Season: Spring 

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns


For the dough:

  • 300ml milk
  • 400g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g raisins
  • 100g milk chocolate chips

For the crosses:

  • 50g white chocolate
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 50g plain flour


  1. For the dough, warm 275ml of the milk for a few mins in a small pan or 1 min in a microwave on High. Mix the flour, cocoa, yeast, sugar and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl, and whisk the egg and vanilla extract into the warm milk. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir to make a soft dough. Tip the dough onto a clean work surface and knead for 10 mins until smooth and elastic. Put the dough back in the cleaned mixing bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size – about 1 hr.
  2. Turn the dough back out onto a work surface, scatter over the raisins and chocolate chips, and knead them in.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape each into a smooth ball. Arrange the balls on the prepared baking sheet in a 4 x 3 formation, leaving some room in between for rising. Score a cross on the top of each bun, cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave to prove until the buns have nearly doubled in size.
  4. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. For the white chocolate crosses, melt the white chocolate with the milk in a small pan or in the microwave, then stir in the flour, 1 tbsp at a time, to make a smooth paste. Spoon into a disposable piping bag or food bag, and snip off the tip of the corner.
  5. Glaze the buns with the remaining milk and bake for 15 mins, then pipe on crosses where you scored the dough and bake for 5 mins more. Cool on a wire rack before eating.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2015