Hot cross bun cake with coconut toffee sauce

Now this hot cross bun cake with coconut toffee sauce is dairy-free and dripping in gorgeous coconut-toffee sauce and infused with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, anise, figs & dates this is the ultimate dairy-free Easter Feaster for sharing.

NOTE: This dough needs at least 6 hours or overnight to rise/ proof perfectly.
We created this recipe for Nuttelex, it first appeared here

With Easter just around the corner, it’s time to indulge in one of the season’s most iconic treats: a hot cross bun cake! This soft, spiced bun cake is steeped in centuries-old traditions and symbolism. From their roots in Christian symbolism to their place as a beloved Easter treat, hot cross buns bring warmth and joy to any celebration. In this recipe, we’ll show you how to bake a Hot Cross Bun Cake, perfect for sharing with family and friends as you gather to celebrate Easter.

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Hot Cross Bun Cake

  • Author: Samantha Gowing
  • Total Time: 9 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This recipe was created for Nuttelex plant-based spread. Photos Nelly le comte.



For the bun dough

500 gm baker’s flour

1/2 tsp dried yeast

4 tbsp maple syrup

320 ml lukewarm water, enough to combine, more as required

Pinch salt

For the fruit mix

150 gm dried dates, pitted, chopped

100 gm dried figs, trimmed, chopped

1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda

3 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 piece star anise, finely grated

250ml boiling water

For the cake

1 tsp Nuttelex for greasing tin

100g Nuttelex, cold, chopped into cubes

1/4 cup soft brown sugar, firmly packed

Pinch salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

For the piping

30 gm plain flour

2 tsp caster sugar

For the coconut toffee sauce

1/2 can coconut cream

1/2 cup Nuttelex

3/4 cup, firmly packed brown sugar

1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp icing sugar, more as required


For the bun dough

1.     Combine all ingredients with 200ml water in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand in a cool, dark place to prove and double in size – at least 6 hours or overnight.


For the fruit mix

1.     Combine all ingredients in medium sized mixing bowl. Mix well and macerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.


For the cake

1.     Grease a 22cm ring cake tin with Nuttelex.

2.     Using an electric mixer with a dough hook, place the bun dough in the mixer bowl together with the fruit mix, then slowly add remaining cake ingredients, cold chopped Nuttelex, soft brown sugar, salt and lightly beaten eggs.

3.     In the stand mixer, knead for about 5 minutes or until the mixture has combined and starts to form into a ball. Alternately you can do steps 2 and 3 on a floured board by hand.

4.     Transfer to the prepared greased cake tin and press the cake dough around the tin.  Cover with a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour to rise slightly.

5.     Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 C.


For the piping

1.     Mix the piping ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.


To bake the bun cake

1.     Place bun cake in then preheated oven then carefully throw about ½ cup of water into the bottom of the oven to create steam. Close door and bake for 10 minutes.

2.     Remove bun cake from oven. Using a piping bag or funnel, pipe a ring around circumference of bun cake, then pipe stripes at regular intervals from the inside to the outside of the pan to create crosses.

3.     Reduce oven to 180°C and return bun cake to oven and bake for a further 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into bun cake comes out clean.

2.     Cool the bun cake tin for 30 minutes, then transfer, top-side up, to a serving plate.


For the coconut toffee sauce

1.     Combine the coconut cream, Nuttelex, sugar and maple syrup in a saucepan over low heat

2.     Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until sugar dissolves.

3.     Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.

4.     Simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat, fold in icing sugar, more if required. Allow to cool to set then drizzle some over the bun cake, and transfer to a serving bowl.  Slice cake and serve with extra coconut toffee sauce on the side.


  • Prep Time: 9 hours
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Easter
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: Modern Australian



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