Gluten-Free Hot Cross Biscuits: A Southern Cross

Ok, if you aren’t a Crosby, Stills & Nash fan, you may not get my title; but after a childhood with them as a staple portion of our background noise at home and sing-a-along in the car, I just couldn’t help myself.

Their music is part of my culture – a piece of my upbringing that transports me to some of the fondest memories of my father’s musical influence. I can easily and vividly recall driving – newly licensed and windows down – with my friend, Maria, and this legendary band competing with the wind in our ears.

And if you listen carefully to more of their lyrics, you’ll notice that CSN was quite in tune with their spiritual connections as well as their views on war and peace.

And WAY before David, Stephen, and Graham came along, during the times of early secular medieval chant, Renaissance and even into the Baroque period when Christianity continued to spread, it was common for monks to cross their breads and buns with an icing mixture of flour and water (thankfully that icing has evolved into something more sweet and palatable). The cross was an attempt to ward of the evil spirits and keep the breads from staling or becoming moldy.

Since gluten-free is in a category of its own – an alternative diet and lifestyle, if you will – I thought it appropriate to give the hot cross bun a southern flair for this year’s Easter season. How about a twist on our tender, flaky gluten-free biscuit recipe made with our ever-so-wonderful Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix? Join me to make them now!

IMG_9908You can begin by preheating your oven to 400°F and placing 2 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix in your bowl.

Remember, now this, is our gluten-free baking MIX – not our gluten-free multi-purpose flour.

IMG_9927Add 1/8 teaspoon cloves, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, whisking everything together.


Add 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into small cubes.

IMG_9916Work the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or two forks. You can even use your hands, if you work quickly and don’t allow the butter to become warm. Should the temperature of the butter get too warm, you’ll risk the losing flaky texture of your final product.

IMG_9924Once the fat is cut in, the mixture should be crumbly-looking, with pea-sized pieces of butter.

IMG_9941Stir in 1/4 cup currants (you can also use dark raisins), and 1/2 cup dried fruit blend, or your favorite mixture of dried fruits.

IMG_9938In a separate bowl or measuring container, whisk together 1/2 cup milk and 2 large eggs.

IMG_9951Blend the liquid ingredients into the dry, stirring slowly and gently…

IMG_9959…until everything is just combined/moistened.

IMG_9964Turn the dough out into a greased 8″ x 8″ baking pan.

IMG_9966 Press the dough out evenly, and brush the top with melted butter.

IMG_9987To make drop biscuits that will end up looking more like traditional hot cross buns,

IMG_9989use a muffin scoop dipped into melted butter, and

IMG_9992drop the dough portions into a lightly-greased 8″ x 8″ pan, or onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

IMG_9997Coat the muffin scoop with melted butter each time.

IMG_0002Very lightly press the tops of each biscuit before placing them in the oven. Bake the biscuits for about 18 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.

IMG_0003Cool the biscuits completely before icing them.

IMG_9978To make the icing, combine 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 to 3 teaspoons  milk and mix until smooth.

IMG_0007You want the icing to be a good, thick piping consistency.

IMG_0010And yes, don’t think for a second that in my testing process, I didn’t just slather one completely in the leftover icing. It had to be done, I do confess!

I hope this recipe adds a little variety to your Lent season or Easter table this year. Enjoy!

Please read, bake and review our recipe for Gluten-Free Hot Cross Biscuits.

Print just the recipe.


Amy Trage

Amy Trage is a native of Vermont where she spent much of her childhood skiing and training for the equestrian event circuit. With a strong desire to pursue food writing, Amy took her English degree from Saint Anselm College to the New England Culinary Institute ...


  1. Janet M.

    The link to print just the recipe is broken. I will be trying this in the next few days. It sounds wonderful!

    1. Amy Trage, post author

      All set, Janet! Thanks for letting us know! Hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I did! ~Amy

  2. critterhollow

    My pastor has to eat GF…this will be wonderful for her . Thank you. Oh and by the way. I did get your reference to CSN. I was a 60’s kid and love them to this day. They spoke our hearts, with a bluesy, rock and roll beat. Go Stephen!

  3. Diane Decker

    The biscuits look great and I’ll probably make them, but I just had to comment on the music reference. As soon as you mentioned CSN, I felt like I was back in 1970, in college, learning way too much about the world in much too short a time. I am hearing Southern Cross in my head and will have to go look it up on Youtube to get it out. Thanks my dear!

  4. Nancy

    Can you substitute regular all purpose baking mix in this recipe, for those of us who don’t have to follow a gluten-free diet?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Nancy, this recipe is specifically designed for gluten-free baking mix. We do, however, have several recipes for hot cross buns that use standard flour. I would encourage you to take a look at those under our recipe section and see if either of them work for you. Bryanna@KAF

  5. Regina

    Sorry KAF. These were not good at all. They never browned on top and were very bland. The only thing that saved them was the frosting. But after 2 bites they went into the trash. Just a note I generally love all of your gluten free recipes.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Regina, we’re sorry to hear that you had such poor results with this recipe. We wonder if it’s possible that you might have used a gluten-free blend other than our Gluten-Free Baking Mix? Unlike our other gluten-free blends and many others out there, this one has xanthan gum, salt and leavener already added to it. Without these important ingredients, we would expect the recipe to turn out a bit bland, dense and crumbly. If you did use the Baking Mix and are interested in troubleshooting what went wrong, we hope you’ll give our Baker’s Hotline a call at 855-371-BAKE. We’d be happy to help! Mollie@KAF

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