Double Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

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Prep 25min (+1hr 30min proving time)Bake 30minMakes 8 large buns

These over-the-top, chocolate-studded hot cross buns aren't traditional but they still will be super popular. Baked as a round pull-apart loaf of sorts, the buns are generously sized and will hit the spot with any chocolate lover!


375g strong bread or pizza flour
30g (¼ cup) Dutch cocoa powder
75g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
1 x 7g sachet (2 teaspoons) instant dried yeast
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon fine salt
220ml milk
30g salted butter, diced
1 egg, at room temperature
1½ teaspoons natural vanilla essence or extract
Extra butter, to grease and serve
85g (½ cup) sultanas
75g good-quality dark chocolate (45-54 per cent cocoa), chopped

Flour Paste
75g (1⁄2 cup) plain flour
1 tablespoon caster sugar
75ml room temperature water

55g (1⁄4 cup) caster sugar
1½ tablespoons water


  1. Sift together the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Add the caster sugar, yeast, mixed spice, cinnamon and salt and mix to combine. Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until the butter has just melted and the milk is lukewarm. Remove from heat and whisk in the egg and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon and then your hands to mix to a soft dough.
  2. Turn out onto a lightly floured bench top. Knead for 8-10 minutes, adding as little flour as possible as you knead, or until smooth and elastic and it springs back when you press your finger into it. Brush a large bowl with melted butter to grease. Add the dough and turn to coat with the butter. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Grease a 20cm springform tin and line the base with non-stick baking paper. Punch down the dough and turn onto a lightly floured bench top. Knead briefly until reduced to its original size. Knead in the sultanas and chocolate until evenly distributed. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a neat ball and place into the prepared tin, allowing room between each for the buns to rise. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).
  5. Meanwhile, to make the Flour Paste, combine the flour, sugar and water in a bowl and stir with a spoon until smooth. Spoon into a small, good-quality snap-lock bag and seal.
  6. When the buns are ready, snip a small hole (about 3mm in diameter) in the corner of the flour paste bag and pipe crosses on the tops of the buns.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the buns are cooked through and sound hollow when tapped on the top.
  8. About 5 minutes before the buns are baked make the Glaze. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, without stirring, or until thickened slightly. Transfer the hot cross buns to a wire rack and brush the tops with the hot glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature, spread with butter.

Baker's Tip

  • These hot cross buns are best eaten the day they are made – even better if eaten warm form the oven – but they do freeze well. To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap (together or as individual buns) and seal in an airtight container or freezer bag. Label, date and freeze for up to 3 monhts. Thaw at room temperature or split while still frozen and toast.