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Low-Carb Hot Cross Buns

4.6 stars, average of 170 ratings

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Easter is nearly here. You know what that means, don’t you? Hot. Cross. Buns. EVERYWHERE.

I used to love Hot Cross Buns and would have quite happily given up the chocolate eggs for extra buns, back in the day. I had a friend mention to me recently that she was eating one and I was overwhelmed with such longing for that warm, spicy, fruity flavour that I knew I’d have to put my thinking cap on tightly.

Now, I’m not going to pretend that these are light and fluffy like traditional hot cross buns, but they have that familiar flavour and are incredible toasted with butter. I used a very small amount of currants to retain the familiar look and taste of Hot Cross Buns, but feel free to leave them out if you’d rather not use them. Also, my recipe is for eight but I think that you could very easily make twelve instead. Enjoy!

Hands-on Overall

Serving size bun

Allergy information for Low-Carb Hot Cross Buns

✔  Gluten free
✔  Nightshade free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free
Pescatarian
Vegetarian

Nutritional values (per serving, bun)

Net carbs7.2 grams
Protein14.8 grams
Fat42.5 grams
Calories488 kcal
Calories from carbs 6%, protein 13%, fat 81%
Total carbs11.3 gramsFiber4 gramsSugars4.8 gramsSaturated fat28.8 gramsSodium500 mg(22% RDA)Magnesium41 mg(10% RDA)Potassium289 mg(14% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 8 buns)

Buns:
Glaze:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp water
Crosses:
  • 2 heaped tbsp full-fat cream cheese (50 g/ 1.8 oz)
  • 1 tbsp coconut milk, heavy whipping cream or unsweetened nut milk of choice
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp powdered Erythritol or Swerve

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 °C/ 340 °F (fan assisted), or 190 °C/ 375 °F (conventional). Low-Carb Hot Cross Buns
  2. Place all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Place all wet ingredients into a second bowl. Low-Carb Hot Cross Buns
  3. Mix the wet ingredients well and then add to the dry ingredients (note: you can make your own pumpkin pie spice). Sit for five minutes. You can use raisins or my Sugar-Free Cranberry Raisins. Low-Carb Hot Cross Buns
  4. Line a baking tray with silicone paper. Using your hands, form the dough into bun shapes and place on baking tray. Run a knife gently over the top in a cross pattern. Beat egg and water together to crate a glaze and brush it over the top of the buns. Low-Carb Hot Cross Buns
  5. Place in the oven and cook for 45-55 minutes, watching carefully at the end for over-browning. Remove from oven and let cool. Low-Carb Hot Cross Buns
  6. To make the topping, mix the room temperature cream cheese, coconut milk, spices and Swerve together in a small bowl until a smooth paste is formed. Place in a piping bag and pipe over the top of the buns prior to serving. Low-Carb Hot Cross Buns
  7. Serve with butter and low-carb chia jam. Low-Carb Hot Cross Buns
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Low-Carb Hot Cross Buns

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, bun)

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Naomi Sherman
Creator of NaomiShermanFoodCreative.com

Naomi Sherman

Naomi is the force behind Naomi Sherman, Food Creative. She is passionate about recipe development, food photography and styling.

An accomplished home cook who was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease eight years ago, Naomi started to explore the connection between healthy, whole food and her symptoms, and a new love was born.

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Comments (32)

I finally learned the hard way that making your own coconut flour from ground desiccated coconut doesn’t work! With 12 eggs and a cup of liquid oil and only 1 1/2 cups of “flour”, I did wonder how this was going to turn out. I had a soup, not a dough mix, even after the 5 minutes resting time! I added another cup of ground desiccated coconut, one cup of almond flour, another tbspn of baking powder and more spice, and it was still too runny. It currently in the oven in 3 shallow cake tins, hoping it’ll turn out like a tray bake! I’ll let you know!

That is correct, homemade coconut flour won't work as it's not absorbent enough, it's still not fine enough and the fat content could be different (depending on how you make it it can be higher or lower). I saw your comment in your FB group, I'm glad you made coffee cake instead!

Sorry, really can’t recommend this recipe. Having scrolled thought the comments before making, I spotted the one about the egg size and weighed my eggs. Definitely not what I would call a large egg. Really only medium,  but still 56-58g. So I weighed out a little under 600g of eggs. (12 @50g).
Didn’t weigh the dry ingredients but was careful to make sure not under. Probably a tiny bit less melted butter than stated. Still incredibly soft mixture after standing.
Added 1/2 more almond flour. Little difference. Still resembled muffin mix. So I put into silicone muffin trays and baked them like that. Then cut in half & toasted.
And after that, edible.  But definitely not enjoying them.
It was a toss up between the recipe I’ve used before (more almond flour, fewer eggs) and this one. Neither are like the soft carb loaded traditional ones, for sure & I wasn’t expecting that, but these are really odd. Maybe it’s the coconut flour I’m struggling with.
If other people like them, great. But not for me.

I'm sorry it didn't work for you, I'll just clarify something in case people get confused. I am not suggesting that large eggs weigh 50 grams each because I think that's what I weighed, I'm suggesting it because that number is based the official guidelines. You can check the USDA yourself. I think you may have used larger eggs and that is why the mixture was too thin. If they were labeled incorrectly then that's on the producer.
If you're having trouble with coconut flour recipes (just in case you didn't use fine coconut flour which is very absorbent), this is an almond flour based recipe that also includes yeast and is closer to the traditional hot cross buns: Low-Carb Yeast Hot Cross Buns

It’s ok. I realised after I commented that what qualifies for a large egg in the USA may not be a large egg elsewhere. But I did use pretty close to the equivalent of 12 x 50g eggs (600g) which was 10 x 57g & 58g eggs.
Thank you for the link.

Thank you Bronwyn, that is interesting. I'm not sure I have an answer for you, I wish I did! I know some people shared this recipe in our Facebook support group and it seemed to work fine for them but I'll ask to see if I can get to the bottom of this.

print the recipe?

Hi Patricia, the Print option is right at the top of the recipe (see the 4 buttons).

I was wondering if there were alternatives to the nut and coconut flours. I'm allergic to noth unfortunately.

Hi Ericka, you can use sunflower seed flour (ground sunflower seeds) instead of the almond flour (same amount). Instead of the coconut flour you could use flax meal (again same amount). I hope this helps!

Made 8 with 9 large eggs. Came out dense. Still yummy with butter but not really like a soft bun like I was expecting

I think the fact that you only used 9 eggs made them a little more dense. Eggs will definitely add volume and you need to use many when baking with coconut flour (very absorbent). You could make them fluffier by replacing some of the coconut flour with almond flour. So what I'd do is use 1.5 cups of almond flour plus 2/3 cups coconut flour and use about 9 eggs. Or use 2.5 cups almond flour plus 1/3 cup coconut flour and use about 6 eggs. It's just an estimate - I'd have to test and fine tune it to know for sure. You may also need to reduce the amount of coconut oil/butter in the recipe.

Hi, could I use butter instead of coconut oil?

Hi Amy, you can use melted butter or ghee (I'll add it to the options) 😊

Heh Martina thanks for the great recipe. Question, what was the volume or weight of your 12 eggs? My 12 large eggs provided volume that needed 50% more flour in order to form buns.
My large eggs come in around 56 grams each and need about 80 more grams of dry to produce and dough that looked like yours. Would have worked for pancakes. Looking forward to your reply,
Mark from Canmore

Hi Mark, one large egg should be 50 grams so that may explain the difference (1-2 extra eggs). I can see how this can add up so you may need 80 g more almond flour (about 2/3 cups) - that would be just about 30 g (1/4 cup) of coconut flour (about 3 times more absorbent than almond flour). I hope this helps!

I made these and they were tasty, like the real thing! but dense so best toasted. The pumpkin pie spice mix was easy to make and now I have a supply for other recipes.
One odd thing, I checked on them while baking and they were sitting in about a half cup of liquid, mainly coconut oil. I poured it off and measured it. I continued baking and they seemed to turn out fine.
I used measuring cups rather than weight for the dry ingredients...perhaps not enough of the flours?
Anyone else have this issue?

I find that it often happens with low-carb flours, especially when I use coconut oil or butter. It happened to me when I was making cinnamon rolls using a similar dough to these: Ultimate Keto Buns (without the spices and salt) The added fat in the filling leaked out and then soaked back in.
Maybe opening the oven to remove it may have caused them to fall and become dense?

Hi Laura
That's a bit unusual. I agree with Martina and yourself that it's best to weigh the ingredients to get an accurate result.
Let me know if you try them again.
Cheers, Naomi

I had a similar issue with the oozing liquid, but in my case it looked more like the egg wash rather than coconut oil? I didn't open the oven door or drain out the liquid, I just let them be and at the end of the baking time (35 minutes in my oven) some of it had seeped back in, and the rest had solidified so I was able to cut it out. The buns themselves went a bit flat (some, not all) and were dense but they were still delicious with a slathering of butter and low carb jam, so we certainly enjoyed it. I see a new post for yeast hot cross buns has just appeared on this website so I will have to try them next! Thank you for sharing this recipe 😊

Thank you Anu, I think it's all about the coconut flour which naturally makes these more dense. I think that if you were to use almond flour instead (3 cups almond flour instead of the 1 cup of coconut flour), you would get fluffier results. You'd also need to use 8 or 9 eggs instead of the 12 eggs OR use 4 eggs and 6 egg whites (just guessing but I think it's about right). Egg whites will make it fluffier than whole eggs.

So so so good! Made a double batch and the whole family loves them!! Thank you Naomi

Thank you for your lovely feedback!

So happy that you and your family enjoyed them, Sam
Thanks, Naomi

Total flat disaster unfortunately. What a waste of 12 eggs. So disappointed as really wanted an Easter treat to take to my family lunch today on Easter Sunday.

I'm sorry to hear that. That doesn't sound right - did you weigh the dry ingredients in case the amounts were wrong? I find that it's always better to do that as not all products have the same density.

Oh Kelli, that's so sad to hear.
What a disappointment that must have been!
I hope that you give them another go, and would agree with Martina that careful weighing of ingredients is really helpful.
Thanks, Naomi

Used larger eggs (maybe jumbo) so it was a bit too moist & the buns went flat, perhaps 10 eggs may be better in I use jumbo? - smell so good!

Yes, I agree, jumbo eggs are too big - I would use just 10 of them. I think you can still "fix" it by cutting in half and toasting for a few minutes under a broiler. This should help with the excess moisture 😊

Hi Judy
Yes, with eggs that large you would need to cut the numbers back.
Oh, you absolutely should follow Martina's suggestion and toast them!
Thanks, Naomi

Fantastic recipe...can't wait to make them!
May I ask please, what might be a suitable dairy free alternative to the cream cheese for making the cross piping (which is essential for the authentic experience!).

Thank you Anj! 😊 I would use melted coconut butter and skip the coconut milk (or use a tablespoon of coconut oil instead). Coconut cream might be an option too too but I suppose it wouldn't hold well.