April 06, 2023


I've been wanting to make Protein Hot Cross Buns for awhile now! Hot Cross Buns are a traditional Easter dish, a lightly sweet roll full of raisins and spices (think bagel meets roll for texture). I used orange icing for the symbolic cross on top which signifies Jesus' death on the cross. Since tomorrow is Good Friday, I thought what better day to post this recipe! You can make these luscious rolls with or without the yeast or collagen. This recipe is surprisingly easy, and as always, gluten-free and dairy-free ;)

Did you know? Yeast is a living organism in the fungi family that feeds on carbohydrates and ferments, releasing carbon dioxide that makes bread rise!

Protein Hot Cross Buns (Gluten Free, Dairy Free) 

Yeast or baking powder?

You can make these rolls with instant dry yeast or baking powder! For the yeast method, I recommend instant yeast, which takes less time to proof than regular yeast. You can literally add it right into the dry ingredients, then add warm water and the remaining flour and wet ingredients. Using this method, the rolls will require about 40 minutes to rise before baking, but you get that signature yeast roll flavor. 

NOTE: Always make sure your yeast is still active before using in a baking recipe. To do this, dissolve one teaspoon of sugar in water that's been heated to 110 degrees F, then sprinkle a little yeast over top and stir. Within 10 minutes, the yeast should start to foam and bubble. If not, the yeast is dead.

For the baking powder method, you will substitute the packet of instant yeast for two tablespoons of aluminum-free baking powder. This method allows you to mix the baking powder right in with the dry ingredients and bake per usual, no proof time required for the bread to rise. While this method is more convenient, it's not as traditional.

Protein Hot Cross Buns (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Collagen recommendations

I used a little collagen in this recipe to provide a boost of collagen health benefits and protein! My favorite collagen is LIV Body Marine Collagen in the Flavorless variety. It mixes seamlessly into baked recipes! You can use my code "SARAHWILKINS" for free shipping on all LIV Body products :)

If you decide not to add the 60 grams of collagen powder, then you will need to increase the water in this recipe to half a cup. This is because powdered collagen actually acts like a moisturizer and makes the mixture more sticky and moist as it mixes in. Weird right? If you're unsure, add water by one-quarter cup, then add another quarter cup after mixing in completely. Dough should be soft and pliable but not stick to your hands. 

Protein Hot Cross Buns (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

What is the best gluten free flour?

For this recipe, you will need gluten free all-purpose baking flour. The only two brands I buy are Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour and King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure Baking Flour. These are the only two I've found that can be substituted reliably for all-purpose flour and don't taste off or give an odd texture.

Since I have not tested them, I cannot recommend cassava flour, brown rice flour, oat flour, or other gluten free flour substitutes, but you are welcome to experiment!

Protein Hot Cross Buns (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

What spices go in hot cross buns?

For this recipe, I went with the traditional cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice combo! If you have friends or family that don't like a lot of spice, you could omit the nutmeg and allspice, but the flavors are subtle and make it special.

Not all recipes call for it, but I love orange with cinnamon, so I added some orange zest to the dough and orange juice to the icing! It was the right move - so delicious!

Protein Hot Cross Buns (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Wet ingredients

For the wet ingredients, all you're going to need are whole eggs, water, pure vanilla extract, and vegan butter. In this recipe, I have not tested egg alternatives, but you can try a vegan egg replacer if needing egg-free!

The vegan butter I used is a non-GMO, expeller-pressed vegan buttery spread. If you don't need dairy-free, feel free to use unsalted butter here :)

And the vanilla extract is optional, but adds a lovely flavor and enhances the subtle sweetness of these hot cross buns. Make sure you use a good quality one.

Orange icing

For the orange icing, you will need cream cheese, your powdered sweetener of choice, orange juice, butter (I used vegan), and pure vanilla extract. My favorite dairy free cream cheese brands are Kite Hill, Kroger Simple Truth, Miyoko's, and Tofutti (in that order). Many of them are gross, but these all work great in frosting. 

I used a sugar free powdered sweetener, but powdered sugar would work too!

Here is the printable recipe for these Protein Hot Cross Buns! I hope you'll rate and comment below if you try them :) 

This post contains affiliate links and is sponsored by LIV Body.


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