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Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

A family favourite version of the classic Easter treat, these chocolate hot cross buns are the perfect recipe to make this long weekend. Read through the step-by-step photos and tips in this post and let me help show you how easy it is to make these at home!
Course Snack
Cuisine Australian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 buns
Author Sally


  • 1 x 7 gram packet of yeast
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ cups dairy-free milk warmed
  • 4 cups plain flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) dairy-free butter
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 100 grams chocolate chopped

For the crosses

  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons water

For the glaze

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer whisk together the yeast, sugar and warmed milk. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let sit for 10 minutes until the mixture is frothy.
  • Add in 2 cups of the flour and begin to mix on low using the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer. Add another cup of flour, the cocoa powder, cinnamon and allspice, dairy-free butter and the egg and mix on medium speed until the dough starts to form. Add in the final cup of flour and mix until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Use a rubber spatula to remove the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface and using floured hands, shape the dough into a ball. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a clean, damp towel and set aside in a warm area for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough to release the air and add in the chopped chocolate and mix through the dough gently. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently to incorporate the chocolate before shaping it into a ball.
  • Line a 9 x 13 inch (20cm x 30cm)tray with baking paper and set aside. Cut the dough ball into 4 even pieces, and then cut each piece into 3 so that you have 12 pieces in total. Roll each piece into a ball and place evenly into the pan. Cover again with the kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place for 20 minutes.
  • Before the second rise is complete, preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix together the additional flour, cocoa powder and water to make a thick paste. Place the paste into a zip lock bag and snip off the end. Once the buns have finished rising, pipe crosses onto each and place the buns in the oven for 30 minutes, or until browned on top and they make a hollow sound when you tap the top.
  • About 5 minutes before the baking time is up, make the glaze by boiling together the sugar and water in a small pot on the stove until the sugar is completely dissolved. Brush the glaze over the cooked buns, and try not to burn yourself as you devour them warm.


I used almond milk here as that is what I had available, but any other dairy-free milk will work just fine.
As written this recipe is dairy-free, but if you don’t need it to be, you can use regular milk and butter.
If this is the first time you are making these, be sure to read through all the tips in the blog post before beginning.
I use Nuttelex to replace butter in most of my recipes as it is vegan and gives a 'buttery' flavour without being greasy. As this is an Australian product, the closest US alternative I believe is Earth Balance. Otherwise any dairy-free spread will work.
Not from Australia? Check out my US Conversion Guide.