Baking| Hot Cross Strawberry Chocolate Chip Buns … Happy Easter

  “Happy Easter. May happy thoughts and springtime flowers brighten all your Easter hours.”
Author Unknown

Hot Cross Strawberry Chocolate Chip BunsSo what are you making for Easter Mr PAB asked, referring to the ever ‘hungry’ blog! Moi? I had no plans but he talked me into some. Having studied in convents all my life, I’ve been charmed by hot cross buns for long, long, but never baked a batch. Maybe this was the time! Soon enough,  the sweet aroma of Hot Cross Strawberry Chocolate Chip Buns wafted gently through the house!Hot Cross Strawberry Chocolate Chip Buns

A hot cross bun is a sweet, spiced bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top, traditionally eaten on Good Friday. In many historically Christian countries, buns are traditionally eaten hot or toasted on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of the Crucifixion. Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be” is said at the time. Because of the cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten.

Hot Cross Strawberry Chocolate Chip BunsMy version is non traditional yet quite delicious! I bookmarked a few recipes including one in my Thermomix cookbook, but eventually went for an oft used basic recipe. It’s the one I adapted for Apple Cranberry Almond Olive Oil Pull-Apart Loaf & Popovers from The Pioneer Woman, a ‘light as air’ flavourful dough, one that can take a stuffing, and is quite a fun dough to play with!Hot Cross Strawberry Chocolate Chip Buns

Hot Cross Strawberry Chocolate Chip BunsStuffing? Yes indeed! I had a small idea creeping into my head as I had strawberries calling to be roasted yet again. I wanted to try adding a small ‘heart‘ of that roasted goodness into my hot cross buns. I cooked the syrup to a thick reduction to ensure the filling stayed ‘stuffed’ in! Also, instead of traditional currants I opted for chocolate chips.Hot Cross Strawberry Chocolate Chip Buns

Hot Cross Strawberry Chocolate Chip BunsThe recipe never fails. For the ‘cross’ on top I piped some thick stirred plain flour and water. The buns were delicious and disappeared pretty soon. The red heart of roasted balsamic strawberries was a nice surprise as you bit through the bread flooding your palette with flavour and balsamic sweetness. It paired well, as does the chocolate, with an otherwise not too sweet bread.Hot Cross Strawberry Chocolate Chip BunsButtermilk keeps the dough light, and the vanilla bean adds gentle, beautiful flavour. If I had placed the buns apart on a large baking sheet I’d have managed individual hot cross buns, but since I used a smaller baking pan, they rose into each other and resulted in a pull apart bread. No regrets however!!Hot Cross Strawberry Chocolate Chip BunsI like this dough recipe, and keep simplifying it as I use it more and more. The basic dough is eggless, butter free and light. Yeast, soda and baking powder combine to make sure it rises well. Its versatile too as I’ve used it in Savoury Chili Cheese & Garlic Olive Oil Pull-Apart Bread some time ago. More recently it popped up on PAB as the base of Sweet Orange, Roasted Strawberry and Chocolate Buttermilk Rolls.Hot Cross Strawberry Chocolate Chip BunsIt’s one those recipes you can keep returning to, experiment with and enjoy in different avatars. I might try using the dough for a slow overnight rise sometime soon. So many ideas to keep the hungry PAB and kids happy, but often the lack of time!Hot Cross Strawberry Chocolate Chip Buns

[print_this]Recipe: Hot Cross Strawberry Chocolate Chip Buns
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Summary: Light and airy hot cross buns made with a yeasted {eggless] buttermilk dough flavoured with vanilla beans and chocolate chips. A sweet roasted balsamic strawberry reduction floods the palette as you bite through the otherwise not so sweet bun.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes plus resting time

  • Buttermilk Dough
  • 240ml {1 cup} buttermilk, room temperature
  • 70gm {1/4 cup} granulated sugar
  • 60g {1/4 cup} extra light olive oil, or any neutral oil
  • 1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
  • 270gm {2 1/4 cups} all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • Filling
  • 50gm {1/4 cup} unsalted butter, melted
  • 100gm dark chocolate, chopped {good quality}
  • 1 serving roasted balsamic strawberries {recipe follows}
  • Icing
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • Enough water to make it into a thick paste {approximately 1/4 cup or less}
  • Roasted Balsamic Strawberries
  • 225gm strawberries
  • 30gm  {2tbsp} brown sugar
  • 15ml {1tbsp} balsamic vinegar


  1. Buttermilk Dough
  2. In a large bowl or  your food processor,  place all the dry ingredients, followed by the oil and buttermilk. Knead to a soft pliable dough. It will be sticky. Cover and let it rise for at least an hour.
  3. {Thermomix: Place all ingredients in TM bowl. Mix at Speed 6 for 5 seconds. Knead at intermittent speed for 2 minutes. Leave dough in TH for an hour until it doubles. Cover TM if weather is cold.}
  4. Assembling:
  5. Roll the dough into a large rectangle. Spread 1/3rd of the butter over it, and sprinkle half the chocolate chips over. Fold over twice like you would do puff pastry and repeat again with 1/3rd butter and the remaining chocolate chips.
  6. Divide the dough into half, then into 6 equal portions each. You should have 12 portions. On a lightly floured surface, gently roll the dough into balls.
  7. Take a ball of dough, flatten on the palm of your hand, place a scant tsp of completely cooled roasted balsamic strawberries on it, and pull the edges over it to cover the filling. Gently roll back into a ball, ensuring that the filling is trapped in. Place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet/pan.
  8. Repeat with remaining balls of dough.
  9.  Allow to rise covered while you make the flour mix for the cross and preheat the oven to 220C.
  10. Mix the flour gradually with the water to get a thick paste. Place into a ziploc bag, snip off a corner and pipe crosses over the dough balls.
  11. Bake for 10 minutes on 220C, reduce the heat to 200C and continue to bake for a further 10-15 minutes until nice and golden. Paint with the remaining butter as soon as the buns come out of the oven.
  12. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  13. {Caution: Don’t be tempted to bite into a hot ‘hot cross bun’ as the filling might burn your mouth.}
  14. Roasted Balsamic Strawberries
  15. Toss the quartered strawberries well with the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Bake at 180C for about 45 minutes until nice and bubbly, stirring once or twice. Strain the strawberries and reserve in a bowl. Place the liquid in a pan and reduce over heat until nice and thick. We need a thick strawberry reduction for the stuffing! Cool completely, transfer to a clean glass jar and refrigerate until needed.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  • 4 years ago

    They look beautiful and delicate! I’ve never baked hot cross buns before but I’ll give it a try with your recipe!
    Zita´s last blog post ..Superfood Breakfast: Sugar-free Cinnamon GranolaMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    This is a new one for me-hot cross buns filled with strawberries, perfect!
    Happy Easter to you and your family!
    Tamara´s last blog post ..Uskrsni cupcakes s kremom od limuna i izrada fondanta / Easter lemon curd cupcakes and fondant tutorialMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    Just irresistible!

    Happy Easter!



  • 4 years ago

    Nice combination!!!
    ritu´s last blog post ..Easter BunsMy Profile

  • I am reading this post in the evening where lunch was a long time back and dinner is some time away… and these buns looks beyond scrumptious… that filling is calling out to me!!! gosh.. am soo hungry!!
    Sarvani @ baker in disguise´s last blog post ..Pizza Rustica : ‘TWD: Baking with Julia’My Profile

  • 4 years ago

    Oh dear I really love this like always and would love to make dont matter the time LOL
    Happy Easter my dear Deeba! Love yah!
    gloria´s last blog post ..Coconut and raspberries Ice creamMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    Happy easter to you and your lovely family Deeba. I thought of making hot cross buns but decided to go on a hike instead.
    belllii´s last blog post ..Green Asparagus Soup to Rush in the SeasonMy Profile

  • manjeet
    4 years ago

    I had been thinking about these hot cross buns ever since I saw them on Pioneer Woman’s site but you pushed me over the edge 😉 and I made these today ! They were a bit dense for my hubby’s liking but I guess that is because they got left in the oven longer than they were supposed to…I made brown sugar and choco-chips though…no fruit lovers in my family :(
    Still , keep baking and nudging others to follow suit..:) Kudos..

  • 4 years ago

    they look awesome Deeba, remind me of the poem
    rahin´s last blog post ..Dahi Ki Kadhi Aur Badey./ Yogurt Gravy with frittersMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    These look so good, would love to be on the receivnig end of the pink gift package….!!!
    indugetscooking´s last blog post ..Deep Fried EggplantsMy Profile

  • Shivangi
    4 years ago


  • 4 years ago

    Prefect looking cute buns..
    Priya´s last blog post ..Green Peas & Tofu Masala RiceMy Profile

  • Melissa
    4 years ago

    I have never tried this recipe before… Thank you for sharing. I will surely try this on this coming weekend… Happy Easter everyone…
    Melissa´s last blog post ..Miami photographerMy Profile

  • Jazmine
    4 years ago

    I want to try this kind of recipe..I love bread…Perfect gift of package..Thank you for sharing..

  • 4 years ago

    Seriously? You not bake for a holiday? You not bake? Ha! Both I and Mr. PAB know you better than that! And , Deeba, darling, you never stop working wonders with strawberries! The buns are gorgeous, as usual, but I love the special surprise of the strawberry center. Just fabulous! xoxo
    Jamie´s last blog post ..2 DAYS IN NEW YORKMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    I’ve never made them before, but they look delicious with the strawberry filling… and that basket it’s so lovely!
    Katia´s last blog post ..Chocolate biscuit cakeMy Profile

  • Rowella Smith
    4 years ago

    I feel so hungry right now. Strawberries are quite expensive in our place. How much is one basket of strawberries there? Thanks for sharing your baking and cooking experiences.


  • 4 years ago

    I’ve made them before but I love your twist using strawberries. Delicious pictures!
    Helene´s last blog post ..Chocolate Crêpes with Cream ChantillyMy Profile

  • Leanne
    4 years ago

    Yummy delicious, I think I need to prepare also like this, in order that my little children will happy for this new taste…
    Leanne´s last blog post ..WSO ReviewsMy Profile

  • Scot207
    4 years ago

    This is really delicious, how I wish I can do it also… My children will surely love this delicious chocolate chip….

  • Liz
    4 years ago

    As a baker, I am always looking for new items to try. These look fabulous!
    Liz´s last blog post ..The Great American Cake Show and Wedding Cake CompetitionMy Profile

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