Baking · Chocolate

Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns

A traditional Easter bake with a twist and a bit of tangy flavour! These hot cross buns are packed full of milk chocolate chips and orange zest and spice for a delicious treat. A good Friday favourite brought to your kitchen!


Easter is all about the chocolate right? I’ve been inspired to make chocolate filled hot cross buns for so long now! All the supermarkets here are putting a modern twist on the traditional recipe – which I think is really great. And as chocolate orange is one of my favourite flavour combo’s I thought it would make a great hot cross bun recipe!

The chocolate chips bring a bit of indulgence to the traditional hot cross bun and their great to bake with if you’re like me and aren’t too fond of raisins and sultanas. The orange brings a delicious zesty and fresh addition and makes these buns the perfect breakfast treat with a coffee. Each bun also has a lovely mix of spice – the recipe includes a little bit of mixed spice and ground cinnamon. Both of my favourite spices in my pantry!

Making hot cross buns or any enriched dough is time consuming, but once you taste the final bake it will all be worth it! Also, you could pipe crosses on each bun with melted and tempered white chocolate – a double chocolate fix that will go down a treat too!

mugs blue colour

I’m also baking and enjoying my Le Creuset coffee mugs. I absolutely love these colours, especially the Marseille Blue and Elysees Yellow. The mugs make a beautiful addition to my kitchen and I’m definitely going to enjoy my morning cup of coffee or tea even more so now. If you want to get your hands on mugs exactly like these then be sure to visit here to treat yourself.

Makes 12



500g strong white bread flour (you can also use plain flour)

80g butter

7g fast-action dried yeast

60g caster sugar

Pinch of salt (omit if using salted butter)

2 teaspoons mixed spice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 large free-range egg

150g milk chocolate chips or the same amount of dark or white chocolate chips

Zest from 1 large orange

180ml milk, warmed – add extra if needed to bring the dough together


75g plain flour

75ml water

Sugar Syrup:

80g caster sugar

3 tablespoons water


1. To make the dough: Add the flour to a large mixing bowl and use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the yeast, sugar and salt, spices and mix to combine fully. Add the egg and milk and mix to form a sticky dough.

2. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is soft and elasticated. Place in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave somewhere warm to rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

3. Once doubled in size remove from the bowl and knead the chocolate chips and orange zest into the dough. Divide the dough into 12 equally sized portions (you want to be as precise as you can now). Shape into rounds and then place on a lined 23cm (9 inch) deep baking dish. Space the pieces of dough apart from each other so they have room to rise and join up. Cover again and leave somewhere warm until doubled in size and all joined up – this should take about 40-60 mins (but it can take longer depending on the temperature of your surrounding).

4. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C / 400 F / Gas mark 6. Make the flour paste by combining the flour and water together until thick and a piping consistency. Fill a small piping bag, fitted with a small round nozzle. Pipe the cross design on each risen bun. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and fragrant. Make the glaze by dissolving the sugar and water in a small saucepan and just allowing it to boil. Brush the top of each bun with the glaze and leave to set.

5. Serve warm and toasted with lashings of butter and chocolate spread! 



37 thoughts on “Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns

  1. It’s amazing, I also hot cross buns orange but without the chocolate nuggets! Yours are beautiful and I like your cross, mine it is a little bit different ! Looks gorgeous Jess and mugs from “Le Creuset” are beautiful !

  2. Oh, I love hot cross buns! But I’ve never added chocolate chips before…what a fun little twist! I’ll have to do that for the next batch. Thanks, Jess!

  3. I love orange and chocolate combination. It’s absolutely delicious! These buns surely are great with hot tea in the morning or mid afternoon snack. Mm…makes me hungry just thinking about it. 😀

  4. Yum yum yum! I’ve never had hot crossed buns, can you believe it?! These look amazing. I love orange and chocolate together and I love that you used milk chocolate chips 🙂

  5. These sound wonderful! Chocolate and orange is one of those great flavor combinations that I always forget about, because I go for the more common chocolate/berry combination. How clever to combine them in these awesome-looking buns. Delicious!

  6. Mmm…yummy. Chocolate orange is such an awesome combo. Great idea to apply that flavor to hot cross buns! Happy Easter to you and your family 🙂

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