Easter recipe: Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns

18th Apr 2019 Inspiration & Lifestyle

A tangy twist on the classic Easter treat, our Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns recipe is guaranteed to be a hit with the family at Easter brunch this year...


There’s no denying that hot cross buns are a firm favourite in the UK when it comes to Easter treats. Whether enjoyed fresh from the toaster with salted butter, or cold with sweet jam, the hot cross bun is the perfect breakfast or dessert at Easter time.

This Easter, why not try something different with our tasty recipe, adding smooth chocolate and tangy orange for a modern twist on the classic fruity snack.


You will need:

For the buns

• 450g strong white bread flour

• 50g cocoa powder

• 100g caster sugar

• 1 tsp salt

• One 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast

• 300ml whole milk

• 50g unsalted butter

• Zest of 1 large orange

• 1 egg (beaten)

• 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice

• 120g juicy raisins

• 50g candied citrus peel (finely cut)

• 120g chocolate chips

• 1 tsp ground cinnamon

• 2 tbsp plain flour (for kneading)

• Fine cut orange marmalade (optional for glaze)

For the crosses

• 3 heaped tbsp plain flour

• 6 tbsp cold water


• Vegetable or olive oil for greasing

• Baking paper

Step 1:

Begin by adding your flour, cocoa powder and sugar in to a large mixing bowl. Then, on one side of the bowl add your salt, and on the other side add the sachet of yeast. Make sure to keep these separate for now as yeast and salt don’t like direct contact. Pop this aside without mixing and we’ll return to this later on.


Step 2:

Next, add the whole milk, butter and orange zest to a saucepan and warm over a low heat. Stir continuously as the butter melts and remove from the heat once it’s smooth.

Bring back your flour mixture from the previous step and mix in the melted liquid from the saucepan. Add in the beaten egg and give the whole mixture a good mix with your hands for a few minutes. Once combined, knead the mixture on a lightly oiled surface for approx 5 minutes.


Step 3:

Place your dough (shaped into a ball) in a lightly oiled mixing bowl, and leave to prove for one hour in a warm room, with the top covered in clingfilm.

After the hour is up, it’s time to add the filling!

Add the raisins, citrus peel, cinnamon and chocolate chips to your dough, mixing in with your hands, then knead on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes, until everything is combined.

Pop back in the bowl covered with clingfilm and leave to prove for another hour.


Step 4:

Once the hour is up, tip your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. We would recommend using kitchen scales to divide the dough evenly if you would like all of your hot cross buns to be uniform.

Shape your divided dough into 12 balls and place on an oven tray, lined with parchment paper. Try to keep your buns at least 1cm apart as this will prevent them merging as they rise.

It’s time for one last proof, so pop your tray inside a carrier bag and leave in a warm room for one more hour.


Step 5:

Set your oven to preheat at 200c/400f while you make the crosses for the top of your buns.

In a bowl, mix together 3 heaped tbsp of plain flour and 5 tbsp of cold water with a fork. This will make a thick paste that you should be able to pipe, so add more or less water if needed.

If you don’t have a piping bag, spoon your mixture into a sandwich bag and cut a tiny slit in the corner. Squeeze the paste out of the slit and draw a large cross on the top of each hot cross bun.

Place in the oven for 20 minutes, checking every few minutes towards the end to prevent burning.


Step 6:

If you want to glaze your buns, warm some orange marmalade in a pan over a low heat, and spread across the tops to help them stay soft and give them a beautiful sheen.

Enjoy toasted with salted butter, warm with cream or ice cream as a delicious dessert, or cold with jam for a sweet treat.

Lastly, it's time to sit back, relax and enjoy a beautiful Easter brunch...

Have we inspired you to make your own homemade hot cross buns? We’d love to see the end result. Share your delicious photos over on social media and give us Easter envy!