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hot cross bun cinnamon rolls in a white dish with cream cheese frosting

Hot Cross Bun Cinnamon Rolls

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5 from 3 reviews


Easy Vegan Hot Cross Bun Cinnamon Rolls, which are light, fluffy, perfectly spiced topped with cream cheese. Perfect for Easter! 


Units Scale

Ingredients for the rolls

  • 400g of all-purpose / plain flour
  • 7g (1 pack) of active dry yeast
  • 60g of caster sugar / granulated sugar
  • 60g of dairy-free butter (melted)
  • 180ml of dairy-free milk (warmed)
  • 60g of smooth apple sauce (room temperature)
  • Zest of 1 large orange (unwaxed)

Ingredients for the filling

  • 100g of dairy-free butter
  • 120g of light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 100g of sultanas / raisins

Ingredients for the cream cheese frosting

  • 80g of dairy-free butter, room temperature / softened
  • 150g of dairy-free cream cheese
  • 100g of icing sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract


Method (cinnamon rolls)

  1. Grease a square / rectangular casserole dish with dairy-free butter. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment or in a large bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, and sugar to combine. 
  3. In a small saucepan on the hob, add in the butter, melt. Add the melted butter, room temperature milk, apple sauce puree and orange zest. Mix the dough until a smooth, elastic ball forms, this will take approximately 8-10 minutes.
  4. Lightly grease a medium sized mixing bowl with some oil (I use sunflower), or butter, and place in the dough. Allow the dough to rest and prove in somewhere warm (approximately  90F or warmer) until about doubled in size. Proof the rolls until the dough springs back slowly when the side of a roll is dented with a finger, about 1-2 hours.
  5. During this time, mix together the filling. Add the room temperature butter, sugar and spices until a smooth paste. Add in a-little more butter if needed, you want it to be paste like and spreadable. 
  6. When the dough has doubled, turn it out on a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a 16” x 24” rectangle. The thinner the dough, the more swirls you’ll get.
  7. Spread the filling over the dough using an off set spatula, getting right into the edges, sprinkle over the sultans, evenly cover.
  8. Working from the long edge, roll the dough into a large log, pinching the ends together so it stays together and doesn’t fall apart. Using string, cut the dough, watch the video tutorial here for reference. This recipe makes approximately 9 rolls. Place the buns into the greased dish. Leave a tiny bit of space between the buns, but they will puff up when they bake!
  9. Place back somewhere warm to double in size.
  10. During this time, preheat oven to 190°C fan.
  11. Bake the rolls in the middle of the oven for approximately 20-25 minutes, until they’ve puffed up and are golden in colour. Keep an eye on them after 20 minutes to make sure the tops don’t burn. 
  12. Carefully remove the rolls from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes. During this time, prepare the cream cheese frosting.

Method (cream cheese frosting)

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the butter and cream cheese until pale and fluffy. Add in the icing sugar and vanilla. Whisk to combine. If the filling is too firm and not spreadable, add in a splash of dairy-free milk until it’s easily spreadable.
  2. Once the buns are just warm, spoon / spread the frosting on top of each roll.
  3. Allow the buns and frosting to set, then transfer left over frosting into a piping bag, snip off the tip and pipe a cross design on top.
  4. Serve and enjoy!


To store: Store the buns in an air-tight sealed container to keep fresh. Cinnamon rolls need to be kept away from air, as they will dry out. If this happens, very gently warm them to make them soft again. Best enjoyed day of making, or within 2 days!

  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
  • Category: cinnamon rolls
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: British