Chocolate hot cross buns


Wow, its that time of the year again. Hot cross bun season which is basically my favorite. I mean, what’s not to love. Its bread thats infused with spices and raisins. Just a brief background on these beautiful buns and why they are often found around easter. A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins, marked with a cross on the top, and traditionally eaten on Good Friday.

The eating of hot cross buns marks the end of Lent because they are made with dairy products which are forbidden during this period. Plain buns are traditionally eaten hot or toasted during Lent, beginning on Shrove Tuesday and through to Good Friday.

Different parts of the hot cross bun have a certain meaning. The cross represents the crucifixion of Jesus, and the spices inside signify the spices used to embalm him at his burial.

Enough of the history lesson, i love love love. I tried baking them last year and they were a lil bit meh, see this post here

This time around i decided to go for chocolate hot cross buns and these were absolutely delicious . Here is the recipe


  • 57 g (1/4 cup / 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 300 ml (10 floz) milk
  • 1/2 cup (100g / 3.5oz) white granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 sachets / 7g) instant yeast
  • 520 g (4 cups / 18.5oz) plain (all purp) flour
  • 1/3 cup (35g / 1.5oz) cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (200g / 7oz) chocolate chips

To top

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon plain (AP) flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (50ml) water (notes)


  • In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add half of the milk and sugar. As soon as it is very warm to touch (not hot), remove from the heat. No longer or it will be too hot and kill the yeast.
  • Add the rest of the milk and stir, then stir in the yeast. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes for the yeast to activate.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment, sift together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon and all spice. Add the remaining sugar, egg, vanilla and yeast mixture, then beat on low for around 7 minutes until smooth and elastic. You can also knead the mixture by hand until smooth and elastic if preferred.
  • Brush a large bowl lightly with vegetable oil, then add the dough. Flip the dough once so it is oiled all over. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  • Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured board. Gently knead in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Don’t knead for too long.
  • Shape into a ball of dough. Cut the ball in 6 even pieces, then cut each of those pieces in half.
  • Line the base of a casserole dish or large baking tin with baking paper and lightly oil the sides.
  • Shape each piece of dough into a small ball and sit them side by side in the prepared dish (they should be just touching). Allow to rise for another hour or until doubled in size again.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / 180C fan forced
  • Brush the tops of the buns with the beaten egg
  • Mix together the cocoa, flour and water and transfer to a piping bag. Pipe crosses over the top of the buns (you can do this by piping 1 long line across the tops of a line of buns, then repeat until they all have a cross).
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until shiny and crisp on top.
  • Serve warm, with butter


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