Luxe Hot Cross Buns

For those of you who prefer a slightly more luxurious, non traditional hot cross bun, compared to my HOT ones, this is a souped-up version of the classic, for Mr. dB. Filled with super dark chocolate, rich macadamias for a good crunch, and raisins.

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Note: As per my previous buns recipe, this dough is adapted from a fabulous recipe by topwithcinnamon, adjusted in turn from a King Arthur Flour recipe. The cook uses “Tangzhong”; long-story short: this is what makes Asian breads so delightfully fluffy! It may look like a complicated step but it is stress-free, I promise.

Tips and Tricks

  • If you don’t have wholemeal bread flour, you can use a blend of 60% white strong/bread flour and 40% wholemeal or spelt flour.
  • I use dried active yeast just because this is what I first learned to work with when making bread. Instant yeast is completely fine to use here; simply skip adding it into the milk and add it directly into the dry ingredients in “part 2”.
  • The cocoa crosses are completely optional; you can go with the traditional white crosses or simply omit entirely for any-time-of-the-year buns!

Luxe Hot Cross Buns

You're going to want to put the kettle on for a big cup of coffee or tea to go along with these delicious, rich buns filled with dark chocolate, raisins and macadamia crunch.
Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time30 mins
Resting Time20 mins
Total Time3 hrs 50 mins
Course: Baking, Bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Family Meal, Lunch, Sharing, Snack
Cuisine: British
Keyword: Baking, Bread, Bread Loaf, Buns, Chocolate, Fruit Loaf, Hot Cross Bun, Raisin
Servings: 9 buns


  • 9×9 "cake tin / baking tray or 8×4" loaf tin
  • Medium and large mixing bowls
  • Small saucepan


Dough Pt. 1 (Tangzhong)

  • 2 tbsp Plain flour Sifted
  • 90 ml Water 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
  • 50 g Butter
  • 125 ml Milk I like oat milk but any will do
  • 1 Egg Large
  • 2 1/4 tsp Dry active yeast Or 1 sachet (7g) instant yeast* SEE NOTE AT THE END

Dough Pt. 2

  • 220 g Wholemeal bread flour 1 1/2 cups; substitute white bread flour with up to 72g or 40% spelt
  • 120 g Rye flour 1 cup; substitute regular wholemeal
  • 2 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Plain flour (up to) For kneading


  • 30 g Macadamia nuts Substitute hazelnuts, brazil nuts, cashews etc.
  • 60 g Chocolate Any: I use 85% dark chocolate for that luxe taste
  • 60 g Raisins

Glaze (Optional but Recommended)

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Milk

Cross Topping

  • 2 tbsp Plain flour
  • 1 tbsp Water + a little more if necessary
  • 1 tsp Cocoa powder


Dough Part 1 (Tangzhong)

  • Gather your ingredients for the "dough part 1"; having everything to hand makes life easier!
  • Gently warm the milk to lukewarm temperature and set aside into a small bowl to cool. Don’t let it get too warm. Add the dry active yeast and give it a gentle stir to combine.
  • Into a small saucepan, add the water and SIFTED flour. Over a low-medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly, bring the flour and water together into a paste or slurry. If your flour begins to clump, add in a little of your butter until you’ve a nice, smooth consistency. Be careful not to take the heat too high – you don’t want to get any colour on the mixture.
  • Pour the slurry/goop into a small bowl and stir in the butter. Making sure the mixture is just lukewarm, stir in the milk/yeast mix and whole egg.

Dough Part 2

  • Combine your Part 2 ingredients (except for the plain flour) into a large mixing bowl.
  • Create a well in the middle and pour in your tangzhong (yeast) mixture. Working with a spoon at first, bring everything together into a dough. Knead for approximately 5+ minutes. This dough should be sticky but handle-able. If it is quite dry, add a splash of water to bring back a little moisture. If it is very sticky, slowly work in some of the plain flour until the dough is easier to handle.
  • Cover with cling film or a damp tea towel and set aside somewhere to warm to rise. The dough should double in size, taking between 1-2 hours depending on your weather etc.


  • While the dough rises, roughly chop the chocolate and macadamia nuts. Set the chocolate aside in the fridge until ready to incorporate into the dough.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, Grease a 9×9" cake tin or 8×4" loaf tin.
  • Sprinkle the raisins, chocolate and nuts evenly across the surface and, as best as you can, gently pull the edges of the dough back in on itself to fold in the ingredients.
  • Onto a lightly floured surface, turn the dough out and knead back into a ball, approx. 2 minutes.

Divide the dough

  • Square up your dough ball and cut into equal-sized pieces – 9 if making rolls, 8 if making the loaf.
  • Form each piece into a little round, using your hands to somewhat cup the dough, smoothing out the sides (I don't get too obsessive over this part!) and put each ball into your tin – rows of three if making rolls, or 2×4 if making the loaf.
  • Cover with the Clingfilm or damp tea towel and allow to rise again – approximately 30-45 minutes. During this time, preheat your oven to 180C/360F fan / 200C/390F / Gas Mark 6.

Glaze, Crosses and Bake

  • The egg wash is optional however if you've gone this far, you might as well get that beautiful sheen going too! Mix up 1 egg with roughly 1 tsp of milk and, using a pastry brush, gently paint over the tops of the dough balls.
  • For the crosses, mix up 2 tbsp of plain flour, 1 tsp cocoa powder and up to 2 tbsp of water into a thick, smooth paint-like texture – it should be squeezable! Using either a piping bag or a sandwich bag, add the paste and squash it all down towards the end/one corner. Nip off a little 2mm hole and squeeze/paint the crosses cross the buns.
  • Bake for 30 minutes; if the tops are a beautiful, golden brown, take your buns or loaf out and set the tin onto a wire rack for at least 20 minutes (AKA the countdown of torture). If they're not quite ready, pop them back in for another 5-10 minutes.
  • Because this recipe uses the Tangzhong method, because of some science, these buns/loaf will have a relatively good shelf life – but good luck getting them to last long enough to worry about that!


If using instant yeast, you can incorporate it directly into the “dough part 2”.

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Copyright © 2021 The dB Kitchen Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author: thedbkitchen

Niche-free recipes, created out of a pure love of food, by home cook Carmel de Bedin (that’s me!). Genuine, accessible dishes tried and taste-tested by a couple of food nerds who truly love a good meal.

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