not just for Easter; they offer a wide range of culinary uses that can be enjoyed throughout the year. They seamlessly adapt to different flavours and dietary requirements, making them a staple for any occasion. Plus, there are various ways to make them so people like myself who cannot tolerate dairy or sugar can easily create a batch suitable for my dietary needs. And it’s a great snack during the week, filled with aromatic spices and a hint of sweetness to satisfy those 3 pm coffee & treat cravings.

Two: Sweet and Savory Variations

Sweet buns are not the be-all and end-all. They can easily be transformed into various sweet or savoury dishes.

For a sweet twist, try chocolate chips or fruit preserves, creating a decadent treat that pairs well with coffee or tea. If you don’t have that sweet tooth, how about a cheese variety or using nutritional yeast if you are dairy-free?

Eliminate the cross on top and create a fruit, spicy, or savoury bun! It’s easily portable for work and on the road with the kids.

Alternatively, you could add herbs, olive oil, avocado and cheese, serving them alongside soups or salads. They are compact enough to give you a nice carb hit and something to sweep the bowl clean.

Three: Pairing with Diverse Diets

This versatile bread can easily be tailored to fit diverse dietary choices.

Gluten-free flour substitutes allow those with gluten sensitivities to enjoy hot cross buns, while vegan variations can be achieved using plant-based milk and egg alternatives.

This adaptability ensures that individuals can enjoy hot cross buns following various diets.

Another variation could be to use different flours or even nut flours. There can be high-fibre or low-carb options. That’s why these golden buns are so great – you can make them in any way, shape or form to suit any dietary restrictions (such as mine) and keep the tradition going during the year.

Four: Social and Emotional Comfort

These gorgeous buns offer more than just a tasty snack; they serve as a vessel for social bonding and emotional solace. These treats often evoke fond memories and provide comfort, making them important beyond just the Easter season. Surprise your friend or a work colleague who loves these and watch their mood change.

Five: Traditions that should continue more than once a year

For many, hot cross buns are deeply entrenched in family gatherings and holiday celebrations.

They are not just baked goods; they represent a connection to heritage and shared experiences.

In some households, baking hot cross buns together is a cherished ritual passed down through generations, signifying unity and the warmth of family ties.

Six: You Cant Deny The Comfort Food Appeal

The appeal of hot cross buns as comfort food is undeniable.

Their sweet, spicy aroma and soft, warm texture can trigger a sense of well-being and nostalgia.

Enjoying a hot cross bun with a cup of tea can be a soothing ritual that provides emotional reassurance and a respite from life’s challenges.

They are often sought after for their ability to offer a temporary escape, bringing a taste of joy and simplicity to a complex world.

Key Take Aways

Hot cross buns, with their distinctive combination of soft, fluffy dough, fragrant spices, and sweet dried fruit, have long been a beloved treat, especially around Easter. However, the appeal of these delightful buns extends far beyond their traditional seasonal association, leading many to argue that they should be a year-round indulgence. The unique blend of flavors and textures in hot cross buns makes them a versatile and irresistible treat, deserving of a permanent spot in our culinary repertoire.

Moreover, the potential for innovation with hot cross buns is vast, as they lend themselves to sweet and savoury variations. While the classic recipe is cherished for its sweetness and spice, there is ample opportunity to experiment with savoury ingredients, such as incorporating cheese, herbs, or even bacon into the dough. This versatility allows hot cross buns to cater to various tastes and occasions, making them a versatile and appealing option for any time of the year. By embracing the tradition of hot cross buns while exploring new flavour combinations, we can keep this beloved treat relevant and exciting, ensuring it remains a cherished part of our culinary landscape.

Vegan, Sugar Free & SIBO friendly Hot Cross buns

Sugar Free Hot Cross Buns

You don't have to miss out on Easter Celebrations when you have gut health challenges!
Prep Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Course healthytreats, Treats
Cuisine Christian, Easter
Servings 16


For the hot cross buns

  • 1.5 cups almond milk unsweetened
  • 4 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp activated yeast
  • 1 cup bakers flour
  • 4.5 cups spelt all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rice malt syrup or your chosen sweetener
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Christmas spice
  • 1 tsp gingerbread spice
  • 1 tsp granola spice
  • Zest one orange
  • 1 cup sultanas Or other fruits that are sulphate-free

For the cross

  • 5 tbsp spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup filtered water


  • 2 Juice of oranges
  • 2 tbsp rice malt syrup or any other sweetener of choice


What you need to do

  • Begin by adding the vegan butter to your almond milk. Microwave it in bursts until the butter is dissolved. 20-30 seconds at a time is enough.
  • Once ready, add the activated yeast and combine well.
  • In a mixer bowl with the hook attachment, mix together the baker's flour, spelt flour, and your spices (cinnamon, Christmas spice, gingerbread spice, and granola spice).
  • Now, add the orange zest to the flour mixture. Also, add your chosen sweetener (we're using rice malt syrup) to the milk and butter mixture.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the sweetened milk and butter.
  • Now it's time to get your hands dirty. Mix the ingredients together, adding a tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough stops sticking to the sides of the bowl.
  • Once your dough is ready, you can add the sultanas if desired.
  • Now, let your dough rest for 60-90 minutes. This allows it to double in size.
  • Once the dough has rested, it's time to shape your buns. Dust a surface with flour and roll out the dough into small circles.
  • Now, let's make the cross. Mix the flour and water together and put it in a ziplock bag. Cut off the edge of the bag and start making your crosses on the buns.
  • Once you've made the crosses, it's time to bake!
  • While the buns are in the oven, make the glaze by combining the juice of two oranges and rice malt syrup.
  • Finally, once the buns are out of the oven, glaze them with your orange and rice malt syrup mixture.



Voila! Your sugar-free, SIBO-friendly, and vegan hot cross buns are ready to be enjoyed. When they’re warm, add a bit of coconut butter and enjoy!
The taste test was delicious! And remember, it’s okay if your crosses aren’t perfect. Most importantly, your buns are made with love and are healthy!


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Keyword brainhealth, easter, hot cross buns, snack, Sugar free

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