Easter Hot Cross Buns…In Cake Form!

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Cakes / Chocolate / Dessert / vegan

The incredibly creative and talented Hayley McKee from @stickyfingersbakery came up with a delicious twist on the Easter classic, hot cross buns.

I love cake, I love buns, so this was perfect!

The recipe has been adapted to be vegan friendly, and I decided against the meringue style buttercream. You can certainly make a vegan Italian Meringue Buttercream if you wish (and I highly recommend you do at some point). A go-to recipe by Geeky Cakes can be found via the link. The shortening in my recipe below is for added stability, but you can use all vegan butter if you prefer.

Hot Cross Bun Cake

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Recipe adapted from Sticky Fingers Bakery Hot Cross Bun Cake

Hot Cross Bun Cake


  • 125ml soy milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup sultanas
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup dried figs, diced
  • 8 cloves
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 nutmeg, grated
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g vegan butter or margarine
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp molasses
  • 90ml liquid from canned chickpeas, separated into 2 x 3 Tbsp liquid (for more Aquafaba goodness, head to this Facebook Group
  • 180g plain flour
  • 60g wholemeal flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 pinches sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius (fan forced).
  2. Lightly spray 1 x 20cm cake tin with oil, dust with flour and line the base with baking paper.
  3. Combine the soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
  4. Combine the ground flaxseeds and water in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Combine the dried fruit in a bowl, cover with warm water and set aside.
  6. Split the cardamom pods, remove the seeds and place in spice grinder. Add the cinnamon, ginger, grated nutmeg and cloves. Grind the spices to a very fine powder.
  7. Place the spices, vanilla extract, vegan butter, sugar and molasses in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  8. Add the flaxseed mixture to the mixer and beat on low speed until combined.
  9. Add half (3 Tbsp) of the chickpea liquid to the mixer and beat on low speed, add the remaining chickpea liquid and beat until combined. At this point, the mixture may split – this is fine and will come back together with the addition of the flour.
  10. Sift the flours together with the baking powder into a bowl, return the flour husks to the bowl. Add the sea salt and stir together.
  11. Add both the soymilk/vinegar mixture and the flours to the wet ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until incorporated.
  12. Drain the dried fruits and add to the batter, fold together.
  13. Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin, smooth the top and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  14. Allow the cake to cool in the tin before turning out. Ensure cake is completely cold before frosting.

Orange Icing


  • 115g vegan butter or margarine
  • 55g vegan shortening
  • 270g icing sugar, sifted
  • zest of 3 oranges
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Cointreau (optional)


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and shortening until light and fluffy.
  2. Sift the icing sugar and add to the mixer, continue beating until light, fluffy and you can no longer feel the sugar crystals.
  3. Add the vanilla extract, zest and Cointreau if using. Beat to combine.

Candied Oranges


  • 1 orange sliced into 3-4mm slices
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 250ml water


  1. Place the sugar and water into a large frying pan, and bring to a gentle boil.
  2. Add the orange slices in a single layer and cook at a very gentle boil for 15 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to it’s lowest point, flip the orange slices over and cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove the slices and place on a cooling rack over a plate or parchment paper to drain. They will be very sticky – you have been warned.

candied oranges

Candied Oranges

Piped Hearts


  • 60g flour
  • 15g sugar
  • 30 – 45ml warm water


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees celsius (fan Forced)
  2. Mix all of the ingredients to a paste that is a consistency that can be piped.
  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  4. Fill a small zip lock bag with the mixture, snip off the tip and pipe desired shapes onto the baking paper.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool.


It just wouldn’t be Easter without some chocolate.

Additional Ingredients:

Vegan chocolate eggs or rabbits. I tempered couverture chocolate and used half mould shapes that could stand up against the cake.


  1. Once the cake is completely cooled, level the top and split in half.
  2. Frost the middle with half the icing mixture, and place the bottom half of the cake on top, with the bottom upwards (this ensures a flat top.
  3. Spread the remaining icing mixture on the top of the cake, and decorate with the piped shapes and candied oranges.
  4. Using a blob of icing, secure the chocolate decorations on the side of the cake.
    hot cross bun cake

    Hot Cross Bun Cake




    hot cross bun cake chocolate

    Hot Cross Bun Cake with Dark Chocolate



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