Low-carb hot cross buns are the holy grail at Easter, in fact, any time of year these little spicey buns are great to make.

But read on, because mine has a special ingredient that your kids will LOVE.

A pink plate with low-carb hot cross buns and a white frosting cross

Low-Carb Hot Cross Buns

Last week when I posted my Paleo Easter Eggs, someone asked if I had a recipe for a low-carb hot cross bun. I’ve managed to quickly adapt my focaccia recipe into a low-carb hot cross bun.

You can choose if you want to add raisins or chocolate chips, but these will add to the sugars and carbs.

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These low-carb hot cross buns are dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo. I don’t usually make low-carb versions of bread because I no longer enjoy the taste and texture of bread, but it’s all about choice.

Cooked low carb hot Cross buns sitting on a fluted pink plate and a yellow and white cloth

To get a better crumb for the hot cross bun, I would have preferred to use ground almonds (almond meal), but so many people are requesting a nut-free bread. For a more ‘cake-like texture (psyllium husks can make these a little on the stodgy side), I would go to my lemon coconut cake and substitute the lemon for another egg and the spices in the recipe below. All my recipes are pretty adaptable.

What’s the secret ingredient

It really depends on how close you want to get to the real hot cross bun taste and how low carb you want to go.

These healthy hot cross buns taste even better when warmed and served with lashings of butter (note: they would no longer be dairy free). I personally love them toasted, but considering we threw away our toaster 3 years ago, I have to pop them in the oven or dry fry them.

But what’s my secret ingredient? Cacao nibs to give the hot cross buns a bit of crunch and a little hidden chocolate hit inside. Genius!

mockup of beginner's guide to starting low-carb or keto

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If you want to see what’s in my pantry, take a look at the Top 20 Low-Carb Pantry Essentials.

If you are new here, These pages can help you start your low-carb diet or keto diet. Those pages will give you all the resources you need.

Cooked low carb hot Cross buns sitting on a fluted pink plate and a yellow and white cloth

Low Carb Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Low-carb hot cross buns are perfect any time of the year. To ensure they bake evenly, ensure they are not too big and not too thick.
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Cuisine: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain free, Keto, LCHF, Low Carb, No Sugars, Paleo, Wheat Free
Keyword: Low-carb hot cross buns
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 84kcal
Author: Thinlicious.com
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Low Carb Hot Cross Buns

  • 60 g coconut flour
  • 30 g psyllium husk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp granulated sweetener of choice or more, to your taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 eggs – medium
  • 250 ml boiling water
  • cacao nibs (optional – or raisins/chocolate chips)


  • powdered sweetener icing mix


Low Carb Hot Cross Buns

  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the eggs and mix.
  • Add the boiling water and mix until evenly combined.
  • Roll into 8 equal balls and place on a baking tray.
  • Bake in a fan assisted oven at 180C/350F for 20-30 minutes until golden on the outside and cooked in the centre.


  • Mark each hot cross bun with a cross using the powdered sweetener confectioners/icing mix and water paste.


Calories: 84kcalCarbohydrates: 8.9gProtein: 5.6gFat: 3.1gFiber: 6.8gSugar: 0.7g

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Recipe Rating


  1. Is there a substitute for psyllium husks

    1. Not in this recipe sorry as it is such a large part. Why not try my lemon coconut cake and remove the lemons and small amount of psyllium, but add these spices to turn it into a hot cross cupcake?

  2. Tracey Marcinko says:

    Thank you Libby, I was the one who asked for the Hot Cross Bun recipe. Just another question – where will I find the stevia icing mix?

  3. Does the dough need to sit for a while before making it into buns?

  4. Your recipes all look and sound great! I’d be trying every one of them–and I will once I kick these food intolerances. Just want you to know I read them all, even if I don’t comment.

  5. What is your recipe for the “Icing”. This looks great by the way, I’m excited to try it!

    1. In the ingredients panel it shows just stevia icing mix and a little bit of water to make a paste. If you don’t have stevia icing mix, you could melt some chocolate (in fact you could add some cocoa to the bun mix 🙂 ).

  6. Hi Libby, how much is 30g psyllium husks in tablespoons or teaspoons? My kitchen scale seems to be playing up… Thanks!

  7. Do you think these would freeze?

  8. Hiya, i’m just making these now… i’m up to 25 mins now, as cut one at 15, and 20 and was still soft in the middle… i’m not much of a baker but my oven normally cooks to recipe pretty well… do you suggest upping the temperature or just giving them more time…..
    ps…thanks for all your recipes… I love this way of eating 🙂

    1. I would do a bit of both. So maybe increase the temperature a bit and cook for a little longer. I will add a comment on the recipe with your suggestions. Thanks.

  9. You mentioned using ground almonds for a better crumb so I’m thinking of trying that. Would you just do a straight swap between the almonds and the coconut flour, and everything else remains the same?

    1. No you can’t so s straight swap of almonds for coconut flour as they have totally different properties. I would look at my lemon coconut cake and replace all the lemon flavours for the spices here. It would turn into more of a cake than a bread.

  10. Do you use psyllium husk powder or whole?

  11. Michelle Blom says:

    Just lookes at the recipe for the lemon cake as I would like to use almond meal for the hotcross buns. Do I just replace the amount for 100 gr almond meal and leave all the other ingredients out and just use the recipe as above? Am getting a bit confused…..

    100g / 3.5 oz ground almonds
    100g / 3.5 oz desiccated/shredded coconut
    2 tsp baking powder
    2 tbs granulated stevia (or sweetener of choice)
    1 tsp psyllium husk
    50g / 1.8 oz melted butter or coconut oil
    3 eggs
    zest and juice of 2 lemons

    1. I would use all the ingredients in the lemon cake, just swap the lemons for the spices above and add an extra egg to make up for the missing lemon juice.

  12. hi Libby how about replacing the icing made with stevia with a dark chocolate and butter ? you slowly melt together and mix only when all the chocolate is melted…

  13. Thank you so much for the recipe. I made them for the first time and they came out beautiful. Light, airy and delicious. So far all your recipes came out perfect and taste awesome. Thank you.

  14. This is my new obsession. The texture is incredible! I leave the sweetener on top out and also in the bread itself and it is still lovely. Next I want to leave the spices out and see if I can serve them as dinner rolls.

  15. So good! Didn’t bother with the icing. Mine didn’t need to cook as long. Maybe because I used convect bake? I made these a week or so ago and am making them again tomorrow morning. Yummy!!

  16. Hi we don’t get psyllium husk or cacao nibs in south Africa.is there a substitute?

    1. Of course we get psyllium husk in SA! All Dischems stock it. Where do you live?

    2. There’s defo psyllium husk in SA. I have heaps. And raw cacao nibs can be found at health shops but they’re pricey!

  17. Kate Matthews says:

    Hi Libby
    I have made so many of your recipes with great success but the hot cross buns were a disaster. Very dark, stodgy, didn’t swell up at all. I must be doing something wrong here! I use psyllium husk powder. Is this right? Goes dark purple when cooked. Should I just be using husks? Did I need less water? HELP! I want these to succeed as everyone else seems to be very successful. Thanks for all the other good recipes I use. Happy Easter!

    1. I have heard from a few readers that their psyllium husk does purple when baked, it is a reaction between the baking soda/powder and the husks. Some brands turn purple more than others, so try another brand next time. Mine have never gone purple, I would love to see that. As for them being dense, perhaps more water was needed to make them swell? A super easy recipe to try, is the cinnamon Chelsea buns/rolls using psyllium husk. I have made this numerous times and they work a treat.

      1. Hi Libby. Thank you for your advice. I will order some husks instead of powder and see what happens! I really want to master this if possible – and I will have a go at the Chelsea buns. The colour I could live with but the glutenous effect was just too much lol. They made better balls but the dog enjoyed some of them with no ill effects!

      2. Sorry me again Libby. I meant to ask what brand of psyllium husk you use before ordering something else. There seem to be so many different types. Many thanks. Kate

      3. What is the brand you use? Dave me wasting another bag as it’s not cheap.in England. All my baking has come out purple. It’s disgusting-looking!

        1. I am in NZ so y brands probably aren’t available for you. I just use the regular supermarket brand, nothing fancy. I even buy it from the bulk bins too.

  18. Andrea Rossetti says:

    Hello ,
    I love your recipes.
    Tried this today, but something went wrong as the dough was very soft I could not make the rolls.
    I baked one whole loaf . I could not roll into 8 equal balls …could not roll it at all as it was soft.
    I wonder if I should add more coconut flour or any other kind of flour ?
    Or even more coconut flour ?

    1. Both psyllium and coconut are affected by moisture in the air and moisture in the bag (linked to how long the bag has been opened). So sometimes you may need to adjust the recipe by adding a small amount of water (if too dry) or more coconut flour or psyllium (if too damp), as in this recipe. Well done to think laterally and make a loaf. That would actually be a lovely, toasted, with butter (of course).

  19. After making a very successful first batch, I decided to tweak this recipe a little to add almond meal as I wasn’t entirely happy with texture of just coconut flour. Changes were simple, worked great first time! Woohoo!
    My tweaked recipe as below…(and thanks Libby for such a great site btw!)

    60 g coconut flour
    60 g Almond meal (Almond flour)
    30 g psyllium husks
    2 tsp baking powder
    3 tbsp granulated sweetener of choice or more, to your taste
    (I use 3 tbsp Erythritol and 1 tbs sugar free maple syrup in this volume for brown sugar effect – yum!)
    3/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp mixed spice
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground cloves
    5 eggs – medium
    250 ml boiling water
    raisins/chocolate chips/ cacao nibs optional
    (I use a handful of raisins 🙂

    I make 12 balls and bake for 35mins in fan oven. Love em.

    1. I tried your tweaked recipe – turned out fab. Thank you!

    2. Jenny Corbett says:

      Has anyone tried using this recipe to make a low carb bread?

    3. Hi terry
      I know this was a few years back lol
      But I just used your adapted version and it’s exactly what I was looking for when scrolling that rough comments I love the almond flour combination and brown sweetner maple included
      Such an easy recipe of Libby’s without the yeast having to be included

      Thanks so much ladies 🙏

    4. 5 stars
      Thank you for this. Just tried it and whole family loved them!

  20. This has made me happy like no other low carb recipe. Thank you very much for your excellent website. How fun is this WOE?? 🙂 I cannot put weight on!!! lol

  21. Love this recipe – and the Focaccia recipe – I make both a lot! One question – if they rise nicely when baking and then collapse when taken out of the oven – what do you think that means? Too much baking powder? Too much liquid? Any tips would be fab!

    1. It sounds like perhaps you need to bake them for a little longer to crisp up the crust so they don’t collapse. Alternatively you could reduce the liquid, but I’d hate for you to have tough dry bread instead 🙁 Has anyone else had this problem with some handy tips for Karen?

  22. Hi can I use this recipe if I want to make a lchf fruit loaf? What would be the cooking time?

    1. Gosh, that would have so many variables. How big is your loaf tin? How tall? How long? How deep would that make the batter? I would begin by cooking it for 20 minutes then gauge how much longer by how far it has cooked already. Sorry, I can’t give you precise instructions as there are so many things that affect cooking times.

  23. Tim devery says:

    Is the psyllium husks whole or powder ?


    1. I’ve used three brands of this stuff finely ground in England and everything comes out a shade of purple, which I really can’t offer to visotors as it’s not very appetising to me to be eating purple or lilac-coloured bread and it’s all becoming a bit of an expensive hobby. What make of this stuff can I buy, or you use as your.obviously promoting it to.be used, that does not go purple when baked? I.even brought back a fourth fro Ireland but can’t face using it to end up as I expect a total disappointment. .

      1. This is what I use, Una. Doesn’t turn anything purple and is delivered very quickly. Good luck. Liz

    2. Hi Tim, I used whole and it worked perfectly!

  24. 5 stars
    What a great recipe!
    I’ve made a savory version, skipping the sweetener and the spices. I’ve used a muffin tin with some parchment paper, so I get six of them, and I tried different flavors: two plain, one with nutritional yeast, one with sesame seed on top, one with walnuts inside and the last one with sunflower seeds inside (one Tbsp of each). They were sooo good! All of them. And so easy! This is going to be my go to recipe for buns. Thank you very much indeed!

    1. Jenny Corbett says:

      Hi Catalin – did you add anything when you left out sweetener & spices. I added more flour but they barely rose at all

  25. Leah Osborne says:

    Easy Low fat hot cross bun
    Easy low fat slow cooker

  26. I have never heard of or seen “mixed spice”…..what could I use instead?

  27. 5 stars
    Love, love, love these. Made my Easter and have just eaten the last one (which I’d frozen away) as a treat. Shared the recipe with several family members to unanimous approval.

  28. Just made these with my little one. Nice and easy to follow recipe and he enjoyed mixing it all up for me. However we put the choc chips in with the dry ingredients and then they all melted when adding the boiling water… Should’ve seen it coming really, didn’t think! So we ended up with ‘chocolate buns’ rather than choc chip. They came out a little stodgy in the middle so I put them back in for an extra 5 mins. And personally thought the nutmeg was a little too overpowering so will leave out or omit next time. Also going to try with some orange zest!

    1. Catherine says:

      5 stars
      They might not be traditional hot cross buns, but they are close enough for me! I added 30g of sultanas, made 10 buns and didn’t bother with the cross. I love the spices used – they give it an authentic hot cross bun taste. I did find that they needed longer to bake, they were still doughy in the centre after 30 minutes, so I popped them back in for another 10 minutes. Well done, and thank you, Libby.

  29. 5 stars
    My husband after years on keto and alomond everything – became allergic to almond a few months ago.
    So thrilled to find this almond free recipe – absolutely loved it and husband was thrilled.
    Thanks so much!!

  30. Alexander says:

    Hi Libby, I have some stevia left over, do you think I could just mix this up with water to make the crosses?!


    1. Is it the powdered stevia/erythritol or another sweetener mixture? As long as it dissolves to a white paste, it should work. Alternatively, you could also mix some cream cheese with sweetener and pipe that.

  31. Using 4 eggs and the quantities of flour etc. Even before the water is added the mix is very wet, certainly not capable of being rolled into balls. Is there a typo somewhere?

    1. Hi Phil, try letting the dough sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the coconut flour to absorb the liquid. Some brands take longer to absorb than others. If that doesn’t work you can try adding another tablespoon of coconut flour to the mix. Sometimes this issue can be due to the brand of coconut flour used or using large eggs instead of medium eggs. If you are using large eggs you may want to use 1 less egg. Hope this helps.

  32. Josephine says:

    Can I substitute almond flour for coconut? If yes, would it be a different amount for almond?

    1. Hi Josephine, I would not switch the two since coconut flour is more absorbent and lighter in density than almond flour. However, if you need to replace the coconut flour I would start with using 1 cup almond flour and then add a bit more until you get the correct consistency. Let us know how it turns out if you try it.