Orange Zest & Pear Hot Cross Buns (vegan)

Try our vegan hot cross buns, using pear, orange zest, cinnamon, mixed spice and raisins for all the traditional flavours with a twist.


  • No orange? Use the zest of two clementines or mandarins instead. 
  • No pear? Try with an apple instead.

Prep time: 150 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 165 minutes

Servings: 6


1 Orange (zested )

150 ml Plant based milk

30 g Vegan butter

1 tsp Vanilla extract

250 g Plain flour (plus extra for dusting)

5 g Fast action dried yeast

35 g Light brown sugar

a pinch of Fine salt

1 tsp Ground cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice

120 g Pears (cut into small cubes)

35 g Raisins

2 tbsp Plant based milk (for vegan egg wash)

For the cross:

30 g Plain flour

For the glaze:

1 tbsp Jam (any orange or apricot jam )


  1. Put the plant based milk in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat, then add the butter, orange zest and vanilla. Set aside and allow the butter to melt and the orange zest to infuse in the milk.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and spices. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to create a sticky dough, then tip out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface.
  3. Knead the dough by stretching it back and forth on the surface for 3-5 minutes or until smooth, springy and elastic. If the dough gets too sticky dust with a little flour but make sure not to add too much. Shape into a ball and put back into the now lightly oiled mixing bowl. Cover and leave in a warm spot to rise, for 45 minutes, or until doubled in size. 
  4. To create your own proofing oven: preheat the oven to 100C, then turn off the heat and place the bowl inside to use as a proofing oven. This is not essential to do, but it will allow proofing to go quicker. 
  5. Turn the dough back onto the surface and flatten into a round using your hands. Spread the chopped pear and raisins onto the dough and knead again until everything is well distributed. Form into a ball, return to the bowl, cover and leave to rise for another 45 minutes. Follow the same steps for the proofing oven method.
  6. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Turn the dough out onto your surface and gently punch out the air. Divide the dough into 6 even-sized pieces. Roll each one into a ball, making sure most of the pear and raisins are inside. Arrange the buns on the baking sheet, leaving a 2 cm space between each one. Cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise for 45 minutes. Follow the same steps for the proofing oven method.
  7. Get the buns out of the proofing oven and set aside on the counter. Now preheat the oven to 220C/200c fan/7 gas mark. Gently brush the buns with plant based milk. 
  8. To make the cross, in a small bowl, mix together the flour with 1 tbsp of water at a time to create a thick, pipeable paste. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe crosses on the buns. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until deep golden brown.
  9. Meanwhile, add the jam to a small bowl and mix with 1 tbsp of boiling water. Once the buns are cooked, brush the warm jam over the tops. Set aside to cool a little before eating. Enjoy! 
Oddbox image

How to store

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.