The Jamaican spice bun, a delectable treat savored across Jamaica, is a tastebud delight and a cultural emblem, particularly during Easter. Known for its warm spices and succulent dried fruits, this sweet bread is cherished annually. Reinvented for a modern palate, a new vegan and gluten-free rendition of this Jamaican classic retains rich flavors while catering to diverse dietary preferences.

With similar enthusiasm, Jamaica’s culinary heritage features a variety of beloved holiday desserts, such as Sweet Potato Pudding, Jamaican Fruit Cake, and Jamaican Cornmeal Pudding. Locals and visitors alike cherish these traditional sweets, as they offer a homemade taste of the island’s festive spirit that anyone can now easily recreate in kitchens worldwide.

ingredients for Jamaican spice bun in a stainless steel bowl

Jamaican Spice Bun

I can remember enjoying bun and cheese for the Easter holiday as a child. We ate popular brands like HTB Jamaican Spice Bun and Jamaica National. Honestly, we never thought of making it at home.

Jamaica celebrates Easter with a distinctive culinary twist that has been passed down through generations. The round hot cross bun, which was originally a creation of British settlers, has evolved into a rectangular, spiced bun that is distinguishable by its darker appearance as a result of the use of molasses instead of honey, a readily available ingredient from the island’s sugar plantations.

  • Composition: The bun is richly infused with dried fruits, adding a burst of flavor to every bite.
  • Pairing: Traditionally, this bun is paired with slices of cheese, creating a sweet and savory contrast that is now synonymous with the holiday.

Jamaican Easter Bun: Vegan Friendly?

  • Ingredients: Typically contains eggs; variations may include butter.
  • Vegan Alternative: Exists—specifically dairy-free and gluten-free recipe options.
  • Popularity: Dairy-free, vegan version gaining traction.

Gluten-Free Flour: A flour alternative suitable for those with gluten sensitivities or allergies, providing the base for the bun’s structure and texture.
Sugar: Adds sweetness to the bun, balancing the flavors and enhancing its overall taste.
Ground Flaxseeds: Often used as a binder in gluten-free baking, ground flaxseeds help to hold the bun together and provide a subtle nutty flavor.
Baking Powder: Acts as a leavening agent, helping the bun to rise and achieve a light, fluffy texture.
Spices: Typically include a blend of warm spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, adding depth and complexity to the bun’s flavor profile.
Salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients and balances the sweetness of the bun.

How To Glaze Jamaican Easter Bun? 

  1. The trick to a moist Easter bun is to glaze it as soon as it comes out of the oven.
  2. This will seal the outer layer and keep the bun moist. Make a simple syrup recipe by combining equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil on medium heat while stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and brush on your Easter Bun. 

Other Jamaican Recipes To Try:

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Jamaican Spice Bun

Jamaican Spice Bun is a sweet bread that is very popular in Jamaica. It is moist, with warm spices and plump dried fruits. I'm so excited to share with you my vegan, gluten-free version of this Jamaican staple.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Jamaican
Keyword: bun, spice bun
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 390kcal

Ingredients

Spice Bun

  • 2 cups all purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups dried fruits raisins, cherries, cranberries, etc.

Simple Syrup

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar

Instructions

For The Bun

  • Preheat oven 350℉. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and lightly spray, set aside.
  • Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix, gluten-free all-purpose flour, sugar, ground flaxseeds, baking powder, spices, salt. For the gluten-free flour, I used Krusteaz All-Purpose Gluten-Free flour.
  • Combine almond milk, sunflower oil, vanilla in a bowl and mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix to form a batter. Fold the dried fruits into the batter. Scoop batter into baking pan.
  • Bake in the center of the oven for 60-75 minutes or until a fork inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer baking pan onto a cooling rack.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Spread the glaze on the warm spiced bun. Remove the bun from the pan and allow to cool completely.
  • Delicious served with my Vegan Cheddar Cheese!

For The Glaze

  • Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium heat while stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and brush on your Easter Bun.

Nutrition

Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 367mg | Potassium: 354mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 186mg | Iron: 2mg