Delicious hot cross buns packed with chocolate (but still spiced with all the good old traditional hot cross bun spices!)


  • 3 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 150 ml warm water
  • 150 g unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 egg plus 1 extra yolk
  • 5 cups baker’s flour (substitute with plain flour)
  • 2 tbsp Dutch cocoa powder
  • 100 g good quality cooking chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch of salt

Chocolate cross:

  • 150 ml water
  • 1/3 cup baker’s flour (substitute with plain flour)
  • 2 tsp Dutch cocoa powder


  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice


  1. In a medium bowl combine the yeast, caster sugar and warm water together. Cover with a tea towel and set aside for 15 mins while it develops and bubbles up.
  2. In a small bowl gently whisk the melted butter and eggs together until they are well combined.
  3. Using a electric bench mixer with a dough hook attached, place the flour, all the spices, a pinch of salt and the Dutch cocoa into the mixing bowl along with the butter egg mixture and the frothy yeast wet mixture. Knead the dough for 10 mins until it is smooth and has a glossy look. If you don’t have a bench mixer, knead the dough by hand with lightly floured hands in batches until the dough is glossy and is not sticking to your hands anymore. Add the chopped up cooking chocolate and gently knead the chocolate through on a low setting, or by hand.
  4. Transfer the dough to a pre greased large bowl and cover with a tea towel to allow it to rest and rise for 1 hour.
  5. When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  6. Roll out buns into balls the size of a lemon and space them about 1.5-2 cm apart on the tray. If the dough is a little sticky, lightly flour your hands. Cover the tray with a tea towel to rest and increase in size while you prepare the chocolate cross mixture.
  7. Combine the chocolate cross ingredients into a small bowl until it has a smooth consistency. Using a piping bag and a plain piping nozzle, fill the bag and pipe crosses on the buns. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can easily make a substitute by using a thick reusable plastic bag and cut off 4-5mm from one one of the corners. Another option is to make a large cone using baking paper, place a little sticky tape around the tip to hold the cone shape. Leave a small opening of 3-5mm to pipe through. Fill the bag with the mixture and start piping.
  8. Place the tray in the oven and bake for approx. 25 mins until they are golden brown.
  9. While they are baking, combine all of the glaze ingredients into a small bowl; take the buns out of the oven, once they are cooked give them a little tap, they should sound hollow. Using a pastry brush, brush the glaze over the buns and place them back in the oven for a further 5 mins to brown up further. Serve warm with melted butter.

What you’ll need: For best results, use an electric bench mixer to knead the dough, and a piping bag and nozzle for the choc crosses.
Serve: 14-16 buns
Prep time: 30 mins (plus 1 hour resting)
Cook time: 30 mins

Recipe & pics by Bonnie Coumbe for Harris Markets