That Sugar Movement


Spelt Hot Cross Buns

  • Spelt Hot Cross Buns - Serves Serves: Makes 8
  • Spelt Hot Cross Buns - Prep Time Prep Time: 15 mins + 3 hours proving time
  • Spelt Hot Cross Buns - Cook Time Cook Time: 20 mins

Contains dairy and egg

Once you start reducing sugar in your diet, you’ll find your taste buds adjust and you’ll require less sweetness to feel satisfied. As a result, you may find store-bought hot cross buns too sweet!

There’s no need to load up hot cross buns with added sugars or sweetened, glazed dried fruit. Here we share our healthier take on a hot cross bun. In this recipe, you can choose whether to include the unsweetened dried fruit. The occasional sweet burst is more than enough to satisfy a ‘sweet tooth’.

Have you made scones before? Then you’ll find making these hot cross buns a cinch, as the method is not that dissimilar – wholegrain flour, butter and milk form the basis for a yeasted dough, that has a beautiful soft crumb by using spelt.


  • 300g - wholemeal spelt flour
  • 200g - white spelt flour
  • 7g - instant dried yeast
  • 1tsp - ground cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp - ground cloves
  • 75g - softened butter
  • 2/3cup - mixed unsweetened dried fruit (sultanas, currants, cranberries) (optional)
  • 1cup - warm milk
  • 1/2cup - additional white spelt flour (for the crosses)
  • 1 - egg, whisked with a splash of water or milk (egg wash)


  1. Mix the flours, yeast, and spices in a large bowl.
  2. Rub the butter into the flour until you don’t have any large lumps of butter left.
  3. Mix in the dried fruit, then pour in the warm milk and mix until it comes together in a dough (using a flat knife can be useful in this step).
  4. Knead for five minutes, adding a little more milk if it’s too dry or a little more flour if it’s too sticky. If it feels just a little tacky then that’s okay – if it’s sticking in lumps to your hands then that’s TOO sticky!
  5. Put a clean tea towel over the bowl and let it rise for 2 hours in a warm spot. You’ll find with using wholemeal flours it won’t rise a great deal, so don’t fret if you come back and feel like it hasn’t changed that much.
  6. Divide the dough into eight pieces and roll into balls on a baking tray, so that they are just touching each other.
  7. Let them rise for another hour, covered with a tea towel.
  8. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  9. For the crosses, mix the additional flour with 1/4 cup water to make a dough.
  10. Roll into skinny strips – don’t worry if they break off a bit, and drape over the top of the buns lengthways, tucking them into the creases between the buns, and then use shorter strips to drape across in the other direction to form the crosses. See the image to see how this is done.
  11. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash and cook in the oven for 30 minutes until they sound hollow when you knock them and they’re brown on top.
  12. Let cool for 10 minutes then serve with butter!


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