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Salted Caramel Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns with a twist. By adding blended dates and peanut butter you get a caramel taste. Using 50% wholemeal flour and unrefined sugars keep these delicious buns healthy. Great warm from the oven or toasted spread with vegan butter.
Course: Dessert, sweet treat
Keyword: hot cross buns, vegan buns, vegan easter
Servings: 6 buns


  • 1 cup plant milk - warm I used soya unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp sugar I used date sugar
  • 7 g fast acting yeast
  • zest of one orange
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 170 g wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp pink/sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sultanas soaked and drained
  • 9 pitted dates soaked and drained
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 medium banana


  • Warm the milk in the microwave (not too hot) and mix in the yeast and 1 tbsp of sugar. Set aside for ten minutes for the yeast to activate. It will go frothy and thick.
    In a large bowl add the flours, salt, spices, 1 tbsp sugar. Mix together with hand whisk or fork.
    In a blender add the drained dates, peanut butter, banana and half the yeast liquid. Blend until you have a lump free liquid.
    Pour the yeast mix and the mix from the blender into the flour. Add the sultanas (drained), orange zest and vanilla.Mix together with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients start forming a dough. Once the dough forms use your hands to combine everything together. Add a little more flour if the dough is very sticky. Keep doing this until the dough isn't sticking to your hands.
    On a clean work surface sprinkle with flour and knead the dough for 5 minutes. Sprinkle a bowl with flour (stops the dough sticking) and place the dough in the middle. Cover with a warm, damp tea towel and place in a warm area for one hour. I put just the light on in the oven which creates a warm place for it to rise.
    When an hour is up the dough should have doubled in size.
    Flour a clean surface and knead for a couple of minutes. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Cut the dough into 6 equal parts and roll into a ball. Place in the tray and pop back in a warm place for half an hour. No need to cover.
    Preheat oven to 180oC 356oF.
    To make the cross mixture add the flour and water to a bowl and mix together. You might have to add more flour/water until you get a thick glue like paste. If it's too runny it will ruin the buns.
    Pour the cross mixture into a piping bag (or food bag) and cut the corner. Squeeze over the buns to make a cross (see video).
    Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Once removed from the oven brush with maple syrup to give a gorgeous glaze. Enjoy warm or toasted with butter and jam



Tip: Soak the dates and sultanas in just boiled water for a few minutes to soften them. Drain off the water before using in the recipe. I microwaved the milk for 1 minute to warm it so the yeast reacts faster. When mixing the flour and water for the cross you want it to be thick like glue. Mine was a little too runny.
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