Easy Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Make your friends and family very happy this Easter with my easy hot cross bun recipe with dark chocolate chips. The recipe takes time and patience, but your effort and kneading will be rewarded with these light and fluffy buns. They are best served straight out of the oven, or toasted with a little butter spread on them. You will need a pastry brush, piping bag, 1cm piping nozzle and flat baking tray for this recipe.


  1. Place the milk and butter into a saucepan and heat gently until the butter melts. Once melted, take off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Activate the dried yeast by mixing it with 2 tablespoons of luke-warm water and a pinch of the caster sugar from the recipe. Allow to sit for at least 5 minutes and then stir it until it becomes a paste.
  3. Sieve the flour, spices and salt into a bowl and add the sugar. Make a well in the centre.
  4. Once the milk and butter mixture is body temperature (around 38 degrees C), add it to the bowl along with the yeast paste.
  5. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients as quickly as possible, using a cutlery knife until all the ingredients are incorporated and a dough is formed.
  6. Flour the surface of your kitchen bench with some strong plain flour and knead the dough for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  7. Oil a bowl lightly and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and allow to rise for 1.5 – 2 hours, in a warm place if possible. Check after 1.5 hours and test if it is ready. When pressing a finger in, the dough should feel soft and pillowy and be doubled in size.
  8. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200 degrees C (180 degrees C fan) and prepare the top shelf for baking. Grease the flat baking tray lightly with oil.
  9. Chop the dark chocolate into small chunks.
  10. After the dough has doubled in size, flour the bench surface again and knead the dough for 2 minutes. Add the dark chocolate chunks and work them into the dough. You will need to fold and knead the dough for a couple of minutes to ensure they are distributed evenly.
  11. Weigh the dough, including the chocolate chips. Divide this number by 8, and portion the dough into 8 equal pieces. Shape the pieces into circular shaped buns, and place onto a tray 2cm apart so that they are two buns across, and four buns long. Cover again with the damp tea towel to prove until they have doubled in size again, around 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  12. While the dough is proving, prepare the glaze and the cross piping. Sieve the plain flour and baking powder, and mix together with the olive oil. Add cold water gradually, until a thick pipeable consistency is achieved. Place into a piping bag with a 1cm wide nozzle.
  13. To make the glaze, stir the caster sugar with the milk until dissolved.
  14. Once the dough has proved, dip your pastry brush into the milk and brush the glaze onto the buns.
  15. Pipe the cross onto each bun, starting from the middle of one side and finishing at the middle of the other. Repeat until you have made a cross shape onto each bun
  16. Bake in the oven on the top shelf for 15-20 minutes until the buns are golden, light to the touch and sound hollow from the bottom.
  17. Allow the buns to cool on a wire rack and then serve, spread with a little butter.

Useful Cooking Information


Metric Imperial
10 g½ oz
20 g¾ oz
25 g1 oz
50 g2 oz
75 g3 oz
110 g4 oz
150 g5 oz
175 g6 oz
200 g7 oz
225 g8 oz
250 g9 oz
275 g10 oz
350 g12 oz
450 g1 lb
500 g (½ kg)18 oz
700 g1½ lb
900 g2 lb
1 kg2¼ lb
1.3 kg3 lb
1.8 kg4 lb
2.2 kg5 lb


Metric Imperial
50 ml2 fl oz
75 ml3 fl oz
100 ml3½ fl oz
125 ml4 fl oz
150 ml5 fl oz¼ pint
200 ml7 fl oz
250 ml9 fl oz
300 ml10 fl oz½ pint
425 ml15 fl oz¾ pint
600 ml20 fl oz1 pint
800 ml1½ pint
1 l1¾ pints
1.2 l2 pints
1.5 l2½ pints
1.8 l3 pints
2 l3½ pints


Metric Imperial
5 mm¼ inch
1 cm½ inch
2 cm¾ inch
2.5 cm1 inch
3 cm1¼ inches
4 cm1½ inches
5 cm2 inches
10 cm3 inches
15 cm4 inches
20.5 cm6 inches
23 cm9 inches
25 cm10 inches
30 cm12 inches

Spoon measures - mean level measures unless the recipe says 'heaped'

Eggs - are always large for baking, unless recipe says otherwise

Oven Temperatures

Gas °F °C
Mark 1275140

Fan assisted ovens - remember to reduce temperatures by 20°C

Most Useful US/European Conversions

ButterUS 1 cup / 2 sticks8 oz220 g
SugarUS 1 cup6 oz175 g
FlourUS 1 cup4 oz110 g
LiquidUS 1 cup8 fl oz225 ml
Prepped OnionsUS 1 cup4 oz110 g
Cheese, GratedUS 1 cup4 oz110 g
Diced FruitUS 1 cup5 oz150 g
Fresh BreadcrumbsUS 1 cup2 oz55 g

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