Pumpkin Spice HotCross Buns

Did anyone else pick the dried fruit out of their HotCross Buns as a kid? Well, here is a version of our favourite festive bun I would have done my siblings household chores for just to get it on my plate! This bun is packed with pumpkin, spices, & a hint of dark rum. AND instead of dried fruit, I slathered these gems with Stewed WildBlueberries. No calorie counting here – it’s tradition.

There’s just something about the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven that takes me back to my youth. My grandma made most of the bread in our family and we couldn’t wait to get our hands on it. Fluffy, tender, flavourful – just how we like it. We also place great importance on how our bread toasts as that’s pretty well the only way we eat it.

When making bread, we’ve learned not to shy away from using oil to help prevent the dough from drying out and forming that crust that bakes up somewhat awkwardly. If you have a ‘spritzer’ for your oil, they work perfectly for adding just a light coat. If you don’t have a spritzer, you can order one on Amazon for a reasonable price – they come in very handy. Spritzing the buns with a little water just prior to placing them into the oven will also help the buns rise as the dough begins to cook.

Pumpkin Spice HotCross Buns
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Resting Time
2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time
55 mins

Here is a version of our favourite festive bun I would have done my siblings household chores for just to get it on my plate! This bun is packed with pumpkin, spices, & a hint of dark rum. AND instead of dried fruit, I slathered these gems with Stewed WildBlueberries. 

Course: breakfast, snack, sweet treat
Cuisine: plant based
Keyword: pumpkin, spice, hot cross, buns
Servings: 12
Author: thecrimsonsink
Pumpkin Spice HotCross Buns
  • 6 cups white flour *more if needed & for dusting
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2&1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1&1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup demerara or brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup plant based butter, room temp.
  • 2 eggs Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer or equivalent
  • 1&1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, room temp.
  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin purée
  • 1 tbsp dark rum *optional
  • grapeseed oil
  • ground turmeric + cinnamon to sprinkle
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 3&1/3 tsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamon
Stewed Blueberries
  • 1&1/2 cups wild organic blueberries
  • 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • 1&1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 large fresh rosemary sprig *optional
Pumpkin Spice HotCross Buns
  1. *prepare the eggs as per package instructions.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, yeast, spices, and salt. Stir well and set aside.
  3. Add the milk, rum, sugar, and pumpkin to a standing mixer. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on med./low for about 2mins, then add the butter and egg. Mix for another minute – mixture will appear lumpy.
  4. Still on med./low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients (flour mixture) to the mixing bowl. Mix just until combine; don’t over mix. The mixture should feel sticky and somewhat loose, but not so much so that you can’t handle it with your hands. *Add more flour little-by-little if needed.

  5. Dust the counter with flour and dump the dough onto the counter. Knead for about 2-3mins. *Lightly dampen your hands for ease of handling the dough (less sticky). Form the dough into a small rounded ‘loaf’ shape.

  6. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough into the bowl. Spritz the top of the dough with oil. Cover with a damp towel or cloth and place in a warm spot for 1hr to rise. *The dough should double in size.
  7. Grease a 9x13inch baking dish.
  8. Once the dough has risen, gently punch the dough a couple times so it deflates. Weigh the dough and divide it into equal proportions (12x100g). For one dozen, I separated my dough into 100g portions.
  9. Gently form each portion into a small ball, tucking any edges underneath, and placing them into the greased baking dish – equally spaced apart. Spritz the top of the dough with a little oil, cover, and place in a warm spot to rise for another 1.5hrs.

  10. Preheat the oven to 375*F.
  11. Uncover the risen dough, spritz the top of the dough with a little water, sprinkle over a little cinnamon + turmeric, and place in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 20-25mins, or until the buns are lightly browning.

  12. Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool.
  13. Add the icing once cool. *See instructions below.

  14. We enjoy our hot cross buns warm out of the oven. Typically, we place a couple rows (still attached to one another) in a large paper bag, splash a little water into the bag, roll it closed, and place it into a 325*F oven for 15mins. Then remove and slather on some plant based butter onto the buns – it’s tradition. *Or, they’re delicious straight out of the toaster too!

  15. Wrap or store the hot cross buns in an airtight container. If refrigerated, best if eaten within 3-5 days; if frozen, good for a few weeks.
  1. For the icing, combine all ingredients into a standing mixer. Mix on med./high until smooth.
  2. Use a spatula to scrape the icing into a piping bag with a crescent shape, or alternative tip.
  3. Twist the open end of the piping bag and fold into your palm to hold it in place – helps keep the icing in check while in the bag.

  4. Pipe an icing line down each row of hot cross buns, and another line the opposite directions creating a crisscross pattern.
  5. Allow to completely dry (1-2hrs).

Stewed Blueberries
  1. Add all ingredients, but the arrowroot powder to a small pot. Place the pot over med./low heat, stirring as the blueberries come to a gentle simmer.
  2. Continue simmering for about 5mins, or until the blueberries have released much of their juices.
  3. Remove from heat and gently whisk in the arrowroot powder.
  4. Place back on med./low heat and simmer for another 2mins, stirring regularly.

  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Serve.

  6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Best if used within 3-5days.
Recipe Notes

~ If you would like a taller bun, use a smaller baking pan. That way, the dough balls should rise up rather than out. *Just keep in mind that the baking time may have to be adjusted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating