Hot Cross Buns in Gummy Dog Treat Style
The Tradition of Hot Cross Buns
Hot cross buns remind me of my grandmother baking when I was young. This molasses hot cross bun recipe looks a lot like the type of bun I remember as a child. Mmmm… Here in New Zealand, the buns seem to creep into the shops and bakeries earlier and earlier each year. Nowadays, they’re practically hot on the heels of Christmas. It’s shocking, really. But they are delicious! Check out this article for some fun facts and hot cross bun history. The bun, the myth, the legend!
From Bun to Gummy
Traditional hot cross buns aren’t very dog-friendly. Made with yeast dough, sweetened, and seasoned with spices and dried fruits they contain a whole lot of yeast and carbs and potentially toxic add-ins, like nutmeg or raisins. I’m using a few of the dog-friendly spices in the hot cross bun gummy treats (all optional) and a splash of blackstrap molasses to give colour, flavour, and scent. My dogs love the smell of Blackstrap molasses, but a little goes a long way.
Hot Cross Gummy Easter Dog Treats
Hot Cross Bun Inspired Dog Treats with Gelatin, Blackstrap Molasses, and Spices
These gummy dog treats were made using shaped silicon moulds, but gummies can also be made as set-and-slice treats in a pan. The process is the same for either method, other than slicing of course. Easy peasy and doggone delicious either way.
- 1 cup cool water or chicken stock
- 3 tbsp quality powdered gelatin
- 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- Sprinkle of ground ginger (optional)
- Sprinkle of Ceylon cinnamon (optional)
Making the Treats:
- Measure the water into a small pan.
- Sprinkle the surface with gelatin powder.
- Wait and let sit for approximately five minutes or longer for the gelatin powder to bloom / gel.
- Gently stir the mixture over low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Take care not to shortcut with high temperatures or overheat. Heat can reduce the setting strength of gelatin.
- Remove from heat.
- Measure your molasses and spices (optional) into a suitable container for mixing and pouring. I’ve tried a variety of methods over the years, but nowadays, I like using a coffee milk jug when I make gummies.
- Mix a small spoonful of the prepared liquefied gelatin with the molasses and spices to dissolve/mix with minimal lumps and clumps. Once mixed, add in the rest of your gelatin and stir to thoroughly combine.
- Pour into a glass pan (cut and slice) or silicone moulds (shapes).
- Chill to set.
As you can see in the collaged photos above, when these treats were first made and posted, I mixed the add-ins in the pan then poured into the jug. It works fine either way, but in the years since this post was shared, I’ve come to prefer mixing in the jug. It’s a great way to avoid any issues with lumps or clumps in more difficult add-ins. I’ve updated the recipe instructions above to the new method.
Gummy Dog Treat Making Tips and Tricks
- See our comprehensive post on making and storing homemade gelatin gummy dog treats for additional information about making gummy treats including helpful gummy making tips, troubleshooting, and safe treat storage.
- These treats should be kept refrigerated and can be frozen for longer storage, although freezing can affect consistency.
Recipe and Ingredient Tips and Tricks
- Molasses and gelatin are enticing enough flavours that my dogs will enjoy these treats made with water (like the treats shown), but you can also use stock if you’d like. We might wrinkle our noses but dogs will find the combo downright drool worthy. A little tasty boost of chicken stock never goes astray. You can read more in our FAQ post on stock for making homemade dog treats.
- In my experience, 3 tbsp of gelatin powder per cup of liquid makes firm gummies. If you prefer, you can use more gelatin for added supplementation or less for a jigglier jelly treat with lower gelatin content. Individual gelatin powders may be a little stronger / weaker. Find a ratio that works for your preferences and, of course, your dog.
- Blackstrap molasses is the highly-concentrated, final by-product of the refined sugar manufacturing process. It’s very dark, thick, strong, and actually kind of bitter. It has the highest content of beneficial nutrients of all the molasses.
- In addition to being doggone delicious and fragrant, cinnamon offers some great health benefits to dogs (and people); however, it’s not suitable for everyone. Pregnant/nursing dogs in particular should not be given cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is the recommended variety for dogs, if/when used.
Hungry for more tasty treats? There are all sorts of homemade dog treat ideas in our blog archives. You can also use use the category and tag labels above/ below this post to find other recipes that might be of interest or use our internal search tools to find something specific. Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas from treats that we’ve made ourselves for our pets, but different animals have different preferences (likes/dislikes), just like people. Some pets may have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about what’s suitable for your pet, have a chat with your trusted vet.