Each year when Hot Cross Buns hit the market, I get a little over-zealous and buy up big. This isn’t a wise move on my part because our freezer is always packed to capacity so any leftover buns end up going stale.
Food wastage is one of my pet hates so I needed a solution for using leftover buns. It’s actually surprising how many possibilities there are for alternative bun usage. Eating them on their own or with a little butter is just the start it seems!
When you start making these mouth watering desserts keep in mind that if you’re cooking for a coeliac everything needs to be gluten free. Custard is one product that’s hard to buy without gluten so you may have to make your own if you can’t find any. Chocolate is another one that’s not widely available as a gluten free option. But a quick search online should provide you with some good options.
Leftover hot cross bun ideas
For most of the recipes below, you can probably get away with using fresh buns. But some of them, such as bread crumbs, tend to work better with stale buns.
1. Hot cross bun pudding
This is probably the most popular use for leftover hot cross buns. It’s super simple to make and is practically impossible to mess up.
You’ll need a baking dish which you then layer with sliced hot cross buns that are buttered and slathered with apricot jam. In a separate bowl whisk 2 cups of milk and 1 cup of cream, then warm in the microwave. In a second bowl, whisk a half cup of caster sugar with 4 eggs. Combine the milk mixture with the eggs and then pour around the buns. Finally, sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the top of the buns and bake on 180C for 40-45 minutes. Serve with cream or vanilla ice cream.
To save some time you could also buy a gluten free custard powder, make the custard then pour it into the oven dish before adding the buns.
2. Bostock Buns
French toast used to be the status-quo for bread dipped, fried tastiness. Cafes are now taking this recipe to a whole new level with Bostock Buns. The idea is to dip halved buns into orange syrup, place them on an oven tray, smother with frangipane cream and sprinkle with almond flakes. Bake until a lovely crispy crust appears then devour.
Orange syrup: add ½ cup orange juice and 2 Tbsp of sugar to a small saucepan and heat on low-medium until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool before using.
Frangipane Cream: Combine 1 egg, ¼ cup soft butter, ¼ cup caster sugar, ½ cup almond flour. Place in the fridge for ½ hour before using.
3. Hot Cross Breadcrumbs
Transform stale hot cross buns into flavoursome breadcrumbs. Use them to make sweet treats like breadcrumb cookies, apple crumble topping, tarts or a cheesecake breadcrumb crust.
To make breadcrumbs, slice stale buns in half and place on an over tray. Bake at 140C for about 20 minutes until crisp then blend in a food processor until crumbs result.
If you can’t get your hands on gluten free hot cross buns and you don’t want to deal with the hassle of proofing the dough, there’s an easy backup option: hot cross muffins – or buffins! You can simply make some muffins using a muffin mix. While you’re mixing, toss in some cinnamon and sultanas or chocolate chips. Bake the muffins as you would normally.
To make the cross, combine ½ cup water and ½ cup gluten free flour, add to a piping bag and pipe the crosses.
5. Hot Cross Egg Buns
This is basically French toast, only you’ll use hot cross buns instead of regular toast.
To make the eggy dip, whisk the following ingredients in a bowl: 2 large eggs, 1 cup milk, 1 ½ Tbsp caster sugar, 1 tsp vanilla. Now slice each bun in half and dip each of the sliced sides into the mix until they’re nicely soaked. Finally, add a Tbsp of butter to a frying pan and cook the egg side on a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until nicely browned. Eat on its own or doused in honey, maple syrup, mascarpone or ricotta.
6. Fondue Buns
You might want to save this doozy for after Easter? Round up all that leftover chocolate and toss it into a fondue pot (or small saucepan). Add a splash of cream and milk and a knob of butter for good measure. Slowly melt the chocolate on a low heat and add a little more milk if the texture is to thick.
Cut the hot cross buns into bite sized cubes and toast in the oven until lightly browned. Slide the cubes onto skewers and begin dipping them into the chocolate. Now slide those bread chunks into your mouth for maximum enjoyment.
Any type of leftover gluten free chocolate is fine for this fondue. You can even combine white, milk and dark chocolate together for a unique combination. Another alternative is to use gluten free buttons if all the Easter eggs have been eaten.
Now it’s your turn
As you can see, there’s no shortage of uses for left over hot cross buns this Easter. I’m sure there are dozens more creative ways to incorporate them in your next dessert. Of course, if you prefer them the traditional way you can always just freeze them before they go stale. But if you don’t have space for them, these are some excellent fallback options.