The best low carb hot cross buns (contains gluten)

The best low carb hot cross buns (contains gluten)

This low carb hot cross bun recipe is a total game changer in the world of low carb baking.  With only 4g carbs per roll, these are most similar to the standard hot cross bun recipe you will find.

A real twist on the white bread roll success from The Low Carb Baking Bible. They will make your home smell like the bakery aisles at Easter but  contain up to 87% fewer carbs than most standard hot cross buns. Brilliant for freezing and making in advance. Best served toasted with some butter and a small pinch of flakey sea salt (in my option, of course!)

If you live with diabetes – or with someone who has it, you will know just how tricky many (most) of the celebrations can be throughout the year. So many are food focused with the main ingredient being sugar.

Living with diabetes means having to live by a number, from the number of carbs in what we are eating, to the number on our blood sugar meter. Carb counting whilst consuming lots of carbs, which usually come in a sticky, sugary form, or wrapped up in tin foil as a beautiful egg, can become a logistical nightmare leading to rollercoaster blood sugars that are both mentally and physically exhausting.

For me, by reducing my carb intake a little I am able to achieve more balanced blood sugars as I take less insulin, have less spikey highs and very infrequent lows. Certainly not the plummeting, plunging ones that leave me with my head in the cupboards grabbing at anything I can find. But I still enjoy all the delightful treats, including these buns, I just mindfully source ingredients that work better with my blood sugars.

So, this recipe uses ingredients that perhaps you aren’t very familiar with. But in order to achieve this perfect low carb bake, you will need. Many of these ingredients appear also in my Low Carb Baking Bible ebook, so stocking up is never a bad thing. I tend to shop around for them and am very fortunate in that my local health food store sells a lot of the ingredients I need. But, if not, you will certainly be able to find the ingredients online.

These rolls contain gluten and yeast. I never knew it would be possible to make recipes containing gluten or that they could still be low carb. It is a total gamechanger for taste and texture, but I totally appreciate not helpful if you are coeliac. If you can tolerate gluten and want to give these a go then please do.

These are adored by my children, neither of who are diabetic. But eating lower carb is a lifestyle I lead at home and the recipes my children get to try and give me their brutal honesty on too. Diabetes is relentless and can feel very lonely especially when it comes to food choices. But if I can make just one persons life this Easter a little more enjoyable when it comes to food then my job is done!

Warm water

It is important that when the instruction / ingredient states warm water, that this be around 38°c. You do not want the water to be too hot or cold, it should feel like a child’s bath water.


The sugar will be converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide in the fermentation process so that the carbs will be cancelled out. I recommend just using a white
/ brown or coconut sugar.

Quick rise yeast / easy bake yeast

It is important that despite using a quick rise yeast that you still follow the method of proofing your bread.

If the yeast, sugar and water mixture doesn’t foam after around 30 minutes then before adding in any of the expensive ingredients please just throw it away, check your yeast (it does go out of date, and does require noting when opened and storing correctly) and try again.

Oat fibre

As you know standard oats are not low in carbs, but we aren’t using oats in this recipe, we are using oat fibre. Please do not confuse this with oat flour! Oat fibre is a pure insoluble fibre and super low in carbs. It is made from the fibrous husk of the oat. It adds bulk to the bread, helps with digestion and is keto and low carb friendly.

There are other fibres out there as alternative options. I really urge that when you buy your oat fibre you source a soft and fluffy white fibre such as this one or if you are a little more patient and not expecting Amazon prime, this one is much much better value There are other oat fibres that are milled differently and can cause more of a gelatine like consistency- which is not what you want when creating bread.

Vital wheat gluten

The main ingredient. High in protein, low in carbs. It replaces the natural gluten in a grain based flour so you get that bread structure and delicious chewy texture. It looks like a very finely milled flour, which has been stripped of the starch so that only the glues remains. It is a key ingredient and one that is becoming more mainstream and rising in popularity. The cheapest brand I have used and recommend is by Suma (£2.99 per 500g) which I buy in my local health food store.


If you are coeliac, you will of course be missing out the recipes that include any gluten based ingredients. However, I as with the majority of the recipes on my site and in my books they are gluten free. I also have this gluten free low carb hot cross bun recipe, here. 

Golden or brown milled flaxseed / linseed (same thing!)

My favourite ingredient! Cheap(er), especially when bought in bulk. If you can mill / grind it yourself, even better for cost saving. If not, buy it ground.

Failure to rise

This could happen and there could be a few causes so please be aware.

First, make sure your yeast works- as mentioned above.

If the yeast is good, then the main culprit is insufficient gluten development. If you have a stand mix , then use it with the dough hook. You need to knead on level 2 for about 7 minutes. If by hand you will need to knead for up to 10-12 minutes.

Another suggestion would be that your flax / linseed is not ground enough. Make sure you buy a “ground” linseed and that it’s more flour than meal (I hope you can understand what I mean!)

My final suggestion would be that you dont have a warm enough area for your dough to prove. It is very important for each gluten based bake that you have a warm environment for the dough and that you give it the time suggested to do its job- rise!

Hot cross buns
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A delicious hot cross bun recipe containing yeast and gluten. These are springy, fragrant, sweet and the most similar to the standard hot cross bun recipe you will find.
Recipe type: Baked-goods recipes
Serves: 9
  • 240ml warm milk or water (your choice)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2tsp active / dry yeast (the "quick yeast" / "easy bake" are all great)
  • 120g golden ground linseed (also known as flaxseed)
  • 120g vital wheat gluten (VERY IMPORTANT) sold in most health food stores or on Amazon – I regularly use this one – you can buy in 1kg bags too here
  • 40g oat fibre – this is the one I use, you want the white fluffy version as this is better for baking - here
  • 30g butter, melted
  • 20g Greek / plain yoghurt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 4 tbsp powdered sweetener
  • 2 tsp fresh orange zest
  • If you want to add any freeze dried berries (blueberries - which are fab) you can / same with dried fruit- but I tend to avoid this as very high in carbs. Alternatively if you just want a little sweetness you could chop some dates up finely (maybe 2 or 3 and spread that into the dough. Your call!
  • For the glaze:
  • 20g butter unsalted
  • 1 tbsp honey OR liquid sweetener of choice. Honey works well and doesn’t increase carbs by much.
  • For the cross:
  • 50g plain flour
  • water
  • OR
  • Sukrin icing sugar+ water
  1. First off you need to proof the yeast.
  2. Grab a glass / porcelain bowl and add your yeast, sugar and warm water or warm milk. Mix together, loosely cover with cling film or a tea towel and leave. It will need to be left for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Once there is a thickened foam on top you can take it out and carry on with the next stage.
  4. If after 1 hour no foam has formed throw it away and try again. Check your yeast to make sure it is in date.
  5. In to a stand mixer bowl, or into a large mixing bowl if you are doing this by hand, add the golden milled linseed, vital wheat gluten, oat fibre, butter (melted), Greek yoghurt, beaten large egg, sea salt and yeast mixture.
  6. Use a spatula to combine all the ingredients together and give them a good mix.
  7. Add in the orange zest, sweetener, mixed spice and ground cinnamon.
  8. Now if you have a stand mix you will turn it on to knead function (level 2 on a KitchenAid). Leave it to knead for approximately 7 minutes (time it!).
  9. If you are doing this by hand you will need to knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until you have a soft, springy ball.
  10. If you are adding dried fruit / freeze dried berries / dark chocolate or nuts then fold into the dough and knead until combined.
  11. Divide into 9 equal balls (weigh the dough and divide by 9) and place into a greaseproof paper lined baking dish. I use a 9" square cake pan. Place in a warm environment, loosely cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for 1.5-2 hours.
  12. Once doubled in size and sitting snug next to each other you can preheat your oven to 180°C / 350°F and pop them in your oven to bake for about 20-25 minutes until risen, golden and cooked with firm tops. Remove from oven and add the cross using a piping bag. Place back in the oven for 5 more minutes until the cross has cooked and is firm.
  13. To make the cross: Add the flour to a bowl with a little water until a paste forms. I use approximately 20ml water. Transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle (you can mimic this by using a sandwich bag and snipping the end off, or a child’s food pouch- the reusable ones with the sucking nozzle are great), then pipe in a continuous line along the centre of each row of buns, repeat in the opposite direction to make crosses.
  14. Alternatively you can wait until after they have cooled and use some sweetener icing sugar and make a cross. I will leave that to you.
  15. While your buns are baking, make your glaze. Do this by melting butter carefully and slowly in a pan. Add the liquid sweetener or honey and combine together.
  16. Once your buns are cooked allow to cool on a wire rack. As they are out of the oven you can glaze them at any stage. Just grab a pastry brush / child’s clean painting brush and brush mixture over buns until glossy.
  17. Once fully cooled they can be stored in a bread bin or container at room temp for up to 5 days. Alternatively you can freeze them (without glaze) in a container and consume within 4 weeks.
  18. Enjoy as you would any gluten based bread.
Nutritional information is for the bun. If you add a wheat flour cross too this will add 3g carbs per bun. If you add an erythritol / sweetener cross, this will add 0 carbs.
Nutrition Information
Carbohydrates: 4



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