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Whole Wheat Loaded Hot Cross Buns

It  is  that  time  again  when you  start to  wake up  to  birds  singing outside  the   window. It is  definitely spring , whether  officially acknowledged or not.  Mind you, this is  also the  season  when   the  eyes are  watery and  nose  is  itchy , but  that is not  what this post is about.

Whole Wheat Hot Cross BunsOur  favorite  this  season is the   hot  cross  buns.  We  end up  baking  hot cross buns a  few times  in March and  April. Today’s version  is  a healthy  makeover of  the  traditional Hot Cross Buns.   This one is not as pretty as  the  ones    you   see  at  the  local bakery.  There are  a  lot  of   dried  fruits  in there, trying  to burst out 🙂 .

These  healthy hot cross buns are  are  made  with part  whole wheat  flour,  has less butter  and  sugar. Now if you are  allergic to eggs, or  avoiding  eggs for  any other  reason,  this is  your  day – these buns are indeed egg  free. Isn’t that  reason enough  to  try  these out ?

Making Whole Wheat Hot Cross Buns

The  bread   dough  for  these  buns  is the  standard  sweet  dough  minus a little  sugar.  The  dough is a  little  more  wet  that usual   and  I usually knead  the  dry fruits  into the  dough.  The  fruits  absorb a  little  of  the  moisture.   Add  the   fruits  towards  the  end  of  kneading  – and  knead  for  only a  minute or so , just long enough to distribute the fruits evenly.   Form the dough into a  ball, cover and  let  rest  till  doubled .  It usually takes  about  an hour  in a  warm  environment.

Once  the  dough has  doubled , punch it  down  and  divide into 12 equal portions.  Form  each into a  ball  and  arrange in a baking  tin   about  1  cm apart.  Cover  and  let these rise  for  about 30 minutes , or until almost  doubled  in volume.

If planning  to  place the   cross  there are  a  few options. One is a  simple pastry cross which is  piped on top  and  baked . The other option is to  pipe on a icing  sugar cross over the  baked buns .  My family is not big  fans  of  icing on the  buns ,  so we  either  opt for no cross or  pastry  crosses .
Whole Wheat Hot Cross Buns

Pastry crosses are simple –  mix in  flour, water  and  some  sugar to a  thick  paste  and pipe over the  buns .  A  ratio of  3 to 4  tablespoons of  flour , 2  tablespoons of  sugar  and  2 tablespoons of  water  is  what I  use . Pipe  the  crosses on  just  before putting  the  buns  in the oven.

While the buns  are rising ,  pre heat the oven to 375°F.   Place a  small metal  trey  in the  bottom rack of  the oven.  Place  some  ice  cubes in metal trey   as  the buns  are  placed in the oven. Reduce  the  heat  to  350°F as  soon as  the  buns  are  in the oven  and bake  for  30 to  35 minutes  till the  top of  the  buns  are lightly browned.

Remove the  buns  from the oven  and  lightly brush the  tops  with  a little  melted butter .  Cool in pan  for  10 minutes  before  transferring  to a  cooling  rack to cool completely.

Whole Wheat Hot Cross Buns

Whole Wheat Hot Cross Buns

By Syama
A  lighter version of  Hot Cross  buns  loaded with fruits 
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine British


  • 3 C Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 C White Whole Wheat or Atta
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Honey / Sugar
  • 1 1/2 C Milk
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 2 1/4 Tsp Active Dry Yeast 1 Packet
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp All Spice
  • 1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 C Mixed Dry Fruits See Notes

Pastry Cross

  • 4 Tbsp AP Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar


  • 1/2 C Powdered Sugar
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp Water/Milk


  • Warm the milk to 110 F or just warm to touch . Mix in 1 Tablespoon of honey/ sugar to 1/4 C milk and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes and the yeast should activate and bubble up .
  • Take the flours and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the spices and mix thoroughly. Make a well in the center of the flour pile and add the yeast mixture. Slowly add the milk little by little while mixing in the flour and milk. All the flour should come together into a slightly sticky mass. Add the butter and knead for about 10 minutes . The dough should become smoother and softer. It should be a little wet ad very soft. If it feels too wet ant sticky add a few more tablespoons of flour.
  • Add the dried fruits to the dough and knead for a minute to distribute the fruits evenly . Cover and set aside to double in a warm place . About 1 hour.
  • Punch down the dough and divide into 12 portions. Form each portion onto a ball . The balls may not be very smooth as the fruits tend to stretch the dough in uneven shapes.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • If making a pastry cross , mix the ingredients for the cross to a thick paste and place in a piping bag. Just before putting the buns in the oven pipe the crosses on the buns .
  • After placing the buns in the oven turn down the oven to 350°F (175°C) . Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the tops are lightly browned .
  • Remove from the oven and brush with butter immediately. Cool in pan for 10 minutes . Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely .
  • If making the icing crosses , mix the icing sugar with just enough water or milk to make a thick paste. Pipe the icing over the cooled buns.
  • Freeze or serve the same day.


Check the post for weight equivalences. The measurements used as based on 250 ml cup. Use your favorite combination of dried fruits - (Sour Cherry, Blue Berries, Golden Raisins, Cranberries, Apricots , Currants etc.).

Important: Values are only estimates. Actuals vary depending on ingredients and serving size.

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Few  notes  for bread  nerds :

The  flour is  used in  2:1   ratio of AP/Bread Flour to  WW by weight.     The   dough hydration is   around  70%.   Yeast  at  2%  and  salt at 1.75% by weight.


Loaded Whole Wheat Hot Cross Buns


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Hot Cross Buns

Or  try these Hot Cross  Bun Loaf

Hot Cross Bun Loaf

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