cacao orange hot cross buns

recipe  5th April 2017 by

Spring is in the air! Celebrate Easter the good old fashioned English way with one of these delightfully modern hot cross buns, made with cacao and orange zest.

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hot cross buns square
hot cross buns pile
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We wanted to make our hot cross buns super, so we made them with raw cacao powder which contains antioxidants and an orange for some vitamin C. The flavour combination is also excellent because the chocolate and spices bring warmth and depth whilst the zing of the orange cuts through this nicely.

Holly, graze taste expert


  • 350 g plain flour
  • 40 g unsalted butter
  • 25 g cacao powder
  • 45 g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 zested & juiced orange
  • 150 ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 7 g fast action dried yeast
  • 50 g chopped dark chocolate
  • 30 g raisins


Follow this recipe to make 6 buns. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Sieve the salt, cacao powder and 300g of the flour in a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Stir in to the bowl the yeast, 35g of sugar, mixed spice and orange zest.

Warm the milk to a lukewarm temperature and stir into the flour mixture until it becomes a dough. Add the dark chocolate and raisins.

Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes until it become silky and less sticky. Form the dough into a ball. Place it in a bowl. Cover with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place to rise for 50-60 minutes.

Mix the remaining 50g of flour with 5 tsp of cold water until it forms a smooth paste. Score the tops of the buns with a serrated knife to make a cross shape. Use a spoon or piping bag to fill the cross with the smooth paste.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until firm to the touch.

Gently warm the orange juice and remaining 10g of sugar until it forms a glaze. Brush the glaze gently across the buns and return to the oven for a further 2 minutes.

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By Holly, assistant taste expert.

Holly is the newest member of the taste team, working with Bobby to make sure our snacks are always the best they can be. She's got a sweet tooth and especially enjoys working with chocolate and creating our unique deconstructed desserts.

view all posts by Holly

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