Chocolate chunk hot cross buns

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.

Choc chunk hot cross buns

Ingredients Needed

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. 
  • Sugar. 
  • Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves.
  • Salt. 
  • Butter. I use salted butter but unsalted butter can be used instead.
  • Eggs. 
  • Milk. 
  • Dark chocolate.
  • Raisins. The raisins can be omitted or substituted with dried cranberries, currants or sultanas. Chopped dried apricots can also be used.
Chocolate chunk hot cross buns with butter

How to make hot cross buns

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
Soft Chocolate chunk hot cross buns

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.

Chocolate chunk hot cross buns on table

More Easter recipes you will love:

Choc chunk hot cross buns

Chocolate chunk hot cross buns

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. 
4.72 from 63 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Baking
Cuisine: Baking
Keyword: Chocolate hot cross buns, Easter recipe, Hot cross buns
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Calories: 203kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 20


  • 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.


Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1.6mg

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  1. Hi! Making these now, I hope they turn out well! Just wanted to highlight that your recipe has two inconsistencies – in the blog post you mention tennis ball sized and not to let rise once formed into said tennis ball size balls, but in the recipe at the end you say golf ball and an extra 30 mins to rise (2hrs total now) — which is correct?? I am doing tennis balls with the extra rising… Wish me luck.

  2. I’ve been making this recipe for the last 2-3 years everytime easter comes around. Its an absolute winner! Better than Woolies. I do omit the chocolate and use raisins, but that’s mainly because I never have chocolate chips on hand! 🙂

  3. These look incredible!! I love hot cross buns! If I wanted to make a traditional version could I just leave the chocolate out? I realize I sound crazy asking this as the chocolate probably makes it amazing but just wondering lol.

  4. Amazing recipe! Made them today and they were absolutely perfect. I added some candied orange peel to give the buns a bit of a zesty kick and it worked beautifully with the dark chocolate and raisins. Will definitely be making these again! 10/10

  5. I just made these choc chip hot cross buns and they are truly amazing. They are nice and soft and delicious – not dense like other recipes I have used in the past. I will be saving this recipe for future reference!! Thanks 🙂

      1. I haven’t tested it so I can’t say with certainty, I’m afraid. If you have a gluten free flour that works for you with other bread recipes, it shouldn’t be an issue.

  6. I’m so excited to bake these! Quick question, I want to make the dough tonight and bake them tomorrow. Should I store them in the fridge after forming them into buns?

  7. I am a male in my early 60’s and bake for the first time yesterday. Thought that I would do a trial run, HAH, all gone, neighbours reodering, kids and grandies giving specific fillings etc, so gues what, I am busy making another batch again. Was a bit worried that I wouldnt get all 20 out. Absolute Perfection and all 20.

  8. Hi made this for first time and loved it being a non-raisin lover! Baking again for second time for a couple of friends. So will be mailing off to them, might take 4-5 days delivery. My question is, should I leave the sugar glaze and provide it separately in a small container? Wondering if sugar glaze will cause it to go funny during delivery?

  9. I live somewhere where you can’t get hot cross buns and my craving for them has been through the roof this year. THANK YOU for this recipe. I am known to be a terrible baker, but this was really easy and now I am a happy camper.

  10. Can’t believe I’ve never baked hot cross buns…and I used to be a bread baker. I really need to try these sometime. Yours look stunningly delicious! Thanks for the recipe inspiration!

  11. Do you know, I have never had a cross bun? I honestly haven’t heard of them until I started seeing pictures of them shared on Instagram. I apparently have been living under a rock and missing out. I recently saw a much plainer version of cross buns at our store’s bakery. Your version looks much more lovely. The combinations of cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, cloves, raisins, and CHOCOLATE sound Devine. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  12. I haven’t had my first hot cross bun of the year yet! These look amazing, and I love how much spice there is in them.

  13. I love hot cross buns, especially as you suggested, toasted and slathered in butter. Happy Easter Alida thanks for sharing.

  14. Yummy! Not a lover of dark chocolate find it bitter, but will follow he recipie on Saturday and share feedback & picks?