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Wholemeal spelt flour hot cross buns with cacao & dates.

Hot cross buns and Easter go hand in hand,

even if the supermarkets have ruined the suspense by putting them on the shelves on Boxing Day. The only problem is they are so chock full of butter & sugar so are not the healthiest option.

We found this great recipe from I Heart Scratch and needed to share. This is a great activity for the school holidays too.

This recipe makes 8 but you may need to do a double batch – they are addictive!



Dry Ingredients
  • 450g (approx 3 cups) wholemeal spelt flour, sifted
  • 7g dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 75g (1/2 cup) sultanas
  • 75g (1/2 cup) dried dates, finely chopped
Wet ingredients
  • 1 egg, beaten*
  • 1tbsp EVOO
  • 175 ml tepid water

*To make this recipe egg free too, use this as a substitute by creating a flaxseed egg. 1 tbs flaxseed meal combined with 3 tbs of warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes and use as you would an egg.


  • 30g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 tsp raw cacao powder
  • 35ml water


  1. Combine the flour, yeast, cacao, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt in large mixing bowl.
  1. Add the sultanas and dates and combine with a wooden spoon.
  1. In a small bowl, combine the egg, EVOO and tepid water.
  1. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.
  1. On a floured surface, need the dough for 5-10 minutes, until soft and elastic.
  1. Place back into the large mixing bowl, cover with glad wrap and a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 40 mins, or until doubled in size. 
  1. Knock back dough and cut into 8 equal portions, kneading each into a ball. 
  1. Place the dough balls in a loaf tin lined with baking paper, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise, in a warm place for another 40 minutes. 
  1. Meanwhile, preheat a fan forced oven to 220 degrees Celsius.

For the crosses, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Mix to form a paste before transferring to a piping bag.

Pipe crosses atop each bun, place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 220 degrees Celcius. Reduce the heat to 180  degrees Celsius and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Serve warm or cool on a wire rack before storing.

Serving Suggestions

  • Warm from the oven with butter.


  • Store in your fridge for several days, but place in the oven to warm.
  • Store in your freezer for up to two weeks.


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