Wholemeal Apple Hot Cross Buns are a healthier Easter teatime treat with added chunks of apple, currants and mixed spice! Readers come back and make these year on year they’re so good!
NB: I originally posted this recipe in April 2014 and last year took some more photos which I didn’t get round to adding. I’ve now added these and you’ll notice they don’t contain currants as I only had large raisins and cranberries so used those along with the apple.
I’ve kept a couple of original pictures in this post so you can see how they should look with currants!
I’m feeling a bit tired and dizzy today as I was up until 1 am last night! No I wasn’t out clubbing but was perfecting my recipe for Wholemeal Apple Hot Cross Buns.
I’m not much of a one for planning, indeed I’d intended to make a Hot Cross Bread & Butter Pudding this week. But suddenly I found myself deciding to make Hot Cross Buns which I had only ever made once at school.
I didn’t really have much of a relationship with bread making in my youth and it’s only in the last couple of years that it’s become a passion of mine. Therefore I felt it was high time that I made my own Hot Cross Buns! So armed with my old school recipe I started my bake.
Well the first hurdle was that I only had strong wholemeal flour and not white flour. “I know” I thought, “I’m sure I’ve seen Wholemeal Apple Hot Cross Buns for sale I’ll make those”!
A quick google told me that in a taste test some Apple & Cinnamon ones had only scored 4.5 out of 10 so I decided to stick with the traditional mixed spice.
I played about with the recipe I had chopping and changing things here and there but stuck to the one rising, which is where I tripped up. After baking, out came some small, slightly over cooked but delicious hot cross buns which were too close in texture and not like the light fluffy ones you buy in a bakery or supermarket.
Sometimes I might just give up on a recipe but I could see that there was huge potential here. I just needed to tweak a few things like adding a bit more yeast, giving the dough an extra rise, increasing the proving time and lowering the oven temperature.
So at 12.45 am last night (or should I say this morning) I was giving my husband a portion of buttered Hot Cross Bun and asking his opinion. He did protest that he didn’t want to eat just before going to sleep but I was insistent – “perfect” he said, after finally relenting to my request.
“Great, I’ve cracked it” I said and went to bed tired but happy!
So the moral of the story is, Hot Cross Buns don’t like to be rushed. I hope you give these Wholemeal Apple Hot Cross Buns a go this Easter as they are totally delicious and far healthier than their white cousins.
How long will Wholemeal Apple Hot Cross Buns keep for?
Hot Cross Buns are best eaten on the day of baking but can be stored for a couple of days and then toasted.
Can you freeze these homemade Hot Cross Buns?
Yes, just freeze on the day of baking in a reusable bag with as much air removed as possible.
What do you serve Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns with?
You can serve with just butter or butter an jam. I added my Rhubarb & Vanilla Jam to these but any jam would go well!
My biggest tip for making Hot Cross Buns!
Make sure you space the Hot Cross Bun dough on the baking tray 3 cm apart maximum so that as they rise, they touch. You want that broken away, pulled dough edge to them once they’ve baked.
They don’t want to look like individual buns which is the mistake I made when I re-shot as I had them too spaced apart!
More Hot Cross Bun Recipes
Once you’ve made my wholemeal buns you should check out these Hot Cross Buns from fellow bloggers!
- Apple & Carrot Healthy Hot Cross Buns (Vegan)
- Carrot & Ginger Hot Cross Buns
- Banana Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns
- Choc Cross Buns
- Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns
- Sourdough Hot Cross Buns
- Hot Cross Buns
More Easter Recipes
Easter is all about treats so be sure to head over to the following recipes!
- Mini Egg Chocolate Granola Bites
- Creme Egg Chocolate Brownies
- Creme Egg Chocolate Cake
- Mini Egg Chocolate Rice Crispy Cake
- Chocolate Filled Easter Egg (made with no fancy equipment)
- Hot Cross Bun Mug Cake
Happy Easter to you all!
Pin for later!
Wholemeal Apple Hot Cross Buns
- 75 mls Milk hand hot
- 75 mls Water hand hot
- 1 tsp Caster sugar
- 12 g Active yeast dried, not fast action
- 325 g Strong wholemeal flour
- 50 g Butter
- 1 tsp Mixed Spice
- ½ tsp Salt
- 25 g Caster sugar I keep a vanilla pod in mine or you could substitute a tsp for vanilla sugar
- 50 g Currants (or similar small dried fruit)
- 1 Apple chopped into small pieces (I used small Braeburn)
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 50 g Plain flour
- 5 tbsp water approx.
- Sugar Glaze:
- 2 tbsp Granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp Water
- Mix the warm milk and water with the tsp of sugar, sprinkle on the yeast and whisk thoroughly then set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients (a nice froth should build up).
- Put the flour in a large bowl and cut the butter into it and then rub into the flour to form fine crumbs.
- Mix in the mixed spice, salt, caster sugar, currants and apple thoroughly.
- Make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture and beaten egg and form a dough – I used my hand for this as you can gauge the consistency better – adding extra flour or milk if needed.
- Once you have cleaned the sides of your bowl with the dough, tip out onto a work surface and knead for 10 minutes.
- Then put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 1 – 1 ½ hours until doubled in size.
- Once risen turn out onto a lightly oiled work surface and knock back all the air and knead until back to its original size.
- Make 12 balls of dough (I weigh the dough and divide the figure by 12 so mine weighed 65g each). I also knead each ball into a neat bun shape.
- Place the dough balls onto a lightly greased baking tray 3cm apart, cover in lightly oiled cling film and put to rise for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile make up the cross mixture by mixing the flour and water together to make a smooth paste.
- Place paste in a piping bag with a small plain nozzle or make your own out of baking paper and snip off the corner when ready to use.
- Make the glaze by heating the sugar and water in a small pan until the sugar has dissolved.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200⁰C.
- When the buns have risen mark each one with a cross using the side of a metal scewer (so that you have a line to fill with the cross mixture).
- Pipe the flour paste crosses onto the buns working all the way in one direction across the buns and then in the other.
- Bake for 12 – 15 minutes (turning towards the end if necessary for an even bake).
- Once ready take out of the oven and using a pastry brush paint the glaze over each bun.
- Place the buns on a wire rack and either serve warm or cold with butter.