These low carb and keto-friendly hot cross buns are a delicious treat to make for Easter brunch. The buns are spiced, lightly sweetened, and finished with icing. These buns are also gluten-free, yeast-free and easy to make.
With Easter just a few days away, I have been seeing pictures of hot cross buns everywhere. So I wanted to make a keto version.
Most of the keto hot cross bun recipes I came across needed quite a few ingredients and many of them required yeast. I didn’t want to make complicated ones since this will be a very simple Easter celebration this year.
My buns use a variation of the popular fathead dough, which is a low carb dough made mainly of cheese, eggs and a flour substitute. If you are interested in serving savory buns this Easter, please check out my keto bread rolls.
The buns will not rise as high as traditional buns. But they have a soft and fluffy texture to them. I really enjoyed the texture and the spices.
You’ll often find mix-ins added to hot cross buns like dried fruit, nuts or chocolate chips. To keep them keto, I did not add any dried fruit. However, you can add nuts or sugar-free chocolate chips.
- The recipe needs a combination of almond flour and coconut flour to achieve the right texture. Just almond flour will be too dense.
- Make sure to use aluminum-free baking powder. Because this recipe needs more baking powder than normal, you need to choose aluminum-free to avoid any metallic flavor in your buns.
- If you don’t have ground cloves, you can also add allspice.
- The cheeses are melted together in the microwave. Be careful to heat the cheese at short intervals, otherwise the cheeses can quickly overcook. When the cheeses are mixed together they should resemble a dough.
- If you have a food processor, it is the easiest method for making this dough. You can also do it by hand if you don’t own a food processor.
- The dough will be very sticky and soft when done. It will resemble cookie batter rather than bread dough.
- The dough needs to be baked right away. If you want to make ahead and save for later, it is better to cook them first and reheat later.
While traditional hot cross buns usually have the cross baked into them, to make things easier, I did a simple icing finish, drawing crosses on the individual buns after they are done baking. The icing is made of just milk and powdered sweetener.
Keto Hot Cross Buns
- 1 1/2 cups part skim low moisture shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 oz full fat cream cheese
- 1 1/3 cups superfine almond flour
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp aluminum free double acting baking powder
- 2 tbsp granular erythritol or Lakanto monkfruit sweetener
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 3 large eggs, divided (one egg is reserved for egg wash)
- 1/2 tbsp milk or milk substitute
- 1/4 cup powdered erythritol
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, sweetener, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves Set aside.
- Add mozzarella and cream cheese to a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover the cream cheese with mozzarella (this will prevent the cream cheese from overheating and making a mess in your microwave). Melt in the microwave at 30 second intervals. After each 30 seconds, stir cheese until cheese is completely melted and uniform and resembles a dough in appearance (see photo for reference). This should only take around 1 minute total cooking time using cheeses straight from the fridge (less time if you have softened the cream cheese to room temperature). Do not try to microwave the full time at once because some of the cheese will overcook. You can also melt the cheeses over the stove in a double boiler.
- Allow cheese dough to cool slightly (only a few minutes) so that it is still warm to the touch but not too hot.
- Add cheese, 2 eggs (the third egg is for the egg wash finish at the end only), and almond flour mixture into a food processor with dough blade attachment. Pulse on high speed until the dough is uniform. The dough will be quite sticky, and look more like cookie dough batter. See photo in post for reference.
- Scoop out dough with a spatula and place onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and knead a few times with the dough inside the plastic wrap until you have a uniform dough ball. Lightly coat your hands with oil and divide dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each dough between your palms until it forms a smooth round ball. Place dough balls onto baking sheet, spaced 2 inches apart.
- Add the final egg to a small bowl and whisk. Generously brush the surface of rolls with egg wash.
- Bake buns for about 20-23 minutes in the middle rack of your oven, or until rolls are dark golden brown.
- While buns are cooking, make the icing. Add milk and sweetener to a small bowl and whisk until completely smooth. Add more milk if needed to thin out the icing until it reaches your desired consistency. Once the buns are cooled, pipe a cross on top of each bun.
- This recipe yields 8 buns. I made double the amount in the photos.
- Make sure to use aluminum-free baking powder. This recipe uses more baking powder than normal and you may have a metallic taste if you don't use aluminum free powder.
- The dough is easiest mixed in a food processor. You can also do it by hand if you don't have a food processor, but it will take more work.
- The buns are not very sweet on their own. Most of the sweetness comes from the icing. If you prefer sweeter buns, you can add chocolate chips or you can add about 1/2 tbsp to 1 tbsp more sweetener to the recipe. Adding more sweetener will make the buns spread out more.
- I have tested this recipe with both So Nourished erythritol sweetener granular* and Lakanto Monkfruit sweetener.*
- *This product link is an affiliate link. This means I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases (at no extra charge to you).
- The estimated nutrition information is calculated using erythritol. The estimated nutrition carbohydrates count excludes sugar alcohols. The net carbs excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.