Hot Cross Buns - a slightly healthier version of this popular Easter time treat of sweet glazed buns delicately flavoured with cinnamon, mixed spice, raisins and apple.
If there is one thing I crave this time of year, it's definitely a delicious Hot Cross Bun and so I wanted to try a version I could make at home, that wouldn't blow my whole daily syn allowance and these worked perfectly.
They have that lovely soft bread texture, are a decent size and have all the right flavours you expect with a Hot Cross Buns. The best part of all is that they are only 7 syns each or 4 or 5 WW Smart Points depending on which plan you are following.
Tips for making these Hot Cross Buns
I thought it was best to cover a few tips when it comes to making these hot cross buns, to ensure you get the best result.
Firstly, the dough is a much stickier dough than you may be used to, due to the yoghurt. So try not to handle it too much with bare hands. It's best to combine all the ingredients with a silicone spatula if you have one, or a wooden spoon.
Secondly and very important is the dish you choose to bake these in, you want to make sure the 6 Hot Cross Buns fit perfectly with not much space around them. This is because you want them to rise up slightly with the added baking powder. If your baking dish is too big, they will spread out too much and go flat.
The dish I used was an Ikea glass dish which is 11x7 inches or 27x18 cm. So make sure you use a baking dish of similar size.
You can then use your hands greased with some spray oil to place the 6 equal balls into the dish and use the spatula to ensure they are perfectly shaped and have a slight space between them all, which will help to break them apart into 6 hot cross buns once cooked.
For the cross on top - Make sure your flour paste is nice and smooth with no lumps and is not to thick and not too runny. I add the flour paste to a ziplock bag down in one corner, then snip the corner off and use it as a piping bag to pipe across the top. It's a great trick and is easier than trying to drizzle cross with a spoon.
Can I make these Smaller to reduce the syns?
I haven't tested making these smaller, but I don't see why it wouldn't work, again just make sure whatever dish you add the dough too that here is not too much space around them.
A muffin tray could work too, but they will end up being more of a muffin shape if you go for that method.
Type of Sweetener
The only sweetener I use is Erythritol based sweeteners because it is the closest in taste to regular sugar and you use it like for like in measurements.
They can be found on Amazon or in some health food stores.
(As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.)
Be aware that some sweeteners are not used like for like and so you may need more or less and they may not work as well.
Substitutions for ingredients
If you are wondering if you can replace the flour for gluten free flour or plain yoghurt for Greek Yoghurt, I haven't tested anything other than the ingredients used in this recipe.
So I can't be sure any substitutions will work. Baking is not like a casserole or savoury dish where you can usually easily replace or substitute things, with baking you really do need to be precise with measurements.
How to enjoy these Hot Cross Buns
We like them warm out of the oven with a little spread of butter and a cup or tea or coffee. I also like to serve with some fresh fruit, just makes them feel like more of a treat and lasts longer. Especially if you think the syns/points are too high.
It's a great way of enjoying something you crave but make it last longer, by combining with free foods.
More dessert, sweet and cake recipes
Love sweet treats? Check out some of these other recipes:
- HEALTHIER DUTCH BABY WITH BERRIES AND YOGHURT
- LEMON BLUEBERRY OAT PANCAKES
- MINI BANANA RAISIN LOAF
- FUNFETTI BIRTHDAY CAKE MUG CAKE
- CINNAMON ROLL BAKED OAT MUFFINS
- MICROWAVE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE
- VICTORIA SPONGE MUG CAKE
- BANANA AND CHOCOLATE CHIP LOAF
- BAKED WHITE CHOCOLATE RICE PUDDING
or head on over to my Full Recipe Index with over 900 delicious Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly recipes all fully searchable by meal type, ingredients, syn value and smart points etc
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- 200g (7oz) of plain (all purpose) flour
- 2.5 teaspoons of baking powder
- 200g (7oz) of fat-free plain yoghurt (not Greek)
- 1 large egg
- 4 tablespoons of granulated sweetener (Erythritol based one)
- pinch of salt
- 16g (0.564 oz) of sultanas
- 30g (1 oz) of apple, diced small
- ¾ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon mixed spice
- cooking oil spray (I used avocado)
For the glaze
- 1 tablespoon of marmalade (or can use a jam like apricot or pineapple)
- 1 tablespoon of water
- Preheat oven to 200c (fan 180c), 400f or Gas Mark 6
- Reserve 1.5 teaspoons of the flour and set aside.
- In a bowl add the flour, baking powder, salt, sweetener, cinnamon and mixed spice aand mix to combine.
- Add in the yoghurt, egg, raisins and apple and mix until all combined using the spatula to ensure all the mixture from the side of the bowl is cleared. Try not to touch the dough too much with hands, as it's a sticky dough.
- Roughly divide into 6 equal balls using the spatula.
- Spray a baking dish that is 11x7 inches with cooking oil spray.
- Then spray hands with cooking oil spray and carefully place each ball into the dish, forming into buns as you do. This will stop the dough sticking to your hands.
- You can then use the spatula to ensure each ball is well-formed in the dish, pushing apart so that they are easier to break into six when cooked.
- Mix the reserved flour with a little water to make a slightly runny paste (ensure it has no lumps), add this to a ziplock bag in one corner of the bag, snip off the end with scissors and pipe a cross over the top of each hot cross bun.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, should be nice and golden all over, you can check they are cooked all the way through with a small wooden skewer.
- Once cooked remove from the oven.
- Add the marmalade to a bowl with 1 tbs of boiling hot water and whisk until all combined into a runny glaze.
- Brush this over the top of the hot cross buns.
- Serve and Enjoy!!
This recipe is Vegetarian, Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly
- Slimming World - 7 syns per hot cross bun
- Green WW Smart Points - 5 per hot cross bun
- Blue WW Smart Points - 4 per hot cross bun
- Purple WW Smart Points - 4 per hot cross bun
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Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1 Hot Cross Bun
Amount Per Serving Calories 168Total Fat 1.2gSaturated Fat 0.4gSodium 262mgCarbohydrates 33.5gFiber 1.1gSugar 4.9gProtein 5.9g