These Keto Hot Cross Buns are super fluffy, easy to make, and loaded with delicious spices and flavor. Each grain-free sweet bun is marked with a traditional sugar-free cross. Made with almond flour and coconut flour, they are the perfect paleo yeast rolls to enjoy for breakfast or as an afternoon treat.
Easter is just around the corner, and I decided to test my baking skills and remake an old traditional Easter Recipe: Hot Cross Buns.
I must say, I am incredibly proud of this recipe! It required some effort, but it’s truly impressive how similar these keto hot cross buns are to the real thing – although they are more dense due to the lack of gluten.
What are Hot Cross Buns?
Hot Cross Buns date since the 12th century, and they are yeasted buns loaded with spices and dried fruits. They are decorated with a white cross and traditionally served for Easter or Good Friday. These hot cross buns taste like a cross between a dinner roll and a cinnamon roll with a creamy frosting.
We’ve been making these perfectly spiced with vanilla extract, orange zest, and cinnamon hot cross buns for years!
Are Hot Cross Buns Keto?
No, traditional hot cross buns are not keto-friendly due to the high carb content that comes from ingredients like wheat flour and sugar.
However, keto hot cross buns are a great alternative for those following a low-carb or ketogenic diet who want to enjoy the Easter tradition without breaking their diet.
Ingredients in Keto Hot Cross Buns
Keto hot cross buns need low carb baking ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour, sweetener, whey protein isolate, eggs, butter, and a few spices. The texture of these low-carb sweet buns is slightly dense but not heavy, yet fluffy and chewy.
I’ll show you how to make deliciously spiced keto hot cross buns that are loaded with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. I love to add a little orange zest to the dough and a few drops of orange extract into the icing for some extra flavor.
Here are all the ingredients you’ll need:
- Almond flour – use superfine, blanched almond flour for the fluffiest texture.
- Coconut flour – using coconut flour makes these buns lighter an
- Whey protein isolate – choose an unsweetened protein powder or replace with egg white protein powder.
- Psyllium husk powder – I love using NOW brand as it won’t make your buns purple.
- Sweetener – use your favorite sweeteners such as monk fruit, allulose, or xyliol.
- Baking powder – helps the buns rise.
- Salt – enhances all the flavors.
- Spices – I used cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
- Eggs – use room temperature large eggs to reduce the eggy taste. They help to bind the dough and provide structure.
- Yeast – helps the buns rise and become fluffy
- Inulin – to feed the yeast
- Orange extract
- Dried fruits – Use unsweetened dried fruits to keep the recipe low in carbs.
Classic cross buns recipe uses raisins, currants, or nuts, but to keep this recipe low carb, we’ll use some toasted pecans for some extra crunch. If you’re not extra worried about carbs, use any of your favorite dried fruits.
They’re SO delicious.
How to Make Keto Hot Cross Buns
Here are the basic steps to make incredibly soft keto easter rolls:
Proof the yeast
Proof the yeast by combing it with warm water and inulin or maple syrup. You can use coconut sugar, honey, or maple syrup to feed the yeast in paleo baking and make the dough rise. Cover the bowl and store it in a warm place until it doubles in size and looks frothy. If it doesn’t fluff up, consider using fresh yeast and start again.
Make the Low Carb Cross Buns Dough
Start by combining the keto flour, proofed yeast, spices, and wet ingredients. The dough should be sticky. You will need to oil your hands to shape the dough into 6 or 8 keto hot cross buns.
Cover the ketogenic dough and let it rise for 2-3 hours or until the low carb easter buns double in size.
Bake the Buns
Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the buns have a deep brown color.
Make the icing and pipe the crosses on top.
Tips for Making The Best Keto Hot Cross Buns
- Use a piping bag for the crosses: To get clean, precise crosses on top of your buns, use a piping bag or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off to apply the icing.
- Make sure your yeast is fresh: Check the expiration date on your yeast and make sure it’s fresh before using it.
- Don’t skip the inulin: Inulin is a prebiotic fiber that feeds the yeast and helps the buns rise. Skipping it can result in a denser texture.
- Use room temperature ingredients: Make sure your eggs and any other ingredients that need to be at room temperature are left out for at least an hour before starting the recipe.
How To Serve and Store
These keto low carb hot cross buns taste great warm as they are, but I prefer mine toasted with butter on top.
Keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days. Serve at room temperature or lightly warm.
Looking for More Sweet Keto Bread Recipes? Try These:
- Keto Blueberry Bread
- Keto Pound Cake
- Keto Marble Cake • Chocolate Vanilla Marble Pound Cake
- Keto Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- Easy Keto Low Carb Zucchini Bread
Keto Hot Cross Buns
For the gluten-free & keto hot cross buns
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast or 30g fresh yeast
- 1 tbsp inulin sugar, maple syrup, honey (**to feed the yeast! It won't affect the carb count)
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1/4 cup sour cream or coconut cream room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 5 tbsp whey protein isolate
- 3 tbsp psyllium husk finely ground, powdered
- 1/3 cup sweetener or monk fruit sweetener
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg freshly ground
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tbsp orange zest
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
For the Icing For the Crosses
- 1/2 cup powdered sweetener
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch kosher salt
- 3-4 drops orange extract optional
- 1-3 tsp water as needed
- In a bowl mix yeast, inulin (or sugar to feed the yeast), warm water, and sour cream. The mixture should be slightly warm. Cover and allow to rest for about 10 minutes or until it looks bubbly. Remember that if the mixture is too cold, it won’t activate the yeast, and too hot kills it.
- Meanwhile, whisk together all the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Combine almond flour, coconut flour, psyllium husk, whey protein powder, salt, sweetener, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
- In a large bowl, add in the eggs, vinegar, and orange zest. Pour in the proofed yeast mixture. Use an electric mixer to mix for about 2 minutes until fluffy.
- Using a wooden spoon, combine the low carb flours mixture and softened butter. The dough is super sticky.
- Lightly oil your hands and divide the dough into 8 round buns. You can also make only 6 larger ones. Place them on a baking sheet, cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise for about 2-3 hours or until they double in size.
- Brush them with egg wash and avoid the edges.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the hot cross buns have a deep brown color. To prevent over-browning the buns, cover with foil halfway through baking time.
- Once cooked, allow them to cool down completely.
- Make the icing by whisking together all the icing ingredients until you get a thick paste. Pipe it in a cross shape over each low carb bun.
How do we calculate the nutrition info?
These nutrition facts listed are determined using nutrition information from the USDA Food Database. Our nutrition facts are accurate, but if you are using different products, please make your calculations. Net carb count is calculated by subtracting both fiber and sugar alcohols because they don’t raise blood sugar.
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