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Hot Cross Bun Cake, gluten-free

Introducing a delightful alternative to traditional hot cross buns: Gluten-Free Hot Cross Bun Cake. Packed with the warm flavors of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, and sweetened with maple syrup, this cake offers all the deliciousness without gluten, dairy, eggs, or refined sugar. It's a vegan, one-bowl recipe, making it perfect for baking during school holidays and Lent. Let's get started on this tasty and healthy (ish) treat!

Hot Cross Bun Cake, gluten-free
Hot Cross Bun Cake, gluten-free
What is a Hot Cross Bun Cake?

A traditional hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bread bun made with raisins and sultanas and marked with a cross at the top and traditionally eaten on Good Friday after Lent. Traditional buns involve kneading and rising and this is why I have created a fast and easy alternative to this process. My Hot Cross Bun Cake has the same flavours as buns but has a velvety texture that is moist and slightly crumbly. It can be enjoyed for breakfast, afternoon tea, and dessert and pairs perfectly with fresh whipped cream or ice cream. As it's not too sweet, it can be served any time of day.

How to Make It

Helpful Tips

Baking with Gluten-Free Flours

The ingredients must be measured as baking with gluten-free flour can be tricky. The ratio of ingredients needs to be measured correctly for the reaction between ingredients to create the desired result. The same goes for the baking temperature. Gluten-free flour tends to brown faster, yet takes longer to cook, hence why the suggested oven temperature should be followed correctly. A ten-degree difference can result in a wet cake that is burnt.

Combining Ingredients

The dry ingredients must be whisked and combined first, then the wet ingredients are whisked and combined, before folding in the two (rather than simply adding all the ingredients in the bowl at the same time). This ensures the desired results and a fluffy texture.

Hot Cross Bun Cake, gluten-free
Hot Cross Bun Cake, gluten-free

How to Make this Hot Cross Bun Cake

This will be one of the easiest gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan-friendly cakes you will make. Add all in one bowl and bake!

  1. Combine the dry ingredients using a whisk, then make a well in the center of the ingredients.

  2. Add the wet ingredients into the well and whisk until well combined.

  3. Fold the dry and wet ingredients together.

  4. Pour cake batter into a prepared baking tin.

  5. Make the cross over the top by combining flour and water.

  6. Bake

  7. Brush apricot jam over the top.

  8. Serve and enjoy!

Hot Cross Bun Cake, gluten-free
Hot Cross Bun Cake, gluten-free

More Gluten-Free Desserts and Sweet Snacks

Hot Cross Bun Cake, gluten-free
Hot Cross Bun Cake, gluten-free

Hot Cross Bun Cake, Gluten-Free

This recipe is gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, vegan, and a one-bowl recipe.

Serves 8

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 50 minutes

Cake Tin: 20-22cm


Dry Ingredients:

250g (1 ½ cups) self-raising flour, gluten-free

150g (2 cups) almond flour

80g (½ cup) sultanas

2 tablespoons psyllium husk

3 tablespoons orange zest

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground clove

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda, gluten-free

2 hollow chocolate easter eggs, broken into bits (dairy-free, sugar-free optional)

Wet Ingredients:

250ml (1 cup) milk of choice (I used almond milk)

125ml (½ cup) freshly squeezed orange juice

110g (solid weight) coconut oil, then melted

75g (¼ cup) maple syrup

1 tablespoon white vinegar


1 tablespoon gluten-free flour

1.5 tablespoons water


1 tablespoon orange or apricot jam (optional to use a sugar-free jam)


1. Dry Ingredients: Mix all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine well using a whisk. Then make a well in the center of the dry ingredients by gently pushing the dry ingredients against the sides of the bowl.

2. Wet Ingredients: Pour all the wet ingredients into the well, and combine the wet ingredients using the whisk. Once combined, grab a spatula and run the scraper around the edges of the bowl and the bottom, pulling the dry ingredients over and into the wet mixture. Continue mixing until combined. Add the broken chocolate eggs and gently fold through.

3. Oven and Tin: Preheat oven to 170°C fan forced / 190°C conventional oven / 375°F. Line the baking tin with baking paper. Pour the cake batter into the baking tin.

4. Make the Cross: To make the cross, combine the flour and water in a small bowl, and pipe a cross pattern on the uncooked cake. Place into the oven and bake for 50 minutes or until golden and a skewer comes out clean.

5. Glaze and Enjoy: Once cooked, place one heaped tablespoon of apricot jam onto the cake, and brush to spread all over. Allow cooling in the baking tin for 10 minutes before placing it onto a wire rack to bring it to room temperature. Serve on its own, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Have you tried this recipe?

Please leave me a rating and comment below, or share it with me at @CreateCookShare on

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Bun Cake
Gluten-Free Hot Cross Bun Cake

Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos for @CreateCookShare


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