Following on from Sonia's native marinated olive recipe last week, this is the next recipe in our series that is timely because with Easter soon approaching we have a recipe for Hot Cross Buns but with a Native twist. We have been lucky enough to collaborate with our friends at Melbourne Bushfood to bring you a number of recipes that celebrate the unique flavours that natives offer that your family will love, and are super easy. 

The backstory

There used to be a time where hot cross buns would be in the store for a short couple months of the year. Now as soon as Christmas is over they magically appear in the supermarkets on Boxing Day. I am not complaining though - I love them. I am a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to the Hot Cross Bun but I found myself the other day thinking of ways that I could make use of these amazing ingredients and this is my interpretation using dates, macadamias, strawberry gum, wattle seed and cinnamon myrtle. The result is a subtle and nutty bun with a delicious aroma. Thanks to Melbourne Bushfood for their wonderful ingredients.

About the ingredients 

Wattleseed: The use of Wattle seeds (of the commercially traded species) has a traditional use of at least 4000 years as an Aboriginal staple food ingredient. The seed is harvested, then roasted and can be ground or sold whole. The flowers (without stalks) can also be used, typically in pancakes, scones and scrambled eggs or omelettes. It has a dominant nutty, coffee and roasted aromas with a slight bitterness. Several species are native to arid and temperate areas of Australia with some, like the Elegant Wattle (Acacia victoriae) having a very widespread natural distribution.

Cinnamon myrtle: The cinnamon myrtle is found in the tropical rainforests of Queensland and New South Wales.Cinnamon myrtle is from a small tree whose leaves have a spicy, cinnamon-like fragrance. Both Indigenous Australians and early settlers used its leaves for cooking and for medicinal purposes, and the tree’s wood for tools. This native spice has a subtle, spicy, cinnamon-like flavour.

Strawberry Gum: Strawberry gum (also known as Eucalyptus Olida) is a medium size tree, which grows in the northern tablelands of New South Wales and Victoria. Strawberry gum is the original chewing gum! Indigenous Australians passing through the Northern Tablelands would often chew on the leaves of the Strawberry Gum for their sweet berry flavour. They would also moisten the leaves and lay them over a fire to release their fragrant oils, which would help to calm stomach problems.

Sources: and


  • 1 tablespoon active Dry Yeast
  • 2 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup milk, warm
  • 4 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoons Wattleseed, ground
  • 1 teaspoons Strawberry Gum, ground
  • 2 teaspoon Cinnamon Myrtle, ground
  • 50 grams butter, Melted
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 cup dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup macadamias, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain flour (piping - extra)
  • 1/3 cup water (piping - extra)
  • 2 tablespoon apricot jam (for glaze)
  • 1 tablespoon water, boiling (for glaze)


  1. Place the yeast, 2 teaspoons of caster sugar and the milk in a large bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. The mixture will start to foam, indicating that the yeast is active. Add the flour, strawberry gum, wattleseed, cinnamon myrtle, dates, macadamias, butter, egg and, raw sugar to the yeast mixture and mix until a dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes or in a mixer with a dough hook for 2-3 mins or until elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  2. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls. Arrange the dough balls in a lightly tray. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until risen. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
  3. Place the extra flour and the water in a bowl and stir to combine. Place in a piping bag or a plastic bag with one corner snipped off, and pipe crosses on the buns. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until golden.
  4. While the hot cross buns are baking, make the glaze. Place the jam and boiling water in a small bowl until it is loosened up and brush on to the warm buns. Serve warm with butter.