These are the BEST chocolate chip hot cross buns you will ever make! With super soft and fluffy texture, chunks of chocolate, sweet marzipan and beautiful, shiny and sticky glaze made with Lyle's Golden Syrup, they are impossible to resist, especially when still warm from the oven!
They will make a great addition to your Easter breakfast or brunch, and are perfect for sharing!
This post is a part of a paid collaboration with Lyle's Golden Syrup. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Anna Banana possible!
Just like with my Blueberry Hot Cross Buns , these hot cross buns are made mainly with cupboard essentials and the chances are you already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen:
Strong white bread flour- as it produces chewier texture in the buns, but you can use plain flour in exact same quantity too
Easy bake yeast- it can be added straight into the dry ingredients without the need to activate it first and it also provides quicker rising time. But you can use any type of dry yeast, in the same quantity (just make sure to follow the instructions on the packet).
Spices- I'm using cinnamon and mixed spice, feel free to change them to your favourite type
Chocolate- I always prefer to use chopped chocolate rather than the actual chocolate chips, but feel free to use either. Chocolate bars are higher quality and will produce a better results in baking. Try to choose the best chocolate you can afford. I used a mixture of dark (70% solids) and milk chocolate.
Marzipan- optional, but highly recommended ingredient. Marzipan adds lovely, sweet flavour and just takes these buns up a notch. You can skip it, if you're not a fan.
Lyle's Golden Syrup- delicious and versatile baking ingredient, used for the glaze. This is what is giving these buns that iconic, sweet, sticky and super-shiny look. See recipe notes for the alternatives.
It is much easier to make this recipe using stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Not only it takes all the hard work away, but it also saves a lot of time. However, if you do not have one of those in your kitchen, you can also simply knead the dough by hand. Just bear in mind that it will take longer to knead, about 10- 15 minutes.
As this recipe makes 12 buns, you will also need a large baking sheet. Alternatively, you can use two small baking sheets, placing 6 buns on each.
Digital kitchen scales come very handy in this recipe, as they will allow you to weigh each piece of dough. That way, all the buns will be equal in size.
As always, I recommend you start with gathering all of the ingredients together. It will save you time and effort, having everything handy and ready to go.
Start with warming up the milk and melting the unsalted butter and setting it aside to cool slightly. When heating up the milk, you want it to be tepid/ lukewarm, not hot.
Add the egg to the lukewarm milk and whisk it briefly together. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl of the mixer, pour the milk and egg mixture followed by melted butter and mix until you have smooth and elastic dough.
Add the chopped chocolate and marzipan at the end, and knead it until evenly combined (you can do this by hand). Transfer the dough into a lightly greased bowl and keep it in warm place until it has doubled in size.
TIP: I recently learned that the tumble dryer is a perfect place to prove the dough in! Simply run it empty for 4-5 minutes, turn it off, place the dough inside, and let it sit there until it is ready. It's a perfect environment for proving the dough as it is warm and draft-free.
Shaping the dough
After the dough has risen, gently knock out the air from it, transfer to a lightly floured surface and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Using your hands, bring all the corners of the dough towards the middle and roll it into a tight ball (watch the video below to see how I shape them).
Space each bun about 1 cm apart from each other, giving them some space to expand. Let them rise for 45 minutes, covered with plastic bag/ clingfilm or clean tea towel.
When piping the crosses, you can use piping bag with small, plain nozzle. If you don't have a piping bag, use a plastic, zip-lock style bag instead. Simply snip off small corner of the bag and you are good to go! Pipe the crosses slowly, ensuring that the paste wraps around each bun.
Melt the Lyle's Golden Syrup in a saucepan, then brush still warm buns with it. Allow the buns to cool down for 10 more minutes before eating them.
Just like most of the homemade buns, these are best eaten on the same day. If you have any leftover buns, cover them tightly and store at room temperature for 1-2 days.
Easiest way to reheat the buns is by toasting them in your toaster for a couple of minutes. You can also reheat them in the oven. To do that, preheat the oven to 170C, place the buns on a baking sheet and let them warm up for about 5-7 minutes.
Can I freeze these buns?
Yes you can. Wrap them tightly and place in a freezer-friendly container or a bag. They will keep well for up to 1 month. Thaw the buns at room temperature, then reheat using one of the methods above. They will loose some of their shiny glaze, but will still taste delicious!
Make ahead instructions
If you want to make these ahead, you have couple of options available:
Option 1- prepare the dough up to step 4. Cover the dough and place it in the fridge to prove overnight. Next day, remove the dough from the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for about 1-2 hours and then proceed to the step 4.
Option 2- prove the shaped buns in the fridge overnight. Cover the buns with plastic wrap or tea towel and place in the fridge. Next day, remove the buns from the fridge, let them sit at room temperature for 1- 2 hours and then bake as per the instructions below.
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Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns
- Freestanding mixer with hook attachment
- large baking tray
- baking paper
- piping bag with small, plain nozzle (alternatively zip-lock style bag)
- 500 g strong white bread flour
- 2 tsp easy bake yeast *see notes
- 2 tsp ground mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 70 g caster sugar
- 1 medium lemon zest only
- 280 ml milk of choice warm
- 40 g unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1 large egg
- 150 g chocolate chips or chopped chocolate I used dark and milk chocolate
- 100 g grated marzipan optional
- 2 tsp olive oil for greasing the bowl
- 75 g plain flour
- 3 Tbsp Lyle's Golden Syrup *see notes
- Place the strong bread flour, yeast, spices, salt, lemon zest and sugar in a bowl of a freestanding mixer with the hook dough attachment and mix briefly to combine.
- In a small jug, combine together the milk and the egg, then pour the mixture into the dry ingredients. Add melted and cooled butter and mix together on low speed for 2 minutes to form a shaggy dough. Increase the speed to medium, and continue to mix for another 5-7 minutes until you have smooth, elastic dough that no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough into a lightly floured surface and add the chopped chocolate and grated marzipan, kneading it by hand into the dough until it is evenly distributed.
- Shape the dough into a large bowl and transfer it to a lightly greased large bowl. Cover with cling film (or shower cup) or clean tea towel, and set aside in a warm place until it has doubled in size (about 1- 2 hours).
- Once the dough has doubled in size, gently knock the air out of it, then transfer it onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into 12 equal pieces (using kitchen scales comes very handy!), and using your hands, shape each piece into a tight ball (watch video to see how). Place each ball onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, spacing them about 1cm apart. Cover with cling film or clean tea towel and prove for 45 minutes.
- Prepare the paste for the cross pattern by mixing 75 g of plain flour with 5 Tbsp of water. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag fitted with small, plain nozzle (I used 3mm nozzle), alternatively, use a plastic zip-lock style bag and snip out the small corner of it. Preheat the oven to 170C (fan).
- Once buns have risen, slowly pipe the cross pattern on top of them. Transfer the buns into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Place the Lyle's Golden Syrup in a small saucepan and heat it up gently for a minute. Brush the warm buns with Lyle's Golden Syrup, allow them to cool for 5- 10 minutes and enjoy!
- Yeast- any type of yeast can be used (use the same amount), but depending on the type, you may have to activate it in a liquid first. Proving times may also vary, depending on the type of yeas used
- Glaze- if no golden syrup is available, use apricot jam, honey or corn syrup
- Storing- store any leftover buns wrapped tightly at room temperature for 1-2 days. You can also freeze them for up to 1 month.
- Reheating- toast the buns for couple of minutes or warm them up in the oven (170C) for 5-10 minutes
- Make ahead instructions: option 1- prepare the dough up to step 4. Cover the dough and place in the fridge overnight. Next day, remove the dough from the fridge, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours, then proceed to step 4. Option 2- cover shaped buns with plastic wrap or tea towel and place in the fridge overnight. Next day, remove the buns from the fridge and allow them to sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours, then proceed to baking.