Sticky Chai Hot Cross Buns (GF & DF)

March 29, 2022 3 min read

It isn’t Easter without hot cross buns. And now if you're GF, DF you can enjoy these too! 

Gluten-free, dairy-free and refined-sugar free! We used brown rice flour and coconut sugar to keep these buns low GI and as wholesome as possible. Hot Cross Buns are our next favourite thing about Easter! I love all kinds, but the choc-chip variety are my favourite.

The chai adds subtle warmth and spice, and when smeared with some wholesome butter or equivalent, it will be hard to stop at one! 


Hot Cross Buns:

  • 2 tsp. baker’s yeast
  • 1 tsp. coconut sugar
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ¼ cup psyllium husk
  • 1 tsp. xanthum gum
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 1 cup boiling hot chai tea (1 tbsp. Sweet Chai of Mine OR Roo ain't the bos of me and 250mL water)
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. allspice
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup sultanas


  • 4 tbsp. brown rice flour
  • 1 tbsp. tapioca flour
  • 1 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 2 ½ tbsp. water
  • 1 egg, to brush on tops


  • 2 tbsp. brewed chai tea
  • 2 tbsp. raw honey


  1. Boil a full kettle of water. Fill a medium-large bowl with boiling water and place it in the bottom of the oven and turn the oven light on. If you don’t have an oven light, simply turn your oven onto the lowest possible heat. This will create a warm environment for the buns to rise before baking them.
  2. Brew 1 ½ cups of chai tea by combining 1 heaped tbsp. of Chai of your choice to 275 (1 ½ cups) boiling water in a saucepan. Keep the saucepan on the stove on the lowest heat to keep hot. Strain and return to saucepan after 3 minutes.
  3. Mix the yeast, coconut sugar and cols water together in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Whisk the psyllium husk, xanthum gum, eggs and 1 cup of the hot chai tea together in a medium bowl and set aside to thicken. Note: The rest of the chai tea will be used in the glaze.
  5. Add the tapioca flour, brown rice flour, salt, coconut sugar, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, baking powder and soda to a large bowl and stir to combine.
  6. Add the yeast mix and egg mix (two smaller bowls) to the large bowl of dry ingredients and stir to combine. This will require a bit of arm strength as the mix will be very thick.
  7. Fold sultanas through the dough.
  8. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and with floured hands gently press it into a even rectangular shape that can be cut into even pieces.
  9. Cut it into eight even pieces and shape each into a ball. Place onto a flat baking tray lined with baking paper. Leave a little space between each bun (about 1cm). Place in the ‘just warm’ oven and leave them to rise until they’ve almost doubled in size.
  10. Meanwhile, make the cross mixture and glaze.
  11. For the crosses, simply mix all ingredients together and put into a piping bag of clip seal bag with a tiny bit of the corner cut off.
  12. For the glaze, add the chai and honey to a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool and thicken.
  13. Once the buns have risen, remove them from the oven with the bowl of water and heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius (180 degree fan forced).
  14. Pipe crosses onto the top and then gently brush the beaten egg onto the tops. Once the oven has completely heated, place the buns back in and allow to bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
  15. Remove the buns from the oven and immediately brush with the chai glaze. Serve hot with a smear of organic butter. Enjoy!

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