Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns with Cashew Cream Cheeze Icing


These gluten-free hot cross buns were the grand prize winner in the So Delicious Dairy Free Recipe Contest (view all recipe entries here)! They were created and submitted by Sandi Bruegger.

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns Recipe with Dairy-Free, Soy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist, tender, rich with spice and infused with fruit, these gluten-free buns are a stray from traditional hot cross buns, but delicious in their own right. Note that Sandi uses Pamela’s Bread Baking Mix in this recipe, which comes complete with flours, starches, and binder. If making your own flour blend at home, make sure it has adequate binders (such as starch and xanthan gum) as gluten-free bread recipes do require a little extra protein strength.

As a special topping, Sandi pipes on a homemade dairy-free cream cheese icing. Unlike similar recipes, hers is soy-free, using a blend of cashews and Greek-style yogurt to get the right taste and consistency.

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns Recipe with Dairy-Free, Soy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting

Special Diet Notes: Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns with Cashew Cream Cheeze Icing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These gluten-free hot cross buns were created by Sandi Bruegger and shared with us by So Delicious Dairy Free as a recipe contest winner!
Serves: about 28 rolls
Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns
  • 1 cup warm dairy-free milk alternative (So Delicious Dairy Free Original Almond Milk used here), plus additional for brushing
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed / flaxmeal
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3-1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (Pamela's Products Amazing Wheat Free & Gluten-free Bread Mix used here)
  • The zest of 2 oranges, plus the juice of one orange
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce or oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (or dried fruit of your liking), soaked in enough hot water to cover.
Dairy-Free, Soy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked for a few hours, if possible, then drained)
  • 1 6-ounce container vanilla Greek-Style dairy-free yogurt (such as So Delicious Coconut Milk Greek Yogurt)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 16-ounce bag powdered sugar
For the Gluten-Free Buns:
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the warm milk, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. In a separate dish, mix together the flax and the water. Let sit for a few minutes.
  3. Add the flour, zest, juice, applesauce/oil, and spices to the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment (or can stir by hand). Add the milk and yeast mixture and the flax slurry. Mix at medium speed for about 3 minutes or until the batter is nice and airy. Drain your dried fruit and gently mix it into the batter.
  4. Coat the inside of a bowl with baking spray or oil. Scrap the dough out into the bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.
  5. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, scoop out mounds of dough (about 28 in total), so that they are separate rolls, but just touching. With wet hands, smooth out the tops a little, and brush with a little non-dairy milk alternative.
  6. Take a 9x13-inch pan and fill it halfway with water, and place it on your bottom rack in the oven. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  7. Once the oven is pre-heated, slide the roll pan into the oven on the rack above the water, and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool completely before icing.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. In a blender, puree the cashews with the yogurt, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into a bowl, and whisk in powdered sugar until you get the right consistency and taste for a slightly thick, but still pourable glaze (about 2 cups).
  3. With a piping bag of a plastic baggie with a bottom corner snipped (very small cut), pipe the glaze in one line across the length of the whole pan, then one across the width. Repeat until you have a cross pattern on each of them.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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