These hot cross buns are studded with chocolate chips instead of currants, and then topped with a white chocolate cross. Perfect for Easter these sweet rolls are pillowy, soft and wonderful!
"Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One 'a penny, two 'a penny,
Hot cross buns!"
Was that the first song you learned on your musical instrument? Unless you're a natural Bach or Beethoven, then it probably was. Now that the song's stuck in your head, let's talk about these sweet little pillows of heaven we call Hot Cross Buns.
📖 The Significance of Hot Cross Buns
Hot cross buns are often baked and eaten on Good Friday with the cross marked on top symbolizing the crucifixion. They also have quite a bit of superstition associated with them.
For example, some say if these rolls are baked on Good Friday, they will keep fresh for the entire year. Others claim an exchange of the rolls are responsible for blossoming friendships (hmmmm...I did give most of my batch to my neighbor). While another superstition states the buns are medicinally charged, mending any ailing folks who eat them. These are just few among others.
What do these buns mean to me? Aside from the Christian influence, we've never taken this into our Easter traditions for more than simply a great breakfast! Traditionally, they are made with currants or raisins, but many do not like currants and raisins in their bread, so I love this idea for a chocolate version.
🧾 Grocery List
We're making yeast rolls but with chocolate chips studded into the recipe.
Ingredients for this recipe:
- Instant yeast (2 tablespoons)
- All-purpose flour (4 ½ cups)
- Sugar (½ cup, plus ¼ cup)
- Milk (1 ½ cups)
- Unsalted butter (4 tablespoons)
- Egg (1 large)
- Chocolate chips (I like semi-sweet, 2 cups)
- White chocolate (2 oz.)
Click here for full recipe ingredients and instructions.
👩🏽🍳 How to Make Hot Cross Buns
It is just as easy as making an easy yeast roll recipe. We brush a simple syrup over top the baked rolls then melt white chocolate chips to pipe the crosses. The general steps are as follows.
Combine yeast, sugar and milk.
Whisk flour and salt. Make a well in the center and add butter, egg and yeast mixture, along with 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
Mix together until a dough forms, then knead on low speed for about 5 minutes.
Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough, then add more chocolate chips.
Divide dough into 16 balls, let rise 20 minutes.
Bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Prepare glaze by dissolving sugar into hot water, brush over tops of baked rolls.
- Melt white chocolate chips in microwave and pipe a cross on each roll.
Click here for full recipe instructions.
Yes, I might be reminded of my early piano and saxophone days when "Hot Cross Buns" was the only tune I knew how to play. But, right now, all I can think about is how I can't wait to wake up tomorrow morning and eat the leftovers with a hot cup of coffee.
🐇 More Easter Recipes
- Cheesy Potatoes
- Italian Easter Bread
- Oven Baked Ham
- Carrot Cake Monkey Bread
- Easter Nest Sugar Cookies
This recipe was originally published April 2012 and updated March 2021.
Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns
For the buns:
- 2 Tablespoons instant yeast
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cups warm milk
- 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 ½ Tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- 1 egg , lightly beaten
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the glaze:
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 Tablespoons hot water
For the crosses:
- 2 ounces white chocolate (block or chips)
For the buns:
- Combine the yeast, sugar and milk in a small bowl; set aside. After 10-15 minutes, the mixture should swell.
- Whisk the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the melted butter, egg and yeast mixture, along with 1 cup of the chocolate chips. Mix together until a dough forms, then knead on low speed for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth an elastic. Add a little more flour, if needed.
- Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough, then add the remaining chocolate chips, kneading lightly to incorporate them. Divide the dough evenly into 16 balls and place them close together in a parchment lined or greased baking pan.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cover the hot cross buns with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to rise for 20 minutes.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. While the buns are baking, prepare the glaze.
For the glaze:
- Dissolve the sugar in the hot water. Once the buns are done baking, remove from the oven and immediately coat them with the glaze, using a pastry brush. Let cool in a pan on a wire rack.
For the crosses:
- Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Transfer to a small zipper bag or piping bag, snip off the end and pipe crosses across the tops of the buns.
- Serve warm.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only.