I love making these traditional sweet bread buns with my kids around this time of year. Spring is already a great time of year but these make for something extra special to look forward to! These hot cross buns aren’t exactly traditional, I’ve added some unconventional ingredients to give them a tropical flare. I used coconut sugar and coconut milk to bring in some tropical flavours. I also added lime zest and candied pineapple for even more great flavour. I prefer to use fresh yeast when I make yeasted dough – I find it rises faster and I like the taste much better.
My recipe made for amazing hot cross buns – the best I’ve ever made! The dough is incredibly hydrated and soft, they rise up beautifully, they get perfectly golden tops and they taste delicious!
I hope you’ll try these with your family this Easter!
- ¾ cup coconut milk (35C/95F)
- 8 tsp fresh yeast (if using active dry yeast, use about half as much)
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp lime zest
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup butter, softened and cut into cubes
- ¼ cup sweetened flaked coconut
- ½ cup candied pineapple, chopped to the size of a raisin
- 2 Tbsp Apricot jam
- 4 Tbsp water
- 10 Tbsp icing sugar (as needed to get a thick icing that you are able to pipe)
- 1 Tbsp Lime juice, freshly squeezed
- Dough: Place all ingredients for the dough in the bowl of your stand mixer, except butter, coconut and candied pineapple (flour first and salt last – you don’t want the salt to kill the yeast) fitted with the dough hook attachment.
- Mix for 1 minute on 1st speed, then 4 minutes on second speed.
- Add softened butter slowly (one cube at a time and wait until each is incorporated before adding the next) and continue mixing for 4 minutes on medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Towards the end when dough is smooth, add the coconut and candied pineapple and mix on low speed until evenly incorporated. Cover the mixer bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 60-75 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces and shape each piece into a smooth ball (about 2 inches large). Place the rolled dough balls into a greased 9x13 inch oven safe casserole dish, leaving some space between them. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the buns rise for another 45 minutes.
- Uncover the buns and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a rich brown on top.
- Remove buns from the oven and prepare the glaze.
- For the glaze, bring the apricot jam and water up to a simmer, stirring until the glaze is thin enough to paint on the buns. Brush this syrup over the hot buns until you see each bun is covered with a good layer of glaze. Let the buns cool completely in the baking pan.
- For the icing, stir the icing sugar and lime juice together until a thick consistency suitable for piping (add more icing sugar to make thicker, if needed). Pour this into a small piping bag or a re-sealable plastic bag with the corner snipped off and pipe crosses on top of each bun. Let the icing set and serve.
- Keep any leftover buns wrapped (they will keep fresh for about 24 hours).