Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

by Irvin on March 27, 2017 · 7 comments

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These chocolate hot cross buns are stuffed with dried cherries and chopped dark chocolate – a fun chocolate twist on the classic treat eaten on Good Friday! (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

I’ve been tinkering with a hot cross bun recipe for some time now. It’s a strange little baking project for me, a Taiwanese-American boy who was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Hot cross buns seemed like something only British (or Australian) folks ate though I’m sure other folks ate them as well. But because of the symbolism behind the cross and the spices in the bread, I figure if you were America and ate hot cross buns, you were probably Catholic.

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

Now Protestant folks aren’t really big on all the symbolism and ritual that the buns seem to represent. At least not the Presbyterian church that I went to growing up. The hot cross bun’s spices were suppose to represent the spices used to embalm Jesus and the cross on top, well that seems self-explanatory. All of that symbolism wrapped up in a tasty yeasty sweet bread. I guess it makes much more sense than a rabbit running around giving out chocolate and laying multi-colored eggs.

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

Of course because I associate chocolate with Easter, I decided the world needed a chocolate hot cross bun. Apparently this is not an original idea (though I swear I thought it up first) with chocolate hot cross buns being quite popular over in Australia and New Zealand. Or at least that is what Wikipedia said when I decided to look up the origin of the hot cross bun. And if it’s on the internet, it must be true right?

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

This recipe creates that ideal, soft and chewy bread texture that I love in fresh baked rolls. And the bittersweet chocolate soft bread paired with the subtle complex spices makes me pretty happy whenever I bite into them. I may not be joining the Catholic church anytime soon or moving to England or Australia but I’ll certainly be making these buns again.

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan March 28, 2017 at 3:47 am

Irvin, I think that the notion of chocolate hot cross buns is really very clever and interesting. Apparently
that variation is already popular with the colonial Brits, but it was an entirely original idea on your part, and I really like the way your mind works.

At first glance I thought you had merely turned hot cross buns into chocolate cherry buns, but then I saw that you had retained and enhanced the traditional spice mix, and I was very intrigued. So intrigued that I feel compelled to make these, because the combination of chocolate with these warning spices is not a taste I have encountered very often. And I love the fact that you included coriander in the mix, and that the buns are not overly sweetened when you consider the amount of chocolate used. I always enjoyed the very slightly bitter flavor of the original recipe that the addition of candied dried fruit created. When I use the commercial minced pie type mix of candied fruit traditionally offered for sale in the grocery stores during the Christmas season, I always rinse it very thoroughly with hot water to get rid of as much of the cloying sweetness created by the abundant use of corn syrup. I adore the faintly bittersweet flavor of hot cross buns, and it looks like you have faithfully reproduced that element with your chocolate variation.

The only thing I dislike about hot cross buns are the flour-based crosses. I think they taste nasty, and I suppose that they were an addition made by the church to cover up what was no doubt the pagan origins of the bun.

Anyway, thank you for offering such an interesting and thoughtful variation of hot cross buns!


Mimi March 28, 2017 at 6:01 am

These are just stunning. I really wish I could taste one, without making them, cause I’d most likely eat ALL of them!!!


Kari March 28, 2017 at 2:00 pm
Liz | Bubble Tea For Dinner April 3, 2017 at 6:42 pm

Just gotta say, I *am* a fan of flour-based crosses! British-Canadian here, and yes totally raised on these buns growing up… albeit always bought from a bakery. I think a chocolate version makes total sense, and the spice blend you chose is great, coriander sounds like an interesting factor. Also… hot cross buns were probably at first made by pagan Saxons as an offering to Eostre! (a goddess of light and spring). So they’re multi religious I guess.


madalin stunt cars 2 April 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm

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Run 2 Online April 10, 2017 at 12:04 am

Wow! So many riches for the senses. Thanks for sharing!


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