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Lightened-Up Hot Cross Buns


Hot Cross Buns!
Hot Cross Buns!
One a penny, two a penny…

Yeah I totally remember singing that in elementary school, but had absolutely NO idea what they were talking about.  Now I do and thank goodness for it!

Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, with the icing representing a cross, and are an infamous Easter recipe.  Only problem is, a typical bun is filled with LOTS of butter and can be around 270 calories!!  YIKES!  Luckily for you, this hot cross bun recipe uses whole-grain pastry flour, orange juice and fresh citrus peel as a substitution for sugar and just a touch of butter so that you still have that flaky goodness, without all the unnecessary calories.

Trust me, this recipe is as good as it gets!!


Oh and fun fact!

Did you know that sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year??  Yeah I didn’t know that either, but thank gawd this recipe makes 24 of them!

Guess I should go ahead and double this recipe ?


Making these rolls may have a bunch of steps involved, but I assure you they are totally worth it to achieve the end result.  If you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour, all purpose flour will work just fine and feel free to throw in extra raisins if you don’t have any currants on hand.

Soaking the fruits in orange juice first is really essential.  It plumps the fruits up before baking and enhances their flavor!  Also if you don’t have time to make the dough, let it rise, divide it into 24 rolls, allow those to rise….just do what I did!  Throw the covered unbaked rolls into your fridge overnight and pop em in the oven first thing in the morning!

Easy peasy!

Is this not the perfect recipe for Easter this weekend??  It’s kind of a sentimental holiday for me, 3 years ago my brother left for boot camp for the Marine Corps ON Easter Sunday so it’s always a blessing every year he comes home to visit.  He’s actually coming home tomorrow so I couldn’t be more excited!!
Lightened-Up Hot Cross Buns   Print Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Serves: 24 buns Ingredients

  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup dried currants
  • ¼ cup warm orange juice
  • 4¼ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup whole-grain pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. grated orange zest
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. grated whole nutmeg
  • 1 package quick-rise yeast
  • 1 cup warm fat-free milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup unsalted light butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 large egg white
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fat-free milk
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice


  1. To prepare rolls, combine raisins, currants and orange juice in a small bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Drain fruit in a colander over a bowl, reserving fruit and juice. Meanwhile, sprinkle yeast over ¼ cup of warm water and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Lightly spoon 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and your 1 cup of pastry flour into dry measuring cups. Combine flours, salt, lemon and orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer with the dough hook attached; mix until combined. Combine reserved orange juice, milk, honey, butter and eggs in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. With mixer on, slowly add in milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix at medium-low speed for about 7 minutes. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and add reserved fruit.
  3. Knead dough for about 2 minutes until smooth and elastic; add enough of the remaining 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent sticking. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch dough down, cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 24 equal portions; roll each portion into a ball and place rolls in muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until almost doubled in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine 1 tablespoon water and egg white and stir with a whisk. Gently brush rolls with egg white mixture. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown, rotating pans once during baking. Remove from pans and cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack.
  5. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk and 1 tsp. lemon juice, stirring well with a whisk. Microwave on high 20 seconds or until warm. Spoon glaze into a sealed zip-lock baggy and snip a tiny hole in one corner of the bag. Pipe a cross on top of each warm roll. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information Serving Size: 1 bun • Calories: 179 • Fat: 2.8 g • Carbs: 34.8 g • Fiber: 1.6 g • Protein: 4.5 g • WW Points+: 5 pts 3.5.3208

Posted by: Dr.Health

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