Express Easter hot cross cherry buns

Here's my recipe for these spelt hot cross cinnamon and cherry buns. These have made our kitchen and living room smell lovely.

They're messy but firm, simpler to make than the average one, and make this year's 'isolation' Easter feel a bit more like a traditional one. The theory is that the hot cross bun originated in 1361 in St Alban's, England!

The cross is traditionally made with white flour. As it's been harder for many of us to get a range of flours from the shops recently, this cross is made with the same brown spelt flour as the bun.


Makes 10 buns

Preparation time: 1.5hr

Cooking time: 20 mins



  • 300g spelt flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons fast-acting yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1 medium egg
  • 5 tablespoons dairy or non-dairy butter but into small cubes
  • 30g stevia, or sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 cup dried morello cherries
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Egg wash

  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 teaspoon milk

X topping

  • 1/2 cup spelt flour (or flour of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons stevia
  • 1-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


1. Heat the milk and stevia in a small pan until the stevia dissolves.

2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast, cinnamon, cherries and salt. Make a well in the middle and add the milk and egg.

3. Mix together into a dough and knead the dough while adding one cube of butter at a time for about 5 minutes. 

4. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave for about an hour in a warm place until it almost doubles in size.

5. Divide the dough into 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a small ball. Try to leave no cracks on the surface.

6. Arrange the buns on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.

7. In a small bowl, mix the egg wash ingredients and brush onto each bun.

7. Preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F.

8. For the X topping combine all ingredients in a small bowl to form a smooth thick paste, adding the milk slowly.

9. Fill a piping bag with the mixture and cut a small hole. Draw crosses on each bun.

10. Turn the oven down to 180°C/360°F.

11. Bake for 20 minutes until the tops are golden brown.

12. While the buns are baking, heat the glaze ingredients together in a saucepan until a syrup is formed.

13. Once the buns are ready, brush them with the syrup. 

14. Allow the buns to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

15. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Worktop.

© 2020 Jane Aquino Nutrition