Of Easter and Traditions.

Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns

All year around, I make lists.

List of things to get done, list of things to bring on a trip, list of things to make and eat, the (list of) list(s) goes on.

While the other lists are organized logically (by days and trips respectively), that last list has four categories on it – Easter, Christmas, Birthdays and None of the Above. Which is incidentally also how my days are categorized.

But somehow, year after year, despite my ever growing list, whenever Easter or Christmas goes around, I only ever mostly manage to strike one item off the list (see here, here and here).

And this year, it didn’t help that both my boyfriend’s and mum’s birthdays fell within days of Easter.

But birthdays or not, there really was no way I was gonna let Good Friday go by without some hot cross buns.

Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns II

There was really no surprises with what I was gonna make since I make hot cross buns year after year but the surprise came in the form of a little chocolatey twist- chocolate chip hot cross buns. Because nothing says Easter like chocolate right?

Studded with dark chocolate chunks, marked with a chocolate cross and finally glazed with a sugar syrup, these were truly the best of both worlds; a delicious twist to the traditional buns while still keeping with the significance of having hot cross buns on Good Friday. And if those buns don’t say Easter, I don’t know what does.

So that’s one off the list, now I just need to find a way to strike off the other four remaining items next Easter.

Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns [adapted from Australian’s Women Weekly March 2010 issue]

Note: I halved the original recipe and made 16 buns (the original makes 20 buns) so the buns are a little smaller than intended. I used dark chocolate for the buns because I love my chocolate dark but my sister remarked that she would have preferred them with milk chocolate so I’ll definitely be trying them out with milk chocolate the next time.

Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns III

7g dried yeast
35g caster sugar, divided
125ml milk, warmed
300g plain flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
40g butter, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
40ml warm water
150g chocolate chunks, milk or dark depending on your preference

Chocolate paste
35g plain flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp cold water

1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp powdered gelatine
1 tbsp water

  1. Combine the yeast with 1/2 tbsp of the sugar and milk in a small bowl, whisking to combine. Let the mixture stand for a few minutes or until it becomes frothy.
  2. Sift the flour, spices, remaining sugar and salt into a large bowl. Rub the butter in. Stir in the yeast mixture, egg and water until a soft dough forms. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let stand in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough doubles in size.
  4. Grease an 8-inch square pan and set aside. Lightly flour the work surface and turn the dough out. Knead for a couple of minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 16 portions.
  5. Roll each portion of the dough into a ball and place them on the prepared tray in rows of four, almost touching each other.
  6. Cover with a damp towel and let stand in a warm place for about 20 minutes or until almost doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 220C.
  7. To make the flour paste Sift the flour, cocoa powder and sugar into a small bowl. Stir the water in gradually until a smooth, thick paste forms. Transfer the flour paste to a piping bag and pipe crosses onto the buns.
  8. Bake the buns for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the buns sound hollow when tapped.
  9. To make the glaze Combine the caster sugar, gelatin and water in a small saucepan over low heat, until the sugar and gelatin dissolve.
  10. Transfer the buns to a rack to cool completely and brush the tops of the buns with the glaze. Makes 16 buns
Leave a comment


  1. looks good. well, actually chocolate looks good to me. :D ive bookmarked several hot cross buns recipes but this is the first time I see one with some choc in it. yum!

  2. The buns are gorgeous! I have signed up for a bread making class. Once completed, I shall put up my first bread post :)

  3. Every Easter, I will tell myself to bake a batch of hot cross buns…but so far I have yet to make any. Thanks for sharing your recipe, I hope I will get to bake it next Easter, I like the use of chocolate paste for the cross :)

  4. I’ve been looking for a decent hot cross bun recipe everywhere. Thanks for this one! Will try soon, hopefully! :D

    • Hi norza :) This is actually the first chocolate hot cross buns I’ve come across too- it was so hard to wait for Easter to come round to make these!

      Thanks, Shirley! Have fun at the class! I can’t wait to see what you get up to :D

      You’re most welcome, HHB! I hope you get round to it next Easter- hot cross buns are my favourite thing to make and eat over Easter :)

      Hi fati! You’re most welcome! :D

  5. Wow, this is the first chocolate recipe I’ve seen. Count me in.

  6. Chocolate hot cross buns. You’re killing me, just made me hungary for some and it’s 11:30pm. Yum!!!

  7. I never liked hot cross buns when I was younger and my family was a bit more Catholic… I don’t remember why, but I guess to me they just weren’t dessert-y enough. The addition of chocolate would be most welcome, maybe I’d like this version!

    • Hi Suzanne :) It’s never too late to make some, if you ask me! :lol:

      I know exactly what you mean, Bee! Hot cross buns seem to fall in the “kinda like dessert but not really like dessert” category but the addition of chocolate sure takes it a little up the dessert notch :)

  8. Amazing idea, have never come across this before! I think this may be a Dragon’s Den invention?! And, oh, my, they look divine, I don’t care that its almost June, I have to have them.. Haha…. Thanks for your wonderful ideas and inspiration

    • Hi Poppy! You’re most welcome- chocolate hot cross buns are perfect all year round, if you ask :lol:

  9. Mary Cassell

     /  March 20, 2012

    I am wondering how this would go gluten free? I havent used yeast since I was diagnosed with Celiac disease? even though it is gf?!

    • Hi Mary, apologies for the late response- I must have overlooked your comment. I actually have no experience with gluten free recipes so I’m afraid I can’t quite help you out there. I hope you figure it out though and please feel free to write back to let me know how it goes.

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