Easter with no sugar?

So my first real challenge – Easter. Can one have a traditional Easter without any  fructose but with chocolate and hot cross buns?? So I’m on a mission to seek out how I can still have it all here in Jakarta – the land of gula!

First challenge – Hot cross buns. The-Sweet-Poison-Quit-Plan-Cookbook_Text_LoRes-165.png

(Image – https://www.penguin.com.au/extras/61/9780143568261/assets/The-Sweet-Poison-Quit-Plan-Cookbook_Text_LoRes-165.png)

 Hot Cross Buns

I think that I read somewhere earlier this week that there is up to 5 teaspoons of sugar in every commercially made hot cross bun. Luckily for me I receive emails and Facebook posts from a few ‘I quit sugar’ people and through them I have received a couple of different recipes for hot cross buns. I have had a go at one of the recipes and since there were no buns left by the end of the day I’d say that they were a hit! I thought I might have a go at Sarah Wilson’s recipe but instead of doing the whole batch with choc chip I’d do half with traditional sultanas and half with chocolate. I know sultanas have a lot of sugar (24g per cup – 6 teaspoons of sugar!) but I am going to put in only a minimal amount – 1/4 cup (1 teaspoon of sugar) over 8 buns. So here is Sarah Wison’s hot cross bun recipe from her book ‘The ultimate chocolate cookbook’ with a little variation.


  • 1 tablespoon dried instant yeast.
  • 1 teaspoon rice malt syrup.
  • 4 3/4 cups white spelt flour.
  • 1 1/4 cup full-fat milk, lukewarm (not hot, otherwise it will kill the yeast).
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt.
  • 60 g butter, at room temperature.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground.
  • 1 teaspoon allspice.
  • egg, lightly beaten.
  • 25 g 85-90% dark chocolate, chopped finely.
  • 1/4 cup sultanas


  • 2 teaspoons rice malt syrup.
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water.


1. Add yeast, 1 tablespoon spelt flour, warm milk and 1 teaspoon of rice malt syrup into a mixing bowl. Mix well. Cover your bowl and allow to stand in a warm place for 15 minutes until mixture is frothy.

2. Meanwhile, sift 4 cups of spelt flour, salt, stevia and spices into a large bowl and toss to combine. Add in the butter and rub into flour mixture with your fingers until combined.

3. Once the yeast mixture is frothy, add into the flour mix with the whisked egg. Stir to combine. Divide the dough in half and add in the chocolate pieces to half and sultans to the other half. Fold through. Cover the bowls again and allow to stand in a warm place for 40 minutes or until dough has almost doubled in size.

4. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 and lightly grease a 18cm x 30cm lamington tin.

5. Punch dough down, turn onto a floured surface, and knead well until dough is smooth and elastic. Cut into 3 equal pieces then cut each piece into 5. Knead each into round shape.

6. Place buns into the prepared tin in rows. Don’t worry if they don’t touch, they will expand in the oven. Cover and again allow to stand for 10-15 minutes in a warm place or until the buns have expanded.

7. Meanwhile, to make the crosses, sift ½ cup of spelt flour into a bowl and add 1/4 cup of water, mix to form a paste. You may need to add a touch more water to make the mixture a thick, but still fluid consistency. Fill into a small ziplock bag and then cut a hole across the corner. Use this to pipe crosses onto the top of each bun.

8. Place buns into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

9. Meanwhile, combine the rice malt syrup with boiling water. Once hot cross buns have cooked, remove from the oven and immediately brush with glaze. Serve buns warm with a generous slather of butter.

Note – Because these Hot Cross Buns don’t contain any preservatives or sugar, they won’t last as long as supermarket purchased ones. We suggest eating these fresh out of the oven or within a few days. After that, we recommend freezing them, then eating them toasted with a good slather of butter.

David Gillespie also has a recipe for Hot Cross Buns –



Second challenge – Chocolate


(Image – http://www.ditchthecarbs.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/rsz_low-carb-easter-creme-eggs-2.jpg)

Fructose Free Chocolate eggs

So is it possible when you are trying to give up fructose to make chocolate Easter eggs? Apparently the answer is YES!! This will be a new challenge for me as I have never made my own chocolate before. I am also going to see if the ingredients needed can be sourced here in Jakarta easily and within a reasonable price range.  So my googling started…  and Jackpot!! I came across this webpage  (https://iquitsugar.com/diy-sugar-free-chocolates-easter/ ) which is all about how to make fructose free chocolate Easter eggs.  Thanks to Sarah Wilson from ‘I quit sugar’ I can now also have a go at making chocolate!

Step 1 – Choose your basic chocolate mix:

  1. Dark Chocolate: Combine ½ cup coconut oil, 1 tablespoon rice malt syrup, ½ cup raw cacao powder, 2 tablespoons coconut cream in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring until melted and combined well.
  2. White Chocolate: Combine ¼ cup coconut oil, ¼ cup cacao butter, 1 tablespoon rice malt syrup, ½ teaspoon vanilla powder, 2 tablespoons coconut cream in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring until melted and combined well.

Step 2 – Add some flavour:

Throw in one of the following combinations:

  1. Raspberry ripple: A few frozen raspberries with coconut flakes.
  2. Nut cluster: Chopped mixed nuts and a sprinkle of sea salt.
  3. Coconut rough: Shredded coconut.
  4. Turkish delight: A few drops of rosewater and chopped pistachios.
  5. Sea salt: A sprinkle of sea salt.
  6. Sesame dream: Replace coconut cream with tahini. Sprinkle with black or white sesame seeds.
  7.  Peanut butter and jelly: Replace coconut cream with peanut butter. Add a few frozen raspberries.

Step 3 – Choose your presentation:

  1. Select a way you would like to present your chocolates. Being here in Jakarta I’m just going to try putting mine in a recycled kiwi fruit 6 pack container.
Sarah has some other Easter ideas – 

15 tips + recipes for a sugar-free easter – http://www.sarahwilson.com/2012/03/how-to-navigate-easter/

Make your own homemade sugar-free chocolate Easter eggs – https://iquitsugar.com/homemade-sugar-free-chocolate-easter-eggs/?nonce=25f9f076fe

DIY sugar-free chocolates for Easter – https://iquitsugar.com/diy-sugar-free-chocolates-easter/

And from the ‘that sugar film’ team – 
Some Easter tips and recipes – http://thatsugarfilm.com/blog/2015/03/31/some-easter-tips-and-recipes/

An Easter memory from my childhood. 


The country bunny and the little gold shoes – Written in 1939 by DuBose Heyward

When I was growing up I would read this story every year – it was my very favourite Easter story; and still is.  As a child I just loved the story but as an adult I can now see the many lessons it can teach. My children were read this story from an early age as well and have grown to love it – especially my daughter who is as strong willed as the mother bunny.  When I was teaching (Prep and Year 1) I would read this story to my class each year.  I often wondered how they were going to go listening to it as it is quite long and has some “olden day” pictures scattered through it.  Every year I was pleasantly surprised as they would all sit still and listened to each word. They too fell in love with the story just as I had at their age. If you ever see this book please take the time to read it and I hope you love it too.

The country bunny and the little gold shoes

 Happy Easter! 


Feature image – The feathered nest