Choc Cross Buns

Bread & Buns, Easter | 30th March 2013 | By

I originally planned to make hot cross buns on the traditional day of Maundy Thursday, but what with one thing and another, action was postponed until Good Friday.

I based these on a mish mash of recipes and techniques, (I suppose you could call it fusion baking): Andrew Whitley and his pre-ferment, use of wholemeal flour and pre-soaked fruit; Dan Lepard for kneading techniques; Peyton and Byrne for quantities (more or less), and Rachel Allen for spices. I was wondering about the best way of incorporating chocolate. I wanted to retain the qualities of a traditional hot cross bun, so was shying away from adding chocolate to the actual mix. It was CT who suggested  making a chocolate cross on top and calling them Choc Cross Buns, what a wonder he is.

This is how I made:

Hot Cross Buns (Choc Cross Buns)

  • Soaked 3oz raisins and 2oz homemade mixed peel in 20ml hot water and 20 ml of homemade redcurrant liqueur (any juice or alcohol or just plain water could be used here).
  • Mixed 1 oz fresh yeast with 150ml warm water and 60ml milk.
  • Added 10g cardamom (caster) sugar and 150g wholemeal flour.
  • Stirred and left in a warm place to do it’s thing for an hour.
  • Put 350g strong white flour into a bowl with 40g cardamom (caster) sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp allspice, a good grating of nutmeg and a pinch of salt.
  • Rubbed in 20g unsalted butter.
  • Added the pre-ferment and kneaded in rhe bowl for 10 minutes.
  • Added the soaked fruit and liquid and kneaded for a further 5 minutes.
  • Covered with plastic, left in a warm place and left for 30 minutes when it had doubled in size.
  • Oiled my hands and the work surface and turned out the dough.
  • Stretched it into an oblong shape and plunged my fingers in to aerate the dough.
  • Folded one third into the middle and covered with the other third trying to trap as much air in to the dough as possible.
  • Gave a quarter turn.
  • Repeated the process, only this time covered with pieces of unsalted butter (25g) before folding in much the same way as for puff pastry.
  • Repeated the process again with another 25g of unsalted butter.
  • Divided into 14 rolls and placed on two baking trays.
  • Left to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 30 minutes).
  • Made a flour and cocoa paste by mixing 4 tbsp of water with 60g strong white flour, 10g cocoa and a large pinch of chilli powder.
  • Brushed the buns with milk.
  • Piped the cocoa paste across the buns to form crosses.
  • Baked at 220C for 15 minutes.
  • Dissolved 50g caster sugar in 60g water by heating it gently in a pan.
  • Brushed this over the buns to glaze as soon as they were out of the oven.
We immediately and greedily stuffed down two each, they smelled so heavenly. Luckily they tasted pretty sublime too.
I am sending these over to Javelin Warriors Made with Love Mondays where everything is made by scratch.
I have a number of Easter Bakes including a simnel cake and various things I’m planning on baking for an Easter tea tomorrow, but this is the only one I’ve got time to post. So I am submitting these Choc Cross Buns to the Easter Extravaganza themed Calendar Cakes hosted alternately by Laura Loves Cakes and Dolly Bakes.

I’m also entering these into Choc Filled Easter hosted by Jagruti’s Cooking Odyssey. 


  1. Leave a Reply

    30th March 2013

    What a wonderful batch of Hot Cross buns. I am hoping to enjoy lots down here in Cornwall over this week. I think chocolate cross version is such a god idea. Enjoy more and have a lovely Easter!

  2. Leave a Reply

    fiona maclean
    30th March 2013

    LOL, I LOVE these, I’m not making hot cross buns, but if I was, I think I might well be tempted by chocolate ones!

  3. Leave a Reply

    30th March 2013

    These surpass mine, I can smell the chocolate from here! Next year, I’m totally stealing your chocolate paste crosses, looks fabulous!

  4. Leave a Reply

    Javelin Warrior
    30th March 2013

    Oh my, Choclette! You’ve truly outdone yourself with these… What a gorgeous way to incorporate chocolate into hot cross buns! And I love all the homemade elements/ingredients… Thank you so much for sharing and wow…

  5. Leave a Reply

    Janice Pattie
    30th March 2013

    A very clever idea, CT is to be congratulated for the inspiration. You get the plaudits for the amazing looking buns. Happy Easter.

  6. Leave a Reply

    30th March 2013

    Choc cross buns! Perfect! Happy Easter Choclette and CT! 🙂

  7. Leave a Reply

    31st March 2013

    Oh, I’m drooling a little! I saw an advert for chocolate hot cross buns but these look so much better! Happy Easter 🙂

  8. Leave a Reply

    31st March 2013

    love to have them with a cuppa..:) thnx for sending them over to my event !

  9. Leave a Reply

    Dee Johnson
    1st April 2013

    choc cross buns, what a great idea. My kids dont like the proper ones and always get left out so these will be great.

    • Leave a Reply

      18th March 2015

      Thank you Lucy. Every year I mean to make hot cross buns and only occasionally do I manage it.

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