This extra-spicy, chocolate chunk hot cross buns recipe is perfect for Easter and the dough can be made ahead to save time in the kitchen. Hot cross buns are essential for Easter. Eaten as is, toasted then slathered in butter they are my favorite Easter breakfast. I bake a batch of these spiced, sweet buns every year around Easter but this year I decided to amp it up a little.
This hot cross bun recipe is very simple and requires ingredients you would use for any enriched, yeasted dough. Adding eggs, butter and milk to a bread dough recipe results in a richer dough which bakes into the perfect soft and fluffy buns. I added a lot of chocolate chunks to this recipe because chocolate makes everything better. If you don’t like raisins, you could omit the raisins and just add chocolate but I kind of like the fruity burst of sweetness the raisins add, especially with the addition of bitter dark chocolate.
- Flour. All purpose flour or bread flour will both work.
- Instant yeast.
- Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves.
- Butter. I use salted butter but unsalted butter can be used instead.
- Dark chocolate.
- Raisins. The raisins can be omitted or substituted with dried cranberries, currants or sultanas. Chopped dried apricots can also be used.
How to make hot cross buns
- Make the dough: Hot cross buns are made with enriched dough. You can absolutely makes these by hand but I prefer using my stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir together flour, yeast, sugar and a few teaspoons ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. You could use allspice too but it’s not something I have in my kitchen often. in a large mixing bowl then mix in milk, eggs, melted butter and sugar and mix until a smooth dough forms. If making by hand, turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. In the mixer, allow to knead for 5 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm place. When the dough has proofed, knead in the raisins and chocolate chunks then allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Form and bake the buns: Form the dough into buns just smaller than tennis balls (they will rise more in the oven) and place on a baking sheet or baking pan lined with parchment paper. Mix together flour and water, transfer the mixture to a piping bag or Ziploc bag and pipe crosses on the top of the buns. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the buns are golden brown and cooked through. Once the buns are out of the oven, brush them with simple syrup for shine. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for another 10 minutes. Serve warm with butter.
What do you eat hot cross buns with?
They are best eaten warm with butter. Hot cross buns are also excellent sliced and toasted.
Do you warm up hot cross buns?
If you using store-bought, I would definitely recommend heating them up before serving them. The easiest way is to toast them but you can also wrap them in foil and warm them up in the oven for a few minutes.
More Easter recipes you will love:
- Easter Candy bark
- Garlic rosemary leg of lamb
- Toasted coconut cupcakes
- Puff pastry asparagus bundles
- Slow-braised lamb shanks
Chocolate chunk hot cross buns
- 500 g flour
- 20 g dry yeast
- 100 g sugar
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- pinch of salt
- 50 g butter melted
- 2 large eggs
- 250 ml full cream milk
- 1 cup approximately 150g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 cup raisins
for the crosses
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 3-4 tablespoons water
for the glaze
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, spices and salt in a bowl and mix until combined.
- In a measuring jug, whisk together the melted butter, eggs and milk then pour into the dry ingredients.
- Mix until a sticky, soft dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.
- Place the dough into a bowl and cover with clingfilm and allow to rise for 1 hour
- When the dough has risen, remove from the bowl and knead in the raisins and chocolate. Return to the bowl, cover and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°c and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Form the dough into buns just smaller than tennis balls (they will rise more in the oven) and place on the prepared tray. Cover loosely then allow to rise for 30 minutes
- Mix together flour and water, transfer to a piping bag or Ziploc bag and pipe crosses on the top of the buns.
- Allow to bake for 25-30 minutes until the hot cross buns are golden brown and cooked through.
- While the buns are baking, combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan and allow to come to a boil.
- When the buns have baked, remove them from the oven and immediately brush the glaze over the top.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving with butter.