Chocolate orange hot cross buns

Just wanted to say Happy Easter to everyone and share the results of my weekend baking sesh…


Easter chocolate cake and chocolate orange hot cross buns

Easter chocolate cake and chocolate orange hot cross buns

I knocked out my standard chocolate fudge cake blinged up with fabulous miniature mini eggs from Asda along with a maltesers bunny rabbit.

Having leafed through several food magazines featuring a myriad of Easter treats I thought I’d knock up some Hot Cross Buns – i’d never made them before and love a new challenge.

I had intended to make them on Good Friday, the day you’re traditionally meant to eat them, but the day ran away from us after a trip to see The Pirates at the cinema, so I only managed to buy the ingredients. This doesn’t bode well for their longevity after gleaning some fun superstitious facts about hot cross buns from Wikipedia extensive research…

Buns baked or served on Good Friday should be kept for a year as they apparently won’t go off, can cement a friendship, heal a sick person and even protect against shipwreck – who knew the power of a humble bun?!

Sam’s hatred of raisins and dried fruit in general forced me to think differently about what I put in our buns, so I replaced the raisins with chocolate chips, but retained the spice and orange zest so as not to lose their identity altogether.

I lent on Paul Hollywood in Good Food Magazine and Edd Kimber in Waitrose Kitchen for recipe inspiration and technique… so thanks to them both for helping me through my first hot cross bun experience, you were very supportive ;-)

I will say that you need to devote an entire morning to making these buns… there’s a lot of rising to be done. It’s worth it though… I really was pretty chuffed with how well they turned out from a look and taste perspective.

Chocolate orange hot cross buns

They made the house smell incredible

Chocolate orange hot cross buns (makes 9)

450g strong white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
50g caster sugar
7g sachet fast action yeast
250ml milk
30g unsalted butter
1 orange, zest only
75g chocolate chips
1 large egg
vegetable oil, for greasing
75g plain flour
2 tbsp golden syrup or apricot jam

1. Put the flour, salt, mixed spice, cinnamon, caster sugar and yeast into a large bowl and mix. Make a well in the centre.

2. Heat the milk until it starts to bubble at the edges, then remove from heat and stir in the butter until it melts. Stir in the orange zest and allow to cool for 5 minutes and then crack the egg in to the pan and beat thoroughly.

3. Pour the warm liquid into the well of the dry mixture and stir to form a sticky dough.

4. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and then turn the dough out of your bowl and knead for about five minutes until it’s smooth and stretchy.

5. Transfer the ball of dough into an oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling film – leaving in a warm place to rise for an hour.

6. Flatten the top of the dough a little while still in the bowl and then scatter with the chocolate chips. Fold over and knead – repeating until the chips are distributed throughout the dough. Cover and leave to rise again for a further hour.

7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten a little. Divide into 9 equal pieces – about 100g each – and roll into balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper, cover with oiled cling film and leave for one final hour of rising.

8. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. In a cup mix the plain flour with a few splashes of water to form a paste for the crosses. Tip the paste into a plastic food bag or disposable piping bag and snip off the end. Pipe crosses across each bun then bake for 20-25 mins until golden.

9. Remove from oven, and as they cool a little heat the golden syrup or jam then brush over the surface of each bun to achieve that lovely glossy glazed look. Leave to cool a bit more and then serve, split and buttered.

This is my entry to this month’s Fresh From The Oven currently hosted by The Little Loaf. It’s a fun baking challenge with a different theme every month. The round up will  be published by Claire at Purely Food.


  1. Jan Bailey says:

    Wow Katie
    They look so professional – piped crosses too. Hope the family appreciated your hard work.

    • Thanks Jan – I was well well chuffed with how they turned out after such a labour of love! The boys were not convinced by them – even after leaving the raisins out – but Matthew and I have certainly enjoyed eating them for breakfast this Easter!

  2. They look good Katie! But they really are a labour of love are they?! I managed to make mine on Good Friday, fitting them in amongst other things. That’s the one good thing about leaving things to rise, you can go off and do something else whilst you’re waiting!

  3. The hot cross buns look great Katie! I have been trying to fit them in all weekend and failing miserably (we also went to see the Pirates on Friday!). Chocolate chips sound much better than raisins to me.

  4. Chocolate orange hot cross buns sound delicious, must try these next year!

  5. These look and sound delicious. Thank you for taking part this month.

  6. My family’s hatred of dried fruit means that either a) I have to come up with variations or b) eat the lot myself. Have used a hot choc bun version in the past but this time methodically decimated a dozen solo!

    • good effort Sally! I really miss raisins as i hardly use them at all any more… mushrooms are another casualty… although i’ve been sneaking them into sauces recently and then blitzing them with a stick blender ;-)


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