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This post is a bit of a double win. Not only do you get to discover how to make your own vegan hot cross buns, but further down the post there’s the chance to win £50 of Asda vouchers, plus a load of goodies from Planted, so you can buy everything you need to make your own vegan hot cross buns.
(Or just spend it on 100 packets of Asda’s own hot cross buns, I’m not here to judge.)
Regular hot cross buns normally use milk in the recipe, so I switched this for Planted’s coconut drink with cocoa. Instead of butter I used vegetable oil and I used apple puree as a substitute for a beaten egg. The cocoa in the Planted drink gives the hot cross buns a subtle chocolate edge, but you could ramp this up by adding chocolate chips if you wanted.
Be warned – they do take a while because of the proving. I’d say these hot cross buns are a good Sunday activity. Get the Archers Omnibus on and potter about between stages doing jobs like washing the bin and trimming dead bits off the houseplants. (I actually love those kind of Sundays.)
If you tend to look for dairy free alternatives, Planted could be worth trying the next time you’re shopping. It comes in four flavours – oat drinks with banana or with date and vanilla, almond drink with coffee and coconut drink with cocoa – and they’re available in one litre and ‘on the go’ 330ml cartons.
All of Planted’s flavours are vegan approved by the Vegetarian Society, and are fortified with calcium (for maintenance of normal teeth & bones), vitamin D (for absorption of calcium & phosphorous) and vitamin B₁₂ (for normal function of the immune system). They also tick the conservation box – a donation of 2p for every 1L carton sold goes to the Woodland Trust, the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity.
Never having made even non-vegan hot cross buns before, I was a tad on the nervous side, especially as the dough initially stuck to my fingers like a particularly nasty YouTube glitter slime recipe, but bear with it, I promise it’s worth it. I’d recommend topping your hot cross buns with some good quality salted butter, or you could try a plant-based peanut butter. Toasted is good too.
Homemade vegan hot cross buns – ingredients
To make your own homemade vegan hot cross buns you will need:
- 500g strong white flour + extra for kneading
- 75g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 7g sachet of dried yeast
- 50g of apple sauce or puree (I used a little jar of baby food)
- 300ml Planted coconut drink with cocoa
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Grated zest of an orange
- 125g mixed dried fruit
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the cross:
- 50g plain flour
- 3-4 tbsp of water
For the glaze:
- 2 tablespoons of apricot jam
How to make the vegan hot cross buns
To kick off the vegan hot cross bun recipe, put the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into a large mixing bowl. Gently heat the coconut drink until it’s hand temperature and add this to the dry ingredients, along with the oil and apple puree. Mix with a wooden spoon until it starts to combine and then use your hands to form the mixture into a dough.
NOTE: My dough was really quite sticky (possibly too sticky) at this point, so you might want to keep back a little bit of the liquid and only add it in if you need to.
Flour your work surface well, and then knead for around five minutes. Pop your dough into a greased bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave it somewhere warm for an hour or until it has roughly doubled in size.
After an hour, keeping the dough in the bowl, add the orange zest, cinnamon and dried fruit and knead until everything is well combined. Pop the tea towel back on and leave for another hour.
Now it’s time to make the bun shapes. Split the dough into 12 pieces, and form each one into a nice round ball. You can weigh them to make them equal sizes if you want to, but this isn’t The Bake Off and quite frankly I don’t have time for this kind of thing. Place the balls on a lined baking sheet, leaving space for them to grow a little bit, and stick them back under the tea towel for a final hour.
Preheat the oven to 220 (200 fan). In a small bowl, mix the flour for the crosses with a little of the water at a time until you have a thick paste. Use a piping bag to pipe crosses onto the buns and then bake them in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes.
If all this sounds like a massive faff, then try to think of it as an exercise in mindfulness. Anyone could just go to the supermarket and BUY some hot cross buns, but really, would that be as satisfying as all the kneading and proving?
Also, it looks FAR more impressive, should you be having friends or family over for Easter.
‘Anyone fancy a hot cross bun?’
‘Oh those look nice Jean, are they M&S?’
‘Oh these? No, I made them myself from scratch Pam. They’re vegan don’t you know.’
*sweet smiles all round*
Vegan hot cross bun – the finishing off bit
When your vegan hot cross buns have finished in the oven, take them out and leave to cool just for a couple of minutes while you heat the apricot jam gently until it’s runny.
Brush the warm jam over your plump buns (not a euphemism) and leave your glossy hot cross buns to cool.
Win £50 of Asda vouchers + Planted goodies
To help with the Easter celebrations, Planted has very generously given me a selection of dairy free drinks to give away, plus a £50 Asda voucher to spend on whatever you like – hoorah! To enter, use the widget below to visit the Planted website and find out more about their drinks. Once you’ve done that you’ll open up a whole load of bonus entry mechanisms. The more you do, the higher your chances of winning.
The competition will close at 11.59pm on April 22nd and full T&Cs apply. Good luck!