Hot Cross Cinnamon Scrolls, a perfect unison of the spices and dried fruit from hot cross buns and the flaky dough of cinnamon scrolls! Easy to make and the perfect treat for Easter (or whenever you want)
With Easter just around the corner, I’m eyeing (and smelling) all of the delicious hot cross buns at my local shops. These hot cross cinnamon scrolls are a million times better than hot cross buns or cinnamon scrolls because:
- they are fluffy and melt in your mouth
- you can enjoy the hot cross bun spices layer by layer
- they are FUN!
- they have a delicious cross made from vegan cream cheese and white chocolate!
Fun fact: Until I met my current partner, I never actually celebrated Easter. My family in Australia is super small and Easter would just be another holiday where we could catch up on our school or uni homework. These days for Easter, my partner and I usually go down to Melbourne to visit his family or go on a camping trip with his extended family. There’s something so comforting about sharing a few packets of hot cross buns with family!
Preparing the yeasted dough for the cinnamon scrolls
If you’ve made cinnamon scrolls before, these are a breeze to make. But if this is your first time, don’t fear – I’ll talk you through every step!
First you’ve got to make your dough. Add all ingredients to a stand mixer and knead the dough for a few minutes. This activates the gluten and allows it to be soft and stretchy. The dough should come away from the side of the bowl. If it doesn’t, add more flour and knead until it does!
You can still make the dough without a stand mixer. Just mix all ingredients in a bowl and knead the dough on a clean floured surface. The dough is ready when it doesn’t stick to the surface. If it does, add more flour and keep kneading!
Allow the dough to rest for around 30 minutes – 1 hour or until it doubles in size. Roll the dough out onto a clean floured surface and brush with melted butter or oil (as pictured)
Preparing the filling for the scrolls
One difference between cinnamon scrolls and these hot cross cinnamon scrolls is the filling. These contain:
- Spices such as cinnamon
- Soaked sultanas!
Simply sprinkle the spiced sugar onto the buttered dough and rub it in using your fingers. If you don’t rub it in, the sugar will fall off the dough when you roll it – I speak from experience!
Drain your sultanas and sprinkle them onto the dough, with some space between them. No one wants TOO many sultanas in a bite!
How to shape the cinnamon scrolls
To roll the dough, imagine it is like a jam scroll but FIRMER. Try to make sure there are no gaps when you roll the dough. I like using both hands so both ends of the dough are rolled evenly.
I like cutting the dough with a very sharp knife. Some people use a serrated knife or tooth floss (though neither have worked for me). Cutting into the dough may squish the cinnamon scrolls but simply reshape them with your hands…. or don’t, it won’t hurt either way! The pictured batch is HALF a batch so if you make the FULL batch, your scrolls should have more layers)
Place the scrolls in a baking tray and allow them to rest for 1 hour or overnight in the fridge. You’ve just handled the dough a lot so it needs to rest!
Baking the hot cross cinnamon scrolls
If your scrolls are at room temperature, bake them after the 1 hour. If your scrolls are chilled in the fridge, allow them to come to room temperature and bake away!
The scrolls are ready when the middle scroll has no wet dough in it. They should also be golden and smell AMAZING!
I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Check out my other Easter recipes:
- Double Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns
- Hot Cross Bun, Custard and Blueberry Cake
- Raw Hot Cross Buns with Blueberries and White Cocolate
Hot Cross Buns Cinnamon Scrolls
- 3 cups (450g) plain or all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 3/4 cup (180mL) plant-based milk, such as almond, soy or coconut, warm
- 1/2 cup (115mL) melted vegan butter OR light-tasting vegetable oil, such as sunflower, rapeseed or refined coconut*
- 1/4-1/2 cup (40-80g) organic cane sugar, or coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon (9g) instant dried yeast**
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg powder
- Pinch of any good-quality salt
- 1/4 cup (55g) vegan butter or margarine, melted
- 1/4 cup (40g) coconut sugar, or granulated sugar of choice
- 1-2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg powder
- 1/2 cup (72g) sultanas, soaked in water for 2 hours then drained
Frosting/Cross and Glaze
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup (120g) vegan cream cheese***
- 1/2 cup (50g) vegan white chocolate****, melted
- 1/2 cup (50g) powdered sugar, or softened coconut butter
- To make the scrolls: Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until it comes together. If you have a stand mixer, you can do this using your dough hook. Knead the mixture until it forms a stretchy and smooth dough. Leave the dough in the bowl or stand mixer, cover with a tea towel and leave it in a warm place for at least 1 hour or until the dough doubles in size.
- Lightly dust a clean surface with flour. Scoop out the dough and use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a rectangular shape. Use a pastry brush to spread the melted butter on the dough. Scatter the sugar and spices onto the surface and rub in. Scatter the sultanas on top.
- Starting from the long side of the pastry, roll the pastry into a tube. Use a sharp floured knife to cut scrolls out of the pastry. Arrange the scrolls on a lined baking tray leaving a little space in between each scroll. Place a tea towel over the scrolls and set aside to rise and rest.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- To make the scroll glaze: Combine the maple syrup and a dash of water in a small bowl.
- Bake the scrolls in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until they are golden brown or when you insert a skewer in one of the middle scrolls and it comes out clean. Brush the glaze on the the scrolls while they are warm. Set aside to cool.
- To make the scroll 'cross': Combine the cream cheese, white chocolate and sugar and a dash of water in a small bowl. Mix until it forms a thick paste. Add more sugar to thicken or more water to thin. Scoop the mixture into a piping bag with a small round nozzle.
- When the scrolls have fully cooled, pipe the cross mixture onto the scrolls as desired.
- The scrolls are best eaten the day they are baked. Alternatively, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days. If the scrolls have dried up, they can be revived by sprinkling them with water then reheated in the oven at 100°C (212°F) for 5 minutes.
This post was originally published in April 2019 and updated in April 2020.
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