Baking · Bread · Chocolate · Vegan

Vegan Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns

A traditional Easter bake with a chocolatey twist. These hot cross buns are packed full of 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. 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 both ground cinnamon and mixed spice. 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, all the work and time waiting will be worth it!


The original photo I shared back in March 2015!

Once baked, the buns are brushed with orange syrup which keeps the buns extra moist and adds even more orange flavour. Alternatively, you can brush the buns with warm marmalade, apricot jam or golden/maple syrup.


Vegan Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns

These hot cross buns are packed full of chocolate chips and orange zest and spice for a delicious treat. A good Friday favourite brought to your kitchen!
Prep Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings 12 buns


Hot Cross Bun Dough:

  • 300 ml plant milk
  • 50 g dairy-free spread or baking block
  • 500 g strong white bread flour
  • 7 g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 65 g caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 150 g dark chocolate chips
  • Zest from 1 large orange

Flour Crosses:

  • 70 g plain flour

Orange Sugar Syrup:

  • 50 g caster sugar
  • Juice from one large orange


  • Place the plant milk and dairy-free spread/baking block in a small pan and heat gently until simmering. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly to hand temperature.
  • Mix the flour, sachet of yeast, sugar, salt, and spices in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the lukewarm milk/butter mixture. Combine with a spoon until a dough forms. Knead the dough by hand on a floured surface or in a mixer fitted with a dough hook for 5-7 minutes until smooth and elasticated. Shape the dough into a ball and place in well buttered/oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for an approx. 1 and 1/2 - 2 hours) or until doubled in size.
  • Now add the chocolate chips and orange zest to the dough and knead these ingredients into the dough until evenly distributed. Divide the dough into 12 equally sized pieces and roll each into a ball. Arrange the buns on a large baking tray that's been lined with parchment paper, leaving about a 2cm gap between each bun. Cover lightly and leave the buns to rise for 45-60 minutes or until joined up doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / 400°F / Gas Mark 6. To make the crosses for the buns, place the plain flour in a small bowl, adding one tablespoon of water at a time until you have a thick paste that can be piped. Spoon it into a piping bag that's fitted with a small round nozzle and pipe crosses on top of the buns.
  • Bake the buns for 15-20 minutes - do watch them as they pick up colour very quickly. They're ready to take out of the oven when they've turned a light golden colour on the outside.
  • Once the buns have come out the oven, while they're still warm, make the orange syrup by combining the orange juice and sugar in a small pan. Heat until all the sugar has dissolved and mixture has started to bubble. Brush the hot syrup over the warm buns.
  • Allow the buns to cool slightly, then they're ready to eat. They'll keep for up to 3 days. Best eaten on the day of baking, but a blast in the microwave or toasting revives them.

If you want to make traditional hot cross buns, swap the chocolate for the same amount of dried fruit. The chocolate chip hot cross buns are our favourite!

Easter bakes to try!

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Mini Cheesecakes

Chocolate Traybake

Carrot Cake Traybake

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