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Wholemeal Apple Hot Cross Buns on a wire rack - aerial view.
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4.84 from 18 votes

Wholemeal Apple Hot Cross Buns

A Wholemeal Apple Hot Cross Bun without mixed peel but with apple, currants and mixed spice for a really delicioius alternative to a traditional version!
Course Snack
Cuisine British
Keyword Easter, Wholemeal, Yeast
Prep Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 12
Author Camilla Hawkins


  • 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
  • Crosses:
  • 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.