Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Tropical Vegan Hot Cross Buns

It has been a long standing tradition in my family that we all congregate together on Good Friday at a trout farm in the midst of the Kent countryside. For most such an event would probably not signal the beginning of their Easter celebrations but for us it has become a much anticipated annual event! Part of this reason is due to the hot cross bun baking competition that accompanies the trip.

You see for as long as I can remember my extended family have all headed to the said local trout farm on the morning of Good Friday to collect fresh fish for our lunch. We go equipped with flasks of freshly brewed coffee and a batch of homemade hot cross buns and whilst waiting for our trout to be fished out of the collecting ponds we gather around a picnic bench by one of the fishing lakes surrounded by daffodils and the odd greedy goose and tuck into our ‘Easter Elevenses’. I can’t recall the exact year but on one past Good Friday rather than feasting on just one batch of hot cross buns a couple of members of the family brought along their home made goodies and the rest of us made comments on which we preferred….and before we knew it we were all getting up early before our fish farm visit to bake up a batch of the best possible hot cross buns we could muster in the hope that the rest of the family would deem ours to be their favourite. My family if nothing else are a competitive bunch and our hot cross bun baking competition has become a toughly fought event ever since.

This year I thought I had better make a hot cross bun that would fit in with the theme of my blog so went for a vegan option that replaces the normal milk and eggs used with coconut milk. And seeing as the coconut brings a bit of a Caribbean vibe to these traditional buns I decided to go the full hog and added dried papaya and pineapple for a truly tropical twist….fingers crossed the rest of my family like these on Friday!


350g plain flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon mixed spice
7g sachet dried instant yeast
45g caster sugar
50g dried pineapple core
50g dried papaya chunks
50g sultanas
Zest from 1 lime
70g margarine
175ml coconut milk


50g plain flour
45 ml coconut milk


2 tablespoons golden syrup

Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C

Put all of dry ingredients into a large bowl.

Put the coconut milk and margarine into a small saucepan and gently heat until the margarine begins to melt. Then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly so that you have a lukewarm mixture.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the coconut milk mix.

Bring the wet and dry ingredients together with your hands until a large ball of dough is formed. Tip the dough mixture out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, return to the bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for about 1 hour until doubled in size.

Once the dough has risen divide into 10 equal portions and shape each into a round ball. Evenly space the balls on a large baking tray and score the tops with a knife to make a cross. Then allow to rise again, this time for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime mix the 50g of flour and 45ml of coconut milk together in a small bowl until you have a smooth paste. Transfer the paste to a piping bag (you can make one of these out of a square of greaseproof paper, or alternatively just use a plastic sandwich bag with the corner snipped off).

Once risen pipe a cross onto the buns, along the crosses previously scored into them. Then bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Place the golden syrup in a small bowl and heat in the microwave for a couple of seconds until nicely runny. As soon as the hot cross buns are removed from the oven use a pastry brush to glaze the hot cross buns with the syrup.

Allow to cool just slightly then tuck in….add a knob of butter/vegan margarine to a warm slice of hot cross bun for an extra indulgent addition to these seasonal treats.

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