Make these chocolate hot cross buns for an Easter treat, then check out our classic hot cross buns, vegan hot cross buns and no-knead hot cross buns.

We've also got plenty more exciting Easter baking ideas to try, including an Easter cheesecake, Easter simnel cake, chocolate babka and Easter biscuits.



  • 95g caster sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 60g double cream
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes


  • 2tsp fast-action dried yeast
  • 100g whole milk warmed
  • 225g strong white bread flour
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 100g eggs (about two)
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 100g milk chocolate chunks
  • 1 egg, for egg wash


  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  • STEP 1

    First make the caramel by melting the sugar in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until it turns a dark amber. Carefully whisk in the butter (it might splutter), followed by the cream and salt. Pour into a heatproof container and leave to cool before storing in the fridge to cool completely.

  • STEP 2

    For the choc brioche, whisk the yeast into the warmed milk and cover for 10 minutes.

  • STEP 3

    Tip the flour, sugar and 1 tsp of fine sea salt into a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix briefly. Pour in the warmed milk and eggs, and mix on a medium speed for 10-12 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Meanwhile, beat together the softened butter and cocoa powder with a wooden spoon until combined. Add to the dough piece by piece with the mixer running, ensuring each addition is completely absorbed before adding the next.

  • STEP 4

    Keep mixing until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is extremely shiny, soft and stretchy. Briefly mix in the chocolate chips, then cover and allow to prove for 1 hour 30 minutes-2 hours or until really puffy.

  • STEP 5

    To shape, tip the dough onto the worksurface and divide into 9 equal (roughly 70g) pieces, then roll tightly into balls with your hands. Put the balls into a deep 20cm x 20cm tray lined with baking paper, leaving space between each, cover and leave to prove for another 1 hour 30 minutes. They should be very puffy and almost touching.

  • STEP 6

    Heat the oven to 195C/fan 175C/gas 5. Brush the buns with the beaten egg and bake for 16-18 minutes or until risen and shiny. While the buns are baking, make the syrup by heating the sugar and cinnamon stick with 60g of water in a small pan. Bring to the boil and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved. When the buns come out the oven, brush with the cinnamon syrup and leave to cool.

  • STEP 7

    Once cooled completely, transfer the now solidified caramel to a piping bag. Warm it a little by squishing it with your hands. Cut a small hole from the tip of the piping bag and pipe strips of caramel across the buns to create cross shapes. The buns are best eaten on the day but will keep well for two days in an airtight container.

Check out our best Easter baking ideas

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