Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

When I started to think about content post for today, I did a little math in my head and realized that this would not be the 1st, 2nd, or even the 3rd post in which I mention how much of a hate-on I have for raisins.

Geez. I just did a search on my own site and found that this post won’t even be the 4th.

Maybe it’s about time I either just stop ranting about the evils of raisins, or just eat a handful of raisins already.

Actually, I did kinda-sorta-maybe-accidentally-on-purpose eat a raisin the other day.

For serious.

In my defense, it was on a cookie and really tiny and covered with raspberry jam, and I was really, really hungry at the time. There was no adverse physical reaction afterwards (just a little psychological one), so… who knows? There could be hope for me and raisins someday yet.

But since these hot cross buns have chocolate instead of raisins in them, that day is definitely not today.

You can’t expect me to make any significant progress that fast!

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

*adapted from Anna Olson via The Food Network



  • 1 tablespoon dry or fresh yeast
  • 2/3 cup white sugar, divided
  • 1 & 1/2 cups 2% milk, slightly warmed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Chocolate Glaze

  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 ~ 2 tablespoons cream


In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast with the warmed milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. If using dry yeast, wait until a layer of foam forms on the top of the milk.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, and remaining sugar.

Dig a little “pit” in the middle of the flour — pour in milk and active yeast, melted butter, lightly beaten egg, and vanilla extract.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in the liquid ingredients until the dough comes together, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead for 10 minutes, working in any flour that might have stuck to the bottom of the mixing bowl. If the dough is sticky and difficult to handle, sprinkle more flour over it and continue kneading.

After 10 minutes of kneading, gently knead in the chocolate chips in 1/4 cup batches.

Roll the dough into a ball, place the ball in a lightly oiled bowl, and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 1 hour.

Once an hour has passed, preheat the oven to 350°F (or 175°C). Butter a 8 x 8 inch baking pan.

Divide the risen dough into 16 equal pieces. Gently roll the pieces into balls, tucking any loose ends underneath.

Place the dough balls, smooth side up, into the baking pan.

Bake for 30 ~ 35 minutes, or until the buns are golden brown on top.

Allow to cool completely before glazing.

To make the glaze, simply mix 1/2 cup icing sugar, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, and 1 tablespoon of cream together. Add more cream to thin the consistency of the glaze, if needed.

Scoop the glaze into a plastic sandwich bag, snip a small piece of the corner of the baggie, and pipe crosses onto the cooled buns.

So maybe these will make it onto your table for breakfast or brunch, even if you’re not practicing Easter this weekend.

I’m sure as hell not — unless showing up for the family and food and eating chocolate eggs constitutes as “practicing” a quasi-religious holiday.

But whatever faith you are (or perhaps, like myself, you choose to abstain altogether), you don’t need to believe in the Crucifixion to get sick from excess creme eggs or enjoy a good hot cross bun. Yum!

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2 thoughts on “Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

  1. I hate raisins too! Or, as the British call them, sultanas (because they are supposed to resemble the old, withered wife of a sultan). I’m so glad you made this recipe with chocolate chips instead of raisins. These hot cross buns look mmmm perfect with a cup of strong coffee.

    Hey, you should experiment with some British recipes! Like bread pudding or something like that. Give it your own little twist–maybe by adding a citrus element or something?

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