Dark Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns…..my dark chocolate chip just kicked your raisin’s butt.

Dark Chocolate Hot Cross Buns ~ Pearls + Girls

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you already know that I kinda sorta detest raisins.  Yet I love practically every other dried fruit.  I know.

Hot cross buns are, of course, traditionally made with……raisins.  So I decided to do a little switcheroo and make them with dark chocolate chips.  Ya know, just to see if it would work.  😉

Dark Chocolate Hot Cross Buns ~ Pearls + Girls

So maybe I already knew that chocolate + bread would be delicious…..or maybe I didn’t.

The point is, I was right.  🙂

Dark Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Yield: 8 buns


  • 3/4 cup milk (I used 2% milk)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast (I buy mine in bulk and keep it in the fridge)
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (I use the Ghirardelli brand)
  • Glaze
  • 2 TBSP granulated sugar
  • 1 TBSP hot water
  • Crosses
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 TBSP hot water


  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk milk and sugar together until the sugar starts to dissolve.
  2. Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. It is important that the milk is warm, NOT hot, or it will kill the yeast.
  3. Sprinkle yeast on top of milk mixture and allow to sit at room temperature until frothy, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add flour, salt, cinnamon, the beaten egg and melted butter.
  5. Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix on low speed until the mixture comes together.
  6. Increase to medium speed and knead dough for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the chocolate chips and mix on low speed for 30 seconds.
  8. Transfer to a greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth.
  9. Rise at room temperature until the dough doubles in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  10. Rising Tip: Preheat oven to 300 degrees for ONE MINUTE then turn off. It’s important to only heat for a minute, if the oven is too hot it could kill the yeast. Place bowl in the oven. This method allows the dough to double in size in about one hour.
  11. Punch dough down and pinch off eight roughly equal sized pieces (fyi, this part is messy).
  12. Place in a greased pan (square or round, doesn't matter, I used a round springform pan) with the edges of each ball of dough touching.
  13. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for another 30 minutes.
  14. During the second rise, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  15. Bake for 18 - 22 minutes, or until the tops of the buns are lightly browned.
  16. Whisk together the granulated sugar and hot water in a small bowl. Brush the glaze on top of the hot buns with a pastry brush or a small paintbrush reserved just for baking.
  17. Whisk together the powdered sugar and hot water in a small bowl. Transfer to a pastry bag and pipe crosses onto each roll. You could also carefully drizzle with a spoon.


These buns are quite large, but this recipe could be used to make 12 small buns, just reduce the baking time to 16 - 18 minutes. This recipe could easily be doubled to make 16 large or 24 small buns.



    • KatieKatie says

      Thank you, Linda! They were amazing fresh from the oven, couldn’t even wait to take pictures before sinking my teeth into one.