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Fruity Coconut Hot Cross Buns


250g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

250g Shipton Mill White Spelt flour

75g caser sugar

2 tsp ground mixed spice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 limes, finely grated zest only

1 lemon, finely grated zest only

10 g salt

10g fast action dried yeast

40g butter

300ml coconut milk of choice

1 free range egg, beaten

250g dried fruit of choice, I combined dried cranberries, cherries and sultanas

oil, for greasing

For topping

75g plain flour

2 tbsp golden syrup, for glazing


1. Put the flour, sugar, spices and lime and lemon zest into a large bowl and mix together. Then add the salt and yeast, placing them on opposite sides of the bowl.

2. Melt the butter in a pan and warm the coconut milk in a separate pan. Add the butter and half the tepid coconut milk to the dry ingredients. Add the egg and use your hands to bring the mixture together, incorporating the flour from the edges of the bowl as you go. Gradually add the remaining coconut milk, to form a soft pliable dough. You may not need all of the coconut milk.

3. Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead by hand incorporating the dried fruit into the dough. Lightly knead for 10 minutes until silky and elastic and forming a smooth ball. Of course, the kneading can also be done in a food mixer with a dough hook.

4. Place the dough into a large oiled bowl, cover with a damp clean tea towel and leave to rest for 1 to 3 hours or until doubled in size.

5. Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and divide into 12 balls. Line 1-2 baking trays with paper and place the balls on the tray, placing them fairly close together and flattening them slightly.

6. Slip each baking tray into a large clean polythene bag, making sure the bag doesn’t touch the buns. Leave for 40-60 minutes until the buns have doubled in size.

7. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7.

8. For the topping, add the flour to a bowl with 100ml/3½fl oz water. Mix together to make a paste and spoon into an icing bag.

9. When the buns have risen remove the polythene bags and pipe a cross on each bun. Bake for 15-20 minutes until pale golden-brown, turning the baking trays round halfway through if necessary. Or bake on floor of 2 oven Aga roasting oven, using cold plain shelf on second set of runners if browning too soon.

10. Melt the golden syrup in a pan and while the buns are still warm, brush them with a little syrup to give a nice shine, before setting aside to cool on a wire rack.

The buns freeze well after baking.