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Chocolate Hot Cross Buns Recipe

When we think about Easter, there are a number of foods that immediately come to mind. But above all else, the one thing that stands out as the food of the season, is hot cross buns.

English folklore said that hot cross buns baked on Good Friday would never spoil throughout the following year. Some bakers believed that holding on to one hot cross bun and hanging it in the kitchen meant that all yeast products in the coming year would rise successfully. Some sailors took hot cross buns on their voyages to ensure their ships wouldn't sink. And friends who gift one another with hot cross buns every year are said to remain friends for life.

We’re not sure if that's due to inherent powers in the buns… or just all the yummy carbohydrate goodness. Either way, hot cross buns are a meaningful Easter tradition. These puffy, perfect little yeasted buns are usually filled with tangy raisins and heavenly spices, and decorated with a cross of sugary icing, but we’ve put a twist on things and decided to fill them with pieces of chocolate and topped with fresh raspberries.


  • 1 tsp dried instant yeast
  • 230ml milk, warmed
  • 2 ¼ cup white bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 45g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 40g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 40g dark chocolate, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • Fresh Raspberries (optional)

For the Piping Mixture

  • 50g flour
  • 60g water
  • 2 tsp caster sugar

For the Glaze

  • 50g raw honey
  • 1tsp water
  • 2 sticks rosemary


  1. Combine the yeast, milk, and a tablespoon of sugar in a mixing bowl. Whisk and set aside in a warm area for about 10 to 15 minutes until frothy.
  2. Combine the flour, cinnamon, mixed spice, and cocoa powder in a bowl of an electric mixer with the dough hook attached. Add the yeast mixture, melted butter, egg and 45g caster sugar, and knead on medium speed for 5 minutes until smooth. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, set aside in a warm place for about 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.
  3. Grease and line the base of a round 30cm cake pan with silicon paper
  4. Knock back the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in the chopped chocolate, then divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll into smooth balls. Place in the greased pan, leaving a gap between each ball for the dough balls to expand. Set aside in a warm place for a further 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
  5. For the piping mixture, place the flour, sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and stir until a smooth paste, pipe crosses onto the risen buns.
  6. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  7. Bake buns for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven to 170°C and cook for a further 20-25 minutes until cooked through.
  8. Meanwhile, to make the glaze, combine the honey and water, gently simmer for 1-2 minutes, add the rosemary sticks to infuse and set aside
  9. Brush warm buns with the glazed rosemary sticks, decorate with fresh raspberries (optional), dust with icing sugar and serve immediately. 
April 05, 2023