chocolate hot cross buns

hot cross buns

Goddess buns. I definitely liked the sounds of that.

I was doing some reading on the history of hot cross buns. Along with the obvious Christian links, the Anglo Saxon goddess Eostre is also connected. (She also seems to be a goddess that not a lot was known about.) A cross being placed on a bun to represent the four phases of the moon. Eaten during the time of the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. Well how about that… fascinating isn’t it this wonderful world we live in.

I also found out that Chocolate Hot Cross Buns seem to be an Australian/ New Zealand thing. It seems we have far more non fruit loving people down under than the rest of the world- which suits Mr Chocolate just fine, as dried fruit and he aren’t firm friends. The nose wrinkles a little and head pulls back in a sharp subtle manner… sultanas?!
Chocolate however, no problem what so ever.
Would the Saxon’s have approved of these Chocolate Hot Cross Buns in honour of the Goddess Eostre? I like to think so, after all, chocolate is, food of the gods.


Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

250g sourdough starter

1 tsp dried yeast

100g sugar

250mls water/milk*

100g softened butter*

600g flour

200g dark chocolate drops**

100mls water

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp dark malt flour

2 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together, except for the salt. Autolyse period 20-45 minutes. Add the salt and mix again, then turn out on to a lightly floured bench to knead until you get a lovely smooth ball of dough. Pop the dough back into the bowl, plastic bag over the top and leave to prove.  A couple of proves and folds over the next few hours. Then out onto lightly floured surface again and divide into 16 or so portions. Roll into balls, or simply divide to get a more square shape. Pop them on a lined baking tray, cover and leave for another prove. The dough is ready to be baked, when you press it in and it lightly springs back.


1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

Mix together and spoon into a piping bag just before they hit the oven.

Then bake at 210C for approximately 15-25 minutes, (until golden.)


1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

Bring to a simmer for a couple of minutes and then brush on to the hot buns with a pastry brush.

Vegan variations

* to make these vegan, omit the butter and milk. Substituting the milk for water.

** use a dark chocolate without any milk solids, and add two tablespoons of great quality cocoa

This post submitted to the always wonderful yeastspotting.


35 thoughts on “chocolate hot cross buns

  1. I LOVE your blog – i look forward to reading it – it keeps me connected to your lovely world.
    I wanted to add my thoughts to your fascinating post today.
    Humans differ from all other mammals in that we are not dependent on ovulation to be receptive to intercourse (what on earth does this have to do with hot cross buns she cries?)
    Well – you mentioned the Goddess Eostre. That got me thinking you see, because i used to breed dogs in another life – and when a dog (and all other mammals, except maybe dolphins and some primates who also do “it” for fun and pleasure) are ready to “mate” it is called oestrus – so I looked up its meaning :

    oestrus , estrus or estrum (ˈiːstrəs, ˈɛstrəs, ˈiːstrəm, ˈɛstrəm)

    — n
    a regularly occurring period of sexual receptivity in most female mammals, except humans, during which ovulation occurs and copulation can take place; heat

    [C17: from Latin oestrus gadfly, hence frenzy, from Greek oistros ]

    So I do believe that your Goddess was something to do with fertility, fecundity, and reproduction – a perfect thing to celebrate in the pagan faith at this time of the Northern Equinox – which Easter follows the first Sunday there after.
    Love to you xxxx


    • You’re a hundred kinds of wonderful Sheryl 🙂
      That is so interesting…. it makes complete sense. (Goes along with the rabbit and bird at easter time being a symbol of the earths emerging fertility at the Northern Equinox too.)

      Love it!


  2. I like the name goddess buns a whole lot. A whole lot indeed. I also like this recipe – Mr Bite is like Mr Chocolate and prefers the chocolate hot cross buns to the traditional type (although he’ll tolerate the traditional type). I like fruit but not peel so we’re a fussy bun household!


  3. These will be Audrey’s first ever hot cross buns since she moved to Serendipity Farm from the mainland. She has been delivering a steady stream of sourdough cakes and has been sharing her offspring with others but there comes a time when you have to test a starters mettle and this recipe looks like just such a test. You can’t go wrong with chocolate and cardamom 🙂


  4. Yuuuum! These look gorgeous, and I’ve still got my jar of sourdough starter bubbling away in the spare room (warmest part of the house, thanks again for the recipe!) so I’ll be giving this recipe a try for Easter time! I wasn’t aware that choc hot cross buns were an Aussie thing. That makes sense though… Australians always bunk tradition! Thanks for your recipe xx


    • Yay! I’m so pleased you’ve had success with the starter. It’s such a handy thing to have up your sleeve (well not really up your sleeve, as that would be messy.) I really don’t think there is any comparison with 100% commercial yeasted baking- just tastes funny.


  5. In England, the artefacts of religion operate in layers, so churches were built very often over old pre Christian sites of worship, festivals superimposed on older ones, Christmas being placed on top of mid winter etc etc. Easter moves about because it is linked in historic time to Passover which is dictated by the moon phases.

    As to the hot cross bun, who knows? A cross like a circle or a spiral is such a basic form, read into them what pleases you 🙂 B adores mixed fruit and peel but whatever you fancy goes in my book xx


    • A man with wonderful tastes is your Mr B Joanna 🙂 Dried fruit, peel…it’s all the good stuff in my book. I did two batches of fruit ones this weekend and 3 the last. Along with a chocolate ones on each weekend as well. 104 hot cross buns over two weekends!


  6. These look good 🙂 Over here in the UK you do see different versions of hot cross buns – chocolate chip, toffee and apple and so on – but I think the traditional ones probably are the most popular. Or maybe that’s just me – I love them! Although not with the foul monstrosity that is candied peel…I use lots of lemon and orange zest instead. The cardamom and chocolate combo sounds tempting though…


    • what is it that so many people hate about candied peel? I like the bitter chewiness of it but I know I’m definitely in the minority!
      These chocolate ones would enjoy a little zesting over the dough as well.


  7. I like the way you added some spices to the buns as well. I think these would have wonderful flavour. I never knew that about the goddess; I always thought Hot Cross Buns related strictly to Jesus being crucified xx


  8. What a great idea to add in the cardamom, it’s such a lovely warm spice isn’t it? I love candied peel, but not so much sultanas- they make peel free buns, maybe they should make peel only buns too? Do you think I’m onto a winner here? 🙂


  9. Like the look of these- although I’m not sure if I would want to eat something called a goddess roll.
    I do like the cardamom addition- yet I like peel- no raisins.
    Hot cross buns have such a nice song that goes with them. 🙂


  10. These look so very good, I’m a candied peel girl and can’t quite get my head around chocolate hot cross buns! However after tasting a chocolate and sour cherry one, I realised they may just have a place in my life …


  11. I didn’t realise that we liked chocolate buns more than others. I figured chocolate was an equal opportunity food that everyone loved in everything! 🙂 I like the one that you photographed too-I always go for the buns that are in the centre-the sides are much softer 😀


  12. I love the idea of chocolate hot cross buns. My sweetheart declares that all sultanas are murdered grapes (he loves grapes) and so I never bake hot cross buns. But he likes chocolate so this may be my change… 😀


  13. Pingback: Sticky Buns of the Spelt and Hot Cross kind | cityhippyfarmgirl

  14. Pingback: The Evolution of the Easter Hot Cross Bun

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