30 March 2018 / Food

Spelt Flour, Orange Spiced Hot Cross Buns

One of my favourite things to enjoy over the Easter break is of course…hot cross buns! We all go crazy for them and who could blame us?! You cannot beat a gorgeous, homemade hot cross bun fresh out of the oven. 

I’ve been practising and developing this recipe behind the scene these past few weeks and guys, I think I nailed it. The flavour and smell of these will knock your socks off. The warming, sweet spices work together with the citrusy hint of the orange to produce a flipping masterpiece.

I’m salivating just writing this.

I’ve used spelt flour in this recipe because personally, I find it easier to digest. It’s not so hard on the ol’ gut for those with sensitivities compared to standard white wheat flour.

Spelt comes from the same grain family as wheat and even though it’s not gluten-free, those who find themselves with intolerances to gluten products may be able to handle spelt due to its low gluten levels. Spelt flour still gives the hot cross buns their light, fluffy appearance but also adds more texture and a beautiful nutty flavour.

Using spelt flour also adds another level of nutrient profile far greater then processed white wheat flour. Butter and coconut oil can also be used interchangeably in this recipe.

Next time you are in the supermarket, check the ingredients label on the back of the hot cross bun package. What do you see? An ingredients list so long you may as well be reading a novel? Ingredients that you can’t even pronounce or are not even sure what the ingredient is? For this reason, I am very passionate about home cooking with ‘real’ ingredients, like our great-grandparents would have done! You know exactly what’s going into your food and more importantly, it’s made with love.

Each batch is unique in its own right and never a perfect shape, that’s the beauty of it. I’d much rather enjoy a homemade bun, cooked with care, love and passion then a cheap and nasty supermarket one, even if on your first attempt it may turn out a little denser. But I can assure you the flavour will beat any supermarket bun in a heartbeat, you can taste and smell the love.

Make sure to give this recipe a go over Easter, post a photo on Instagram and tag me in your creations!

Bon Appétit

Gabby Palmer xx


*Dairy Free options

*Refined sugar-free

*Wheat free



Bun Dough 

  • 1 cup milk of your choice (I used almond milk)
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2T rice malt syrup (you can also use maple syrup or honey) 
  • 2tsp dried, active yeast
  • 2T coconut oil (you can also use butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups of spelt flour (you can use wholemeal or white spelt flour or 1 1/2 cups of both wholemeal and white)
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ½ cup sultanas 


  • 3T spelt flour
  • 2T water
  • 1tsp baking powder


  • Juice of ½ orange
  • 2T rice malt syrup or honey



  • To make the bun dough:
  1. Warm the milk, orange zest and rice malt syrup, while gently whisking the mixture, in a small pot over a low heat for 5 mins or so until the orange zest has well infused into the milk. 
  2. Remove from heat and add the coconut oil and egg, whisk to combine. (make sure that the mixture is not too hot, it should only feel warm if you dip your finger in).
  3. Add the yeast, whisk to combine and let it sit for 5 mins while the yeast starts to bubble mixture.
  4. In a large bowl add the flour, tapioca, cinnamon, mixed spice, and cloves. Mix to combine. 
  5. Make a well in the centre and pour in the wet mixture.
  6. Mix with a spoon to combine. It will become hard to mix as you start to form a dough, at this stage roll up your sleeves and work the dough inside the bowl with your hands to form a slightly sticky ball.
  7. Your dough should be on the slightly sticky side but if you think its too wet you can add a little bit more flour but not too much as this can compromise your bun texture at the end.
  8. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured, clean surface and knead the sultanas into the dough, until they are evenly distributed and you’ve formed a ball. The mixture will still be slightly tacky, this is good. 
  9. Slightly oil the inside of your bowl, place dough inside and cover with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place for an hour to rise and double in size. Note, if the temperature is cooler then the dough will take longer to rise, so leave for however long it takes to double in size.   
  10. 10.Once it has doubled in size, portion the dough into 8 equally sized bits, roll into balls and place side by side on a lined baking tray.