What We’re Cooking For Easter: Vegan Hot Cross Buns
With Easter right around the corner and quarantine still in full effect, you might be looking for something fun and delicious to make at home with your family this weekend. These Vegan Hot Cross Buns are the perfect thing because of the aroma that fills the kitchen as they bake, the unveiling of the final product fresh out the oven, and finally, the satisfying feeling of accomplishment that your whole family will share. Who doesn’t want that during Easter?
These Vegan Hot Cross Buns do take some time to make, over 2 hours, mostly from letting the dough rise. Just have fun with it and be patient, which is the key to making the perfect batch of hot cross buns. As long as you take it slow you follow the steps, trust me, you’ll end up with the most delicious Hot Cross Buns ever. This recipe makes 12 buns which are good for up to 1 week in a sealed container, but I don’t think they’ll last that long -- they’re that delectable!
Vegan Hot Cross Buns
- 1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk, unsweetened
- 6 Tbsp Vegan Butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp Orange Zest
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 ¼ Tsp Active Dry Yeast, or one packet
- Juice from Half an Orange
- 3 ⅔ Cups All-Purpose Flour
- ¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
- ¼ Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- ½ Tsp Allspice
- ¼ Tsp Nutmeg
- ¼ Cup Apple Sauce, unsweetened
- ⅔ Cups Raisins, or any type of dried fruit
- “Egg” Wash
- 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup, or any Liquid Sweetener of choice
- 4 Tbsp Non-Dairy Milk
- Flour Paste (For the Cross)
- ⅓ Cup All-purpose Flour
- ¼ Cup Water
- Maple Syrup
- In a bowl, combine your non-dairy milk and melted butter. Warm it up in the microwave until it’s luke-warm or about 110F. Whisk in your orange zest, 1 Tbsp of Sugar, and your yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes to let your yeast activate.
- In a separate small bowl, add your dried fruits and juice half an orange over your dried fruits. Microwave it for 45 seconds. This will moisturize your dried fruits and help infuse them with more flavour.
- In a large bowl, add your flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Whisk until well combined. Create a well in the middle of your dry ingredients, pour your yeast mixture and applesauce into the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix the ingredients until they come together. Once it gets too hard to mix, switch to using your hands. Continue to mix until it all becomes one uniform dough. It should be a sticky dough.
- On a lightly flour surface, transfer your dough onto it. Flatten it out a bit, doesn’t have to be in any particular shape. Drain your dried fruit from the orange juice, and add your dried fruit to the dough. Fold the dough in to cover the dried fruit and knead it for 5 minutes. Continue to flour your surface as needed.
- Form your dough into a ball and transfer it into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with saran wrap or a clean tea towel. Set aside in a warm place and let it rise for 1 hour. I like to put it in an oven turned off with the lights turned on.
- Your dough should have risen and doubled in size. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Transfer your dough to a lightly flour surface. Cut your dough into 4 equal parts. Take one of the 4 parts and cut that into 3 equal parts. Form each piece into a ball by bringing your thumb and index finger together and form a cup in your hands. Place the dough on the counter and cup the dough, and gently roll it under your palm to get a smooth dough ball. Transfer your dough ball onto the baking tray. Repeat this step with the rest of your dough. Make sure there is enough room in between your rolls for them to grow.
- Cover your dough balls with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel. Let it rise again for 1 hour. Once it’s risen, get your flour paste and “egg” wash ready. To make the flour paste, whisk the ingredients into a bowl until combined. Transfer to a piping bag. To make the egg wash, whisk the ingredients together as well.
- Preheat your oven to 375F. Lightly brush your “egg” wash evenly over each bun. Then carefully pipe a cross on each bun with the flour paste. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Check your buns at the 20 minute mark, if it’s starting to get too brown, loosely cover your buns with some foil and finish baking.
- Once finished baking, remove from the oven and brush your maple syrup on the buns to create glaze. This is best done straight out of the oven. Once the glaze is done, all that’s left to do is enjoy!