Hot Cross Buns! Hot Cross Buns! Less butter, more whole grains—baked and iced for everyone!
Credit: Photo: Randy Mayor

These rich, sweet yeast bread delights show up every spring, fresh-baked according to English tradition on Good Friday. Topped with a cross of creamy white icing, the popable treats are more like mini cakes, filled with lots of buttery goodness, candied fruits, and warm spices. But each sweet little bun can set you back about 270 calories, and that's if you stop at just one. We wondered if we could lighten this buttery Easter favorite, while keeping all the irresistibility of the classic.

To support April's 12 Healthy Habits goal of eating more whole grains we blend whole-grain pastry flour into all-purpose flour for a more nutrient-dense base that still maintains a light, fluffy crumb. Golden raisins and currants are plumped in orange juice, and fresh citrus peel takes the place of sugary crystallized fruit. A touch of sweet butter maintains that moist, cakelike texture—with more than a stick less than the original. A hint of warm spices balances a sweet glaze to finish. Less heft, more flavor and fluff, these delicate Easter buns deserve attention all year.

268 calories per roll
4.8 grams saturated fat
227 milligrams sodium

179 calories per roll
1.4 grams saturated fat
111 milligrams sodium