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Low-Carb Hot Cross Buns

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Low-Carb Hot Cross BunsPin recipeFollow us 132.7k

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!

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Hands-on Overall

Nutritional values (per 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

Note: you can make your own pumpkin pie spice.

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. Sit for five minutes. 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 Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Low-Carb Hot Cross Buns

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per bun)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Almond flour (blanched ground almonds, almond meal)
0.5 g1.3 g3.3 g37 kcal
Coconut flour, organic
1.6 g2.6 g2.3 g55 kcal
Baking powder, gluten-free
0.1 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Salt, pink Himalayan rock salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Eggs, free-range or organic
0.5 g9.4 g7.1 g107 kcal
Coconut oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g27 g243 kcal
Water, still
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Gingerbread or pumpkin spice mix (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice)
0.2 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Erythritol (natural low-carb sweetener)
0.3 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Raisins, seedless
3.4 g0.1 g0 g14 kcal
Orange peel (zest), fresh
0.1 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Eggs, free-range or organic
0 g0.8 g0.6 g9 kcal
Water, still
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Cream cheese, soft (full-fat)
0.2 g0.4 g1.8 g15 kcal
Coconut milk (full-fat, unsweetened)
0.1 g0 g0.4 g4 kcal
Gingerbread or pumpkin spice mix (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice)
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Erythritol (natural low-carb sweetener)
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Total per bun
7.2 g14.8 g42.5 g488 kcal
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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 (24)

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

Reply

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!

Reply

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

Reply

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.

Reply

Hi, could I use butter instead of coconut oil?

Reply

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

Reply

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

Reply

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!

Reply

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?

Reply

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?

Reply

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

Reply

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 😊

Reply

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.

Reply

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

Reply

Thank you for your lovely feedback!

Reply

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

Reply

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.

Reply

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.

Reply

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

Reply

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!

Reply

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 😊

Reply

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

Reply

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!).

Reply

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.

Reply