Chocolate hot cross buns

Hot cross buns just got better. Try Ren Behans tasty version with chocolate chunks and a delicious toffee glaze to finish them off perfectly
By Ren Behan
Chocolate hot cross buns
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 12
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 90 minutes proving
  • Effort: medium


For the buns:

  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 200 ml whole milk, at room temperature
  • 500 g strong bread flour, plus a little extra for the board
  • 7 g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 75 g mixed peel
  • 75 g sultanas
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • vegetable oil, to grease the proving bowl and tray
  • 100 g chocolate chips

For the crosses:

  • 100 g plain flour

For the toffee glaze:

  • 55 g unsalted butter
  • 125 g muscovado sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 75 ml double cream

Tips and Suggestions

Fast action yeast can go straight in with the dry ingredients. Yeast does not like warm liquid, so make sure that the milk and butter mixture has cooled back to room temperature before adding to the dry ingredients.

Adding the chocolate chunks in after the first prove will help to keep them from melting.


1. For the buns: Melt the butter and leave to cool slightly, then pour the butter into the milk and set to one side to cool. Sift the flour into a bowl, add the yeast, caster sugar, cinnamon, mixed peel, sultanas, orange zest, 1 beaten egg, the vanilla and a pinch of sea salt.

2. Using a fork, stir the ingredients to combine them, then slowly add the cooled melted butter and milk mixture. Bring together using your hands until a ball of dough forms. Add a little extra milk if the dough seems dry.

3. On a floured board, knead the dough for five minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Grease a large bowl with a little oil and place the ball of dough into the bowl, covering with cling film. Leave the dough to prove in a warm place for 1 hour.

4. After 1 hour, the dough should have doubled in size. Tip it out onto a floured board and punch the dough back to knock out any excess air. Tip the chocolate chunks onto the dough and work them in, kneading slightly again for about a minute.

5. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll each ball into a bun shape, flattening it slightly. Lightly grease a large baking tray with oil and then lay the buns in the tray. They should be almost touching. Cover with a cloth and leave them to prove again for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 8.

6. For the crosses: Mix the plain flour with 2-3 tablespoons of water and bring it together to form a dough. Knead until smooth then roll out onto a floured board. Using a knife, cut 12 long strips, around 5mm in thickness and then cut each strip in half to make 24 pieces. Carefully place the dough strips onto the buns and brush the tops with the remaining beaten egg. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.

7. For the toffee glaze: Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan and stir well. Take the sauce off the heat and stir in the double cream. Once the buns are baked, brush the tops with the toffee sauce and serve whilst warm.

Want to see more? Take a look at all of our Easter cake recipes.

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