vegan chocolate orange hot cross buns

Vegan Chocolate & Orange Hot Cross Buns

45 Mins     20 Mins     Medium     5

A twist on an Easter favourite. These chocolate orange hot cross buns are filled with chocolate chips and brushed with orange syrup that cuts through the chocolatey sweetness.

Total time with proving = 4 hours

Makes 12



  • 300ml unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 100g vegan butter, cubed
  • 450g strong white bread flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 100g caster sugar
  • grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 5g salt
  • 10g instant dry yeast*
  • 150g 50-60% chocolate chips


  • 2-3 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp water
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 10g caster sugar

*if you have active dry yeast, mix the yeast with the warmed milk first and set aside for about 10 minutes or until it looks frothy. Then add to the other ingredients and mix in.


  • Heat the milk in a saucepan over a low heat until it just starts to simmer. Remove from the heat, add in the butter and stir until melted. Set aside.
  • In a mixer bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and orange zest. Add the salt on one side and the yeast on the other (salt can kill yeast). Check the temperature of the milk mixture before adding in. It should be cooled to the point you can comfortably dip your finger in, around 40-45 degrees. Pour the milk mixture into the mixer bowl.
  • With a dough hook fitted, put the mixer on medium speed for 7-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and coming away from the sides. You can also knead by hand. You know when the dough is ready by seeing if you can stretch it to the point you can start to see light through it without it breaking.
  • If the mixer bowl is fairly clean, lift the dough out and lightly oil the sides. Then put the dough back in and cover. Otherwise, get a clean bowl and lightly oil, then transfer the dough to this bowl and cover. Leave to rise until it has at least doubled in size, 1-2 hours.
  • Once the dough has risen, knock back and tip onto a surface. If the dough is still sticky, lightly flour the surface to stop it sticking. Roll or flatten by hand, scatter over the chocolate chips and knead in. Roll into a log shape and cut into 12 equal portions and roll them into balls, tucking in the sides with the edges of your hands.
  • Place on a lined 9x13 inch traybake tray, leaving a gap between each bun. Cover the tray and leave to rise in a warm place until they double in size again, about 1 hour. There should be little to no gaps left between the buns when fully risen.
  • Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 180C/350F fan. Mix the plain flour and water to make a thick but pipeable paste (you might need to add a bit more of either flour or water). Pipe or spoon one long straight line across each row of buns both ways to make the crosses.
  • Bake the buns for about 20 minutes. While the buns are baking, make the orange syrup. On a low heat, simmer the orange juice and sugar in a pan until reduced to a syrup, about 3-5 minutes. Once baked, brush the tops all over with syrup and leave to cool in the tray.
Store in an air tight container for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
vegan chocolate orange hot cross buns in tray
vegan chocolate orange hot cross bun cut open

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