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Free from Fairy column: Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: April 04, 2014

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IN her latest column Vicki Montague talks about the problems with parties for people with coeliac disease and shares a seasonal recipe for hot cross buns.

LAST month I wrote about the day our six-year-old daughter was diagnosed with coeliac disease, an autoimmune disease affecting one in 100 people in the UK. It’s only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet, meaning the exclusion of wheat, barley and rye. This, as you might imagine, presents its challenges. Bringing up a child with coeliac disease is not always straight forward and over the next few months I will write about some of the challenges that we face on a daily basis.

This month I wanted to focus on parties given that Easter is just around the corner. And of course I will share an Easter recipe!

Buffet-style meals can be our worst nightmare! For someone who has coeliac disease (or indeed anyone who has a food allergy or intolerance) it is a meal fraught with difficulties. There are of course many foods that could be suitable for coeliacs on the table, such as cheese, julienne vegetables, dips, crisps, salad and nuts. However, without having packets to read you never know if the manufacturer has added in a bit of gluten or processed the product with other gluten-containing products. Equally, there are plenty of opportunities for cross-contamination when a gluten-containing product is accidentally mixed with something that doesn't contain gluten.

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My number one tip to avoid making somebody ill at a buffet-style meal is to consider leaving the packaging under each plate. This not only tells people what they are eating, but helps those who have to avoid certain foods to check the products without making a big fuss!

For more tips on how to cater safely for those with food allergies/intolerances or coeliac disease please visit my website at www.freefromfairy.com.

Hot cross buns (free from gluten, dairy, yeast and soya) Makes 6-12 buns


200g ground almonds

120g gluten-free self-raising flour

1tsp allspice

1tsp cinnamon

½tsp ground ginger

½tsp mixed spice

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

50g raisins

40g mixed peel or the zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon

30g runny honey, plus extra warmed, for glazing

2 medium eggs, beaten

30g coconut oil, melted

Approx. 100g ready-made marzipan (for the crosses)


1. Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl (including the fruit and peel) and give them a good mix. Add the melted coconut oil, honey and beaten eggs

2. Give the mixture a good mix then bring together into a dough with your hands. Divide into six to 12 balls and place on lightly greased baking trays.

3. Place in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 150 degrees and bake for a further 15 to 25 minutes (depending on the size). While baking, make the crosses by rolling out the marzipan and cutting it into 5mm wide strips.

4. While still warm brush the buns with warmed honey, and add the marzipan strips to make crosses.

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