Double Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

If dried fruit in traditional Hot Cross buns is not to your liking, then you may be interested in this double chocolate version. My family enjoys both, but the boys’ favourite are definitely the chocolate ones.

These buns are just as moist and have the same texture as the traditional ones I posted previously. They have just the perfect amount of spices and sweetness, with a lovely chocolaty bun and delicious chocolate morsels through out. I use the same fabulous sugar spiced glaze too.

Here are a few tips to make hot cross buns.

  • There are a few things to keep in mind when making bread. Your oven, altitude and climate, whether it’s dry or humid, can influence your results. At the moment it is autumn here in Australia and the weather is still quite warm, and I know from when making bread rolls, I do have different results in winter compared to making them in summer.
  • Make sure you have all the ingredients at room temperature before you start making the bread. It’s really important to have your milk at the right temperature 41C-46C (105F-114F). If your milk is too hot it can kill the yeast, and if it’s not hot enough your yeast will not activate.
  • I’ve found I have more consistent results by using my oven to prove the bread. I always put a bowl of water on the bottom shelf of the oven, as this creates a warm but humid environment, which is perfect for bread proving.
  • In regards to the ground psyllium husks in the ingredients list, I use my spice grinder to process them into a fine powder.
  • Although you can use your bare hands to roll and shape the dough, I highly recommend you wear disposable gloves, as it makes this process so much quicker and easier. You will still need to lightly oil the disposable gloves before you handle the dough.
  • The paste mixture for the crosses needs to be thick, but not too thick otherwise you will have difficulty being able to pipe it. Once piped, it should hold its shape well. If you do add a little too much water, all it will mean is the crosses will bake up thinner and flatter, instead of having a defined ridge.

For accurate cup measurements, I sift the potato starch and cocoa powder before measuring, so that there are no lumps/clumps. All cup measurements are firmly packed.

Update: I’m currently using the Bob’s Red Mill brand of xanthan gum, as I’m no longer able to buy the Nu-vit brand. I have found by using this brand, I’ve needed to add ½ teaspoon of ground psyllium husk to the dry ingredients. The psyllium husk helps with the structure of the buns.

Makes 15 buns 

310ml (1¼ cups) warm dairy free milk of choice
1 tablespoon (15ml) maple syrup
1 tablespoon (15ml) instant dried yeast
64g (2.3 ounces or ½ cup) tapioca starch
60g (2.2 ounces or ⅓ cup) potato starch
56g (2.0 ounces or ½ cup) almond meal/flour
50g (1.8 jounces or ⅓ cup) superfine brown rice flour
50g (1.8 ounces or ⅓ cup) sorghum flour
50g (1.8 ounces or ⅓ cup) millet flour
44g (1.6 ounces or ⅓ cup) superfine white rice flour
32g (1.1 ounces or ¼ cup) sweet rice flour (aka glutinous rice flour)
36g (1.3 ounces or 3 tablespoons) golden/raw caster sugar or superfine white sugar
33g (1.2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) light muscovado sugar or light brown sugar
15g (0.5 ounces or 3 tablespoons) natural cocoa powder
3 teaspoons (15ml) ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons (15ml) mixed spice
1 tablespoon (15ml) xanthan gum
1 teaspoon (5ml) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5ml) salt
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) ground psyllium husk
3 large eggs, at room temperature
60ml (¼ cup) light olive oil or another neutral flavoured oil (I use this brand)
1 teaspoon (5ml) apple cider vinegar
Stir Through
150g (5.3 ounces or 1 cup) chocolate chips (I use this brand)
Approximately 15-20ml (3-4 teaspoons) of extra olive oil for rolling the dough into balls
Paste For Crosses
36g (1.3 ounces or 3 tablespoons) golden/raw caster sugar or superfine white sugar
16g (0.6 ounces or 2 tablespoons) white rice flour
18g (0.6 ounces or 2 tablespoons) sorghum flour
8g (0.3 ounces or 1 tablespoon) tapioca starch
8g (0.3 ounces or 1 tablespoon) sweet rice flour
5g (0.2 ounces or 1 tablespoon) natural cocoa powder
A large pinch of xanthan gum
Approximately 32.5ml (2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon) room temperature water, you may need more
60ml (¼ cup) dairy free milk of choice
12g (0.4 ounces or 1 tablespoon) golden/raw caster sugar or superfine white sugar
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) mixed spice

Preheat the oven to 75C (167F) and pour about 2 cups of warm water into an ovenproof bowl and place on the bottom shelf of your oven.. Once the temperature has been reached, turn the oven off.

Line a large baking pan, mine measured 33 X 23 X 5½cm (13 X 9 X 2¼ inches) with baking paper/parchment, which should line the base and sides with a little over hanging. I then use this excess baking paper/parchment to lift the buns out once cooked.

The temperature of the milk needs to be between 41C-46C (105F-114F). Add the maple syrup and yeast and give it a stir to combine. Allow it to stand for no longer than 7 minutes, so please set a timer! The yeast will be frothy and bubbly.

Step 1

While you’re waiting for the yeast to prove, measure out the dry ingredients and sift them together, before setting aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the wet ingredients to the bowl and pour in the yeast when it has finished proofing. Mix on a low speed to combine.

Continuing on a low speed, gradually add the sifted dry ingredients and keep mixing until well combined, the dough will look quite thick.

Step 2

Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula, before turning the speed up to medium and beating for 4 minutes.

Step 3

Next, use a spatula to evenly stir the chocolate chips through the bread dough.

Step 4

Pour the extra oil into a small bowl. You will need to use a kitchen scale to achieve equal sized balls of dough. It is important that you lightly oil the surface of your scale otherwise the dough will stick. Although the dough is slightly sticky, it is still pretty easy to work with, as long as your hands are lightly oiled. As I mentioned previously, wearing disposable gloves makes this task a lot easier, although you can use your bare hands to roll and shape the dough. I find it’s easier to use an ice cream scoop, but you can also use a spoon to measure out the dough, with each bun being approximately 79g (2.8 ounces or a slightly heaped ice cream scoop).

Now, lightly oil your hands before picking up the ball of dough. Roll it into smooth round ball and place it into the prepared pan. Leave a small gap between each ball of dough, so that it has space to rise. Repeat with the remaining dough, there will be 5 buns going across and 3 going down.

Step 5

Place the pan in the oven and allow the buns to prove for 25 minutes. Remove the pan and the bowl of water from the oven and turn the oven to 160C.

Step 6

About 3 minutes before the buns have finished proofing, make the chocolate paste for the crosses. Sift the dry ingredients to a small bowl and add the water, stirring until well combined. Now spoon the paste into a piping bag (I used a plain round nozzle which was ½cm in width). Using an even amount of pressure on the piping bag, pipe across the buns in one continuous line and then pipe down to make the crosses.

Step 7

Once the oven has reached 160C place the buns back in the oven and bake for approximately 27-30 minutes. They will be lovely and golden.

A few of minutes before the buns have finished baking you can make a start on the glaze. Add the milk, sugar and mixed spice to a small saucepan on a medium heat. Now keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved, before removing from the heat.

As soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush the glaze over the buns.

Step 8

Then allow them to cool in the pan for couple of minutes, before using the baking paper/parchment to carefully transfer them to a wire rack and sliding the paper out from underneath them.Brush the glaze over the buns again and allow them to cool slightly before slicing.

Step 9

Step 10

Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse

Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.

Oven Temperatures Chart

130C = 110C fan = 250F = Gas mark 1
150C = 130C fan = 300F = Gas mark 2
160C = 140C fan = 320F = Gas Mark 3
180C = 160C fan = 350F = Gas mark 4
190C = 170C fan = 375F = Gas mark 5
200C = 180C fan = 400F = Gas mark 6
220C = 200C fan = 425F = Gas mark 7
230C = 210C fan = 450F = Gas mark 8

13 responses to “Double Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

  1. Pingback: Top 20 Best Gluten-Free Hot Cross Bun Recipes·

  2. These look just like traditional hot cross buns – WOW, you are a legend! Thank you for sharing your amazing recipes with us, they continuously inspire me. With your experience you can probably throw together a flour combination and instinctly know the consistency of the finished product – I cant wait to get to that point and reduce the many flops i put together. In this recipe, can you please share with us the difference between sweet rice flour & plain white rice flour and how they react differently. Really appreciate your time, Cheers!

  3. Hi Kimmy 🙂

    Thank you for your kind words and support, I really appreciate it. 🙂 I’ve lost count with the amount of flops I’ve had over the years! But with each flop, I learnt what will and won’t work when making flour blends. I still have the occasional flop even now.

    White rice flour is the most commonly used gluten free flour and it can be interchangeable with super-fine brown rice flour. White rice flour is lighter texture and flavour compared to brown rice flour. You cannot use this solely on its own in baking, because it has no binding ability. It needs to be combined with other flours and starches. I use a super-fine white rice flour because it produces the best texture in baking. If the rice is not milled finely enough it can leave a gritty texture and it also produces crumbly baked goods.

    Sweet rice flour (aka glutinous rice flour) is milled from a short grain sticky rice. This flour is not interchangeable with white rice flour because it is much higher in starch. Sweet rice flour makes a great binder when used in a flour blend because it has a distinctive gelatinous/sticky quality, which I think mimics the missing gluten component not found in other gluten free flours.

    I hope this helps.

    Kinds regards

    Kylie 🙂 x

    • Thank you SO much for your detailed response Kylie, really appreciate your guidance and advice on interchanging the flours & the ensuing results. Now to hunt down a reputable supplier of sweet rice flour ☺

  4. WOW these are delicious – a new favourite recipe! When I first saw the photos I was certain they couldn’t be GF DF so I was super excited when I realised they were! Being coeliac and dairy intolerant it’s so frustrating when baking (especially bread) hardly ever works out well, so the soft texture of these buns straight out of the oven was a wonderful surprise 😀
    My whole family loved them and my mum said they’re the best hot cross buns she’s ever had including normal ones! I spent quite a while in the kitchen sorting out the different flours and doing lots of washing up but it was all SO worth it, and although my dough was too sticky to stay in rolls and all merged together in the baking dish I just cut the rolls apart and they still taste fabulous and didn’t take any extra time to bake.
    I didn’t have any sweet rice flour so I used extra potato starch instead, but I’m keen to get some and try it in other GF baking 🙂
    Thanks so much for this recipe, It seems too good to be true!

  5. Thank you so much for the glowing review of this recipe Zoe, I really appreciate your feedback. 🙂 Wow, your Mum’s comment blew me away…now that really is a compliment!! 😀 I’m so glad your whole family enjoyed them. These certainly don’t last long in our house with our boys around!

    Yes, I agree, gluten and dairy free bread can be really tricky to get just right. Bread making does require quite a variety of different flours and starches to achieve the perfect texture. I hope you’re able to find the sweet rice flour, as it is an important binding starch in this recipe.

    Have a great weekend.

    Kind regards


  6. Thanks for sharing your amazing recipe, I can’t believe the texture of the double choc hot cross buns, just like “normal” buns!!! Taste is very yummy and I have now cured my craving for chocolate hot cross buns (I get to watch my kids eat the supermarket ones but now I have my owns to savor, thank you so much)!

    • Hi Kellie
      You’re very welcome! 😀 I’m so happy you’ve enjoyed this recipe and I really appreciate your positive feedback. I know what you mean, about satisfying that chocolate craving! 😉

      Have a happy and safe Easter break.

      Kind regards


  7. Pingback: Chocolate Hot Cross Buns | The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse·

  8. Hi Kylie,

    Out of curiosity, rather than the myriad of individual flours you list, have you tried this recipe with “pre-bagged gluten free” flour options in Coles or Woolies (they usually seem to be a mix of tapioca, maize, rice and vege gums)?. The lazy man inside me is curious…haha

    Cheers 🙂

  9. Hi Leesome 🙂
    I like to mix my own flours, that way I get the right combination for whatever I’m making, as each flour and starch have their own unique characteristics. In my experience, I haven’t come across a brand of premix flour which I can use for everything. Some pre-made mixes contain soy flour, and I choose to steer clear of that particular flour in my baking.

    Kind regards

    Kylie 🙂

    • Hi Kylie! Small update:

      So, I tried the lazy-man option with the “Woolies premixed Flour” and they turned out pretty well (probably not as well as your specially balanced mix, but certainly passable).

      The only thing I think I’d change about the recipe would be replacing olive oil with another, milder oil – as I found it quite overpowering. But apart from that, it’s a really tasty recipe and they turned out great!

      Thanks for the recipe 🙂


      • Hi Leesome
        Thank you for the update, I’m glad they turned out well for you. 🙂 I use a light olive oil in this recipe…I’m going to make that change in the ingredients list now.
        Thanks again for your feedback, I really appreciate it.
        Kylie 🙂

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