Spiced chocolate and orange hot cross buns

spiced chocolate and orange hot cross buns

Hot cross buns,
Hot cross buns,
One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns!

I had this little ditty in my head while I was baking these hot cross buns.
Hot cross buns is probably something you would only have once a year; it is the only time I bake and eat these buns.

While I enjoy the traditional spiced hot cross buns (see my recipe for the traditional Paul Hollywood Hot cross buns), I think that I will pick these chocolate and orange hot cross bun(s) any day. I don’t care if the hot cross bun police is going to kick me in the butt for saying this.

I’m still trying to figure out what is the best way to eat a hot cross bun.

I like them warm and toasted (always!) with a thin spread of butter and jam. This time, I made a passion fruit curd to have with it. It may sound a little sinful to have curd with the bun for breakfast, but when you are only going to have this  once a year, I don’t see why not.

I’m freezing a few to have on Good Friday itself. Will be having a Easter feast this weekend with the family. Definitely looking forward to the cookout!

p.s  Do share with me what is your favourite way of eating the hot cross buns.

chocolate and orange hot cross buns


Spiced chocolate and orange hot cross buns
Makes a dozen of regular sized hot cross buns
Recipe adapted from delicious magazine (UK edition)

These hot cross buns would be perfect for Easter Sunday. I know that I would be happy to have them as these are even better than their traditional brothers. I have adapted the recipe from delicious magazine (using cinnamon powder instead of all spice), adding more cocoa powder, using cranberries instead of raisins. Have also made a spiced glaze with a hint of orange blossom water which pairs perfectly with these buns. Oh, and these buns are really perfect with some curd. See curd recipe below.

Ingredients for the buns:

400g bread flour
30g good-quality cocoa powder (I increased the amount of cocoa powder slightly)
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp salt
85g unsalted butter, cubed
100g granulated sugar
2 x 7g sachets dried yeast (or just 14g active dried yeast)
1 large free-range egg (about 65g)
190ml lukewarm milk (may require less than stated)
100g dried cranberries
100g dark chocolate, chopped
75g chopped candied peel ( I left this out)
zest of 1 and a half orange

Ingredients for the cross mix: ( I halved the amt)

35g plain flour
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2.5 to 3 tbsp cold water

Ingredients for the egg wash:
1/2 egg
a dash of milk
a pinch of salt

Ingredients for the orange spiced glaze:

juice of 1 orange, approximately 50ml
50g granulated sugar
1/2 stick of cinnamon
1 tsp orange blossom water

1. Prepare the buns: Sift the flour, the cocoa powder, cinnamon powder and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and, with your fingertips, rub together until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you can pulse it using a mixer with a paddle attachment.
2. Add in the sugar and stir evenly. Then, add the dried yeast to the mix and stir/pulse. Change to a dough hook. Add in the egg and mix it. Then add in 3/4 of the lukewarm milk into the mix and mix at low speed until the dough begins to come together. Add in the rest of the milk if the mixture still looks dry. It should come together into a ball, away from the sides of the bowl.
3. Allow the dough to be kneaded for about 10 minutes until it looks smooth and soft. You can choose to do this step by hand if you do not have a dough hook. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly oiled bowl. Leave for 1½ hours in a warm place, loosely covered with greased cling film, until doubled in size.
4. Remove the risen dough to a lightly floured surface, flatten slightly, then knead in the cranberries, chocolate bits, orange zest and candied peel(if you are using), until everything is evenly distributed.
5. Divide into 12 equal pieces (about 100g each) and shape into smooth-surfaced buns. Place in rows on a lightly oiled baking tray ( I used a pyrex deep dish tray), leaving a little gap between each. Cover loosely with lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size again. The buns should now be touching each other.
6. Just before the buns are ready, preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6 and prepare the cross mixture. Whisk in all the ingredients of the cross mix into a smooth pipable paste (add more water if needed). Then scoop it into a piping bag and snipe a small end off ( the hole should be small).
7. Whisk together the egg, milk and salt for the eggwash. Then brush the buns twice before piping the cross onto the buns. Use a small paring knife to stop the flow of the cross mix. Bake in the oven for 20 – 22 minutes until risen, and springs back to touch.
8. Meanwhile, put the remaining sugar into a pan with the orange juice. Put over a low heat until it has dissolved. Bring to the boil and bubble for 2 minutes until thickened.
9. While the buns are baking, prepare the glaze. Begin by heating the orange juice, sugar, cinnamon stick and orange blossom water. Bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it is boiling, lower the heat and heat for another 1-2 mintues until the glaze is slightly thickened.
10. Brush the glaze onto the buns once they are out of the oven. Allow the tray of buns to cool on a rack.

*The hot cross buns are best served warm.

The perfect passion fruit curd ( you can make orange or lemon curd if you wish)
Makes a jar

150g eggs
125g granulated sugar
125ml passion fruit puree
200g unsalted butter, cubed


1. Put the eggs, sugar, passion fruit puree into a stainless steel bowl. Whisk them over a bain-marie.

2. At first, the mixture will go frothy and bubbly. Continue whisking until it thickens until a ribbon stage. This means that as you lift the whisk from the mixture, it will fall back upon itself but should leave a trail or ‘ribbon’ across the surface. This ribbon will not immediately sink back in on itself but will hold firm. This will take a while so be patient. You can also check to see if it coats the back of a wooden spoon. You should be able to run your finger through the middle of the curd coated spoon and see a define path left behind. (shouldn’t run off)

3. Take the thickened mixture off heat and add in the cubed butter and whisk vigorously until incorporated. Fill the curd into sterilized glass jars and store in the fridge for about 1 – 2 weeks.

passion fruit curd

chocolate and orange hot cross buns


About jothetartqueen

My first love is eating. A very close second is my love for baking and cooking. I passionately believe that the best form of appreciation of something is almost always through the creation of it. This passion took me on a whirlwind, unforgettable ride through the patisserie diploma course at Le Cordon Bleu (Sydney). Join me on my discovery for the love of food – through the kitchen, through the markets, through experimenting, tasting and loving.
This entry was posted in Baking, Breads, Easter, Festive and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Spiced chocolate and orange hot cross buns

  1. Hello Jo, now you are making me hum that silly song! Gorgeous hot cross buns and love your recipe with chocolate and orange my perfect pair.

  2. One of my greatest childhood disappointments was always missing out on Easter. All the other kids got to play with brightly colored plastic eggs and chocolates, while all I got was a few crummy boards of matzo. I have no frame of reference to compare them with, but I have a feeling that your rendition of hot cross buns could make up for all that lost time in an instant. What a knock-out flavor combination and presentation!

  3. Beautiful! These are the most tempting hot cross buns I’ve ever seen!

  4. These look wonderful Jo – what a beautiful flavour combination! I’m usually happy to just slather the buns with butter and eat as is… no toasting required for me! 🙂

  5. Beautiful looking hot cross buns! …just stumbled upon your lovely blog. 🙂

  6. These hot cross buns look so delicious, I am a big jaffa fan 😀
    Fantastic photos!

    Choc Chip Uru

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  8. What a gorgeous sounding flavour Jo! And I love them warm with plenty of butter! Happy Easter lovely!!

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  10. LB says:

    These look so yummy … I can’t wait to hear about the rest of the Easter meal.
    Happy Easter!!

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  13. Pingback: Hot cross buns – Paul Hollywood’s recipe | Jo the tart queen

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