Chocolatey Hot Cross Buns

Ooh ISO, don’t tell anyone, but I am secretly loving being back in the kitchen and garden. The hours, days and weeks feel like they are all rolling into one but the words ‘what can I make today?’ seems to roll off my tongue… very regularly, like as soon as my feet hit the floor. The bright days, cooler afternoons and fewer daylight hours is definitely pointing towards Autumn, but when exactly is Easter? Without the trips to the Easter egg-lined supermarkets and the kids count down for school holidays, it is more than a little confusing as to when Easter Bunny gets to hop over our fence.

So today we got into some Easter celebration planning. I am sorry to say that Lent went out the door when ISO 2020 took its place and chocolate and wine seem to be a mandatory requirement for survival. So the kids and I started a few Easter activities to get the easter feeling. Our festivities started with our annual Hot Cross Bun making efforts. I love the traditional fruit buns but the kids like the chocolate ones, so we made both. I have tried several different recipes and really like this one. It is easy and requires a few ingredients so you can avoid that dreaded trip to the supermarket.


  • 4 cups of plain flour
  • 1/4 cup of caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon (14 gm) dried yeast
  • 60 grams of butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 120 grams of chocolate chips

Flour Paste for crosses

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup water


  • 1 tablespoon of caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon gelatine
  • 1 tablespoon water

combine yeast, warm milk and sugar in a small jug, cover and stand in a warm place until it becomes frothy.

Sift flour and cocoa into a large bowl, rub in butter then mix in yeast mixture, egg and chocolate chips.

Cover then place bowl in a warm place until mixture doubles in size (about 45 mins)

Turn dough onto a clean, floured surface and knead for a further 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. Chocolate chips may pop out but just knead over them and they should pop back into the dough.

Cut dough into 12 equal portions and roll placing them into a greased brownie pan or tray with high sides to help them keep their shape. Don’t stress if you don’t have one, a normal tray will be fine! Turn your oven on to preheat at 220 C degrees

Once the buns have risen to the top of the tray start making the flour paste by mixing 1/2 cup (75gm) plain flour with 2 teaspoons caster sugar and slowly adding 1/3 cup water until you have a smooth paste. Place the paste in a piping bag. If you don’t have a piping bag, grab a plastic sandwich bag and put your bag into large cup folding the edges of the bag over the lip of the cup. Place the paste into the bag and zip lock seal until you are ready to pipe crosses onto the buns. Carefully cut a small hole into the bottom corner of the bag, and pipe away!!

Bake buns for around 20-30 mins and turn buns top side up on to a wire rack. While the buns are still hot brush with hot glaze.