Posted in Recipes on 11.04.2019
Double Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns
prep: 30 mins / cook: 25 mins / inactive: 3 hours 0 mins / total: 3 hours 55 mins / quantity: 12 buns Print recipe?
Celebrate Easter in style with these heavenly Double Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns! Packed with zesty orange, chocolate chunks and soft apricots.
It’s officially spring but actually feels more like early summer right now. And doesn’t (somewhat unusually) Christmas feel like a really long time ago right now? We’re all probably a little more frazzled at the edges than we’d normally be during the Easter hols. So can we just pretend for a minute that the extra vitamin C from the oranges and apricots make these chocolate and orange hot cross buns sorta healthy right?
Why chocolate in your hot cross buns?
Because as a simple bar, chocolate is sheer perfection. It melts at body temperature, it’s practically mandatory for emotional support and it will never let you down.
I’ve always loved hot cross buns and tea cakes in general. But the humble fruited bun has been taken to a whole new level of deliciousness here. There’s cacao powder in the dough (which gives everything the BEST and richest chocolate flavour) and nuggets of chopped dark chocolate. Like little chocolate gems in every bite.
I also recommend using a bar of chocolate and chopping it up rather than chocolate chips because you will get literal chunks of chocolate running through your hot cross buns. And that’s worth the extra minute of chocolate chopping I promise you.
If you can’t find a bar of vegan orange chocolate you can use just plain dark chocolate but I’d recommend also adding the grated zest of another orange.
How to make chocolate hot cross buns
There really isn’t any mystery to baking with yeast – and absolutely nothing to be afraid of! But it does take time. There’s very short periods of frantic activity (great calorie burn for an extra bun) followed by a couple of hours of leaving the yeast to do its wonderful thing.
To make the dough it’s pretty much as simple as mixing the dry, mixing the wet then mixing the two together (scroll down for the full recipe and ingredients) …
- Warm the milk and sugar until just tepid – when you dip your finger in, you shouldn’t be able to tell if the liquid is hot or cold!
- Whisk the yeast into the milk, cover with a tea-towel and set aside
- Rub the butter into the flour – this simply means rubbing the butter and flour between your fingertips until no large lumps of butter remain and your flour is now ‘sandy’ in texture.
- Stir in the spices, cacao powder and orange zest.
- When the milk is frothy on the top add to the flour and stir both together to make a dough. You want the dough to be a little sticky.
- Knead for a good 5 minutes until the dough is soft and stretchy. This is because by kneading you’ve been developing the gluten which gives all bread and yeast risen products that chewy texture and distinctive crumb.
- Knead in the chopped apricots and chocolate until well incorporated throughout the dough.
- Cover and leave somewhere warm to prove until doubled in size. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes if you have one of those fancy ovens with a ‘dough’ setting to 90 minutes if you’re using a windowsill on a not very sunny day.
- Split into 12 even pieces then roll into balls. Place on a baking tray and prove again.
- Once proved, mix together the flour and water, spoon into a piping bag or plastic sandwich bag, snip the end or corner off and pipe crosses.
I don’t have the words to describe how these smelt while baking. Sweet chocolatey heaven. In a bun. Happy Easter everyone!
Looking for even more Easter vegan baking recipes? Try these:
- Hot Cross Bun Bread Pudding
- Carrot Cake with Lemon Icing
- Carrot Cake Muffins
- Fudgy Chocolate Brownie Pie
- Tahini Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you make this recipe or any of the recipes from The Cook & Him I’d LOVE to see! Just snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #thecookandhim and tagging @thecookandhim in the photo itself (as this guarantees I’ll see your picture!)
Double Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns
prep: 30 mins / cook: 25 mins / inactive: 3 hours 0 mins / total: 3 hours 55 mins / quantity: 12 buns
- 1 + 1/2 cups (300ml) unsweetened dairy free milk of choice
- 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
- 2 + 1/4 tsp (7g sachet) dried active yeast
- 3 + 1/2 cups (500g) strong white bread flour
- 1/4 cup (50g) vegan butter
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons nugmeg
- 1 tsp all-spice
- 1 orange – grated zest only
- 1/4 cup (25g) cacao powder
- 1/2 cup (150g) dried apricots – roughly chopped
- 80g bar vegan orange flavoured dark chocolate – finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup for glazing
- 3 tblsp plain flour
- 2-3 tblsp cold water
- Gently warm the milk and sugar to just tepid - in a saucepan or microwave. Whisk in the yeast, cover and set aside
- Put the flour into a large bowl and rub in the vegan butter using your fingertips until no lumps of butter remain
- Stir in the spices, orange zest and cacao powder
- When the top of the milk mixture is frothy, pout it into the dry ingredients then stir together till it starts to form a dough
- Tip out onto a floured work surface and knead for around 5-10 minutes until it's soft and elastic
- Knead in the chopped chocolate and apricots until they're well distributed throughout the dough
- Put into a large lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove somewhere warm until doubled in size
- Divide the dough roughly into 12 equal sized balls and use your hands to roll/shape them into buns
- Put onto a large tray lined with parchment. The rolls are going to rise again so you'll want to space them not too close together to allow room to expand. Use 2 trays if you don't have one large enough
- Again leave in a warm place until well risen
- Just before they're ready to be baked, preheat your oven to 180 Fan / 200 C / 400 F / Gas 6. Prepare your crosses - whisk together the flour and water to a thick but fluid paste - too thin and it will just run off the top of your buns, too thick and you won't be able to pipe it! This part is a bit trial and error - different flours have different absorbency qualities so add more flour or water to get the right consistency
- Put the paste into a piping bag - or a sturdy sandwich bag which you'll then snip the corner off
- Pipe crosses of paste over the tops of each bun
- Put the tray(s) in the oven for 20-25 minutes. To check if they're cooked, carefully lift one of the hot buns and tap the bottom - it should make a hollow sound
- Remove from the oven and immediately brush with maple syrup to glaze the buns
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
- To serve, split in half and toast under a hot grill
- These buns freeze really well! Just put into a lidded container (the sticky top will stick to a freezer bag!) and defrost thoroughly before using
Hello and welcome to The Cook & Him.
We are Sam (The Cook), Phil (Him) and our little dog Nooch. What started with a plan to shed a few pounds back in 2016, soon became obvious that eating healthy doesn’t have to be bland and boring.
So, combining Sam’s 15 years of experience working within Michelin starred restaurants and our love for deliciously healthy food, we’re creating recipes for you to make and enjoy. We’ve added our own unique spin on traditional and contemporary vegetarian and vegan recipes that keep you (and your pets!) healthy and full. And we make sure they just work.
All things autumn - warming soups, savoury bakes and delicious sweet treats!
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