Dark and light hot cross buns on tray with glazing brush

Chocolate checkerboard hot cross buns

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(3 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 30 mins plus 1½ - 2½ hrs rising

More effort

makes 12

Take a classic Easter treat to another level and bake our chocolate hot cross buns. Split the dough to make dark chocolate orange and white chocolate cherry buns

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal362
  • fat9g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs59g
  • sugars21g
  • fibre3g
  • protein10g
  • salt0.4g
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  • 250ml whole milk
  • 50g butter, chopped into chunks



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 500g strong white flour, plus 100g for the crosses
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 150g mixed dried fruit
  • 50g dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks
    Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

    Dark chocolate

    dahk chok-o-let

    Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

  • 1 orange, zested



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 50g dried sour cherries
  • 50g white chocolate, chopped into small chunks
    White chocolate squares, stacked

    White chocolate

    why-t chok-lit

    To purists, this is not chocolate because it is made only from the fat or butter of the cacao…

  • oil, for the bowls and baking tray
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam (optional)


  1. Warm the milk in a saucepan until steaming. Remove from the heat, then add the butter. Swirl to melt the butter and cool the milk a little. Mix the cocoa with 2 tbsp boiling water, then set aside to cool.

  2. Mix 500g flour, the cinnamon, sugar, yeast and ½ tsp salt in a bowl. When the milk mixture is still warm, add it to the flour bowl along with the egg, and mix to form a sticky dough (use a tabletop mixer if you have one). Continue mixing, then kneading, until the dough is less sticky and feels springy – about 8-10 mins. Add the dried fruit and mix again until the fruit is evenly spread through the dough.

  3. Put a clean bowl on your scales. Scrape the dough into this bowl to weigh the full quantity, then return half of it to the original bowl. Add the cocoa mixture, dark chocolate and orange zest to one bowl, and the white chocolate and cherries to the other. Knead each dough for a further minute or until well mixed. Return each dough to a cleaned, oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave somewhere warm for 1-2 hrs (depending on your kitchen temperature) until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

  4. Knead and fold each dough a little bit to knock out some air. Divide each dough into six balls (use the scales if you want your buns to be perfectly sized.) To shape the buns, take a piece of dough in your palm, pull a corner into the middle and press to seal. Continue doing this around the edge of the dough to create a tight bun shape when you flip the dough over. Shape all the buns, then arrange them on a lightly oiled tray in a chequerboard pattern, leaving about 1.5cm around each one to allow space for rising. Cover the tray loosely with oiled cling film and set aside for 30 mins-1 hr until almost doubled in size again. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

  5. Mix the remaining our with enough water to make a thick paste, about 80ml. Transfer the paste to a piping bag and snip a small opening. Uncover the buns and pipe a line along each row, then repeat in the other direction to make crosses. Bake for 25-30 mins until the buns are golden brown. Leave to cool.

  6. Warm the jam in a saucepan and brush over the buns for a glossy finish, if you like. To serve, split the buns, toast them under the grill and enjoy with salted butter.

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Comments, questions and tips

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E Allen's picture
E Allen
26th Jan, 2019
Second time I've made this recipe. First time I think it may have been beginners luck as they came out beautifully. One thing tho would be to make sure you don't add the chocolate chips until you shape the dough as the first time the chocolate had all melted in by the time they had finished the first prove. This time I think my yeast may have not been quite up to scratch as they have taken way longer to prove. Hopefully they taste just as good! Agree with an earlier comment as I have just used orange extract and not zest and there is a perfect hint of orange - not too much which works well in this bun. The checkerboard effect really gives a wow factor !Happy baking :)
iamnotgemma's picture
13th Mar, 2018
Lovely :) I made this just as directed and it worked perfectly. The dark choc ones were quite sticky when shaping them, but turned out fine. Really tasty - the orange flavour in the dark choc ones was really subtle so maybe an orange extract if you have it would ramp it up. Have to toast / grill them to make them super tasty (otherwise mine were a bit dry) and salted butter spread on them. Delicious!
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