Easter vegan hot cross bun recipe

Easter vegan hot cross buns recipe gluten free La crisalida retreats

This month we thought we would share with you our Easter vegan hot cross buns recipe to make and enjoy at home!

Here at the retreat we usually serve up an Easter themed treat for dessert around this time of year. One such sweet treat that is traditionally served in the UK and other countries is the hot cross bun. This is a spiced and sweet bun, shaped sort of like a scone, traditionally made with raisins or currants. The spices used can vary, but commonly include ground ginger and cinnamon. Read on for our own plant-based version, which is really easy to make.

Despite the name, these buns are usually served cold, however we love them served hot from the oven (let them cool for a few minutes!).  

On the internet, there is much debate about the origin of these buns. Whilst they are traditionally served around Easter time (and linked to Jesus and Christianity), some people believe they originated in Pagan times, to celebrate the goddess of change and Spring (called Eostre, which is where we are said to get the name of “Easter”). According to folk lore, they were called “hot” as part of a rhyme that street vendors used sing in the 1800 and 1900´s, to try to sell more buns. Whatever their origins, they make a delicious snack or dessert.

We aim to use minimal processed sugars in our plant-based desserts, so in this recipe we use dates as the sweetener in the buns. To bring a little bit of added flavour we toasted the almonds (and let them go cold) before adding them to the oats in the food processor.  

Cooking tip: If your dates feel a little hard or dry, you can pep them up by soaking them in boiling water for 15 minutes. We suggest keeping the soaking water and using as part of the recipe to make the dough.

Make it a raw vegan hot cross bun recipe: In our recipe, the buns can be baked, or you can easily make a raw version, if you have a dehydrator. Instructions for the raw version are below. If you do not have a dehydrator, you can use the lowest setting on your oven – an item is still considered to be “raw food” if it does not go above a temperature in the region of 40-50 degrees C.

Easter vegan hot cross buns recipe

Makes: 8 buns


1 cup almonds
1 cup oats (whole or flaked are fine)
1 cup dates
1 cup raisins
1 tsp vanilla powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger powder
½ – ¾ cup water (more if needed)

¼ cup cashews
1 tbsp coconut oil – liquid (not solid)
3 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla powder
2-3 tbsp water (more if needed)


To make the buns:
Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees C (300 degrees F / Gas mark 2) if making the baked version. Line a baking tray.

Put the almonds and oats in a food processor and process for 45-60 seconds until they become a rough flour.

Add the dates into the food processor with the almonds and oats, then add the vanilla powder, cinnamon and ground ginger. Add some of the water and pulse. The “flour” should start to stick together. Add more water as needed, until it all begins to stick together, and it starts to resemble dough. Taste and add a little more cinnamon, vanilla or ground ginger according to your preference.

Put the dough mixture into a bowl. Add the raisins and mix well.

Roll the dough into small balls in your hands. Place the ball onto a baking sheet, then press the top down slightly. Repeat until all the dough is used. Cut a cross on the top of each bun. Place into the middle of the oven and leave to cook for 20-25 minutes, until the buns are just starting to go lightly brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to go a little cool.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor, until you make a lovely smooth liquid “drizzle”. Add more water as needed to get the desired consistency.

Drizzle on crosses on the buns. Enjoy!

To make the “raw” version

Placing the bun mixture balls onto the dehydrator tray, and press the top flat. Cut a cross into the top, then put in your dehydrator. If you do not have a dehydrator, you can also put your own to the lowest temperature and leave the buns in there for about 2 hours or until they hold together. Drizzle the frosting onto the top. They can also be eaten as they are!

More plant-based vegan dessert recipes

There are lots more recipes for plant-based desserts on this health and wellbeing blog. You might like to try one of these:

Plant-based food at La Crisalida Retreats

La Crisalida Retreats serves healthy delicious plant-based food, made fresh every day. We believe that what we eat can help to create, support and maintain our health and wellbeing, so it is an important part of our holistic programme. Come and try it for yourself.

Enjoy these buns and happy Easter.

About the author

Lisa is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. She is an Epidemiologist, therapeutic hatha and yin yoga teacher and also teaches mindfulness meditation. Lisa has studied NLP and hypnosis, as well as nutrition (she designs the menus).