After the success of our last batch we decided to try out a new flavour combination!

When you take a batch of vegan buns into an office of hot cross fiends and no one can tell the difference (in fact they were even amazed to be told after tucking in) we knew we were onto a winner with our classic vegan hot cross bun recipe. So why not use this new delicious, and vegan, dough recipe we have to try out a flavour combination we’ve been talking about since at least last Easter! So today we gave making chocolate and orange hot cross buns a go, and we weren’t disappointed.

We took our basic vegan dough from last week, added in some cocoa, and then doubled the orange juice and zest so we used to 2 whole oranges. We also decided to leave out the classic dried fruit options used in hot cross buns and used just dried cranberries as we felt they would best compliment the chocolate and orange flavours. We may have also added in some chopped up dark chocolate (making sure it was a vegan bar!), because we honestly just couldn’t help ourselves… 

Sticking the the theme of the flavours in these particular hot cross buns we decided that we’d create orange crosses rather than the regular white! Then to enhance the orange flavour in the bun we also made our syrup with orange juice, honey and sugar which we then brushed on when they’d just come out the oven. If you really wanted to make this recipe non-vegan then you’ll just need to swap out the butter and milk for dairy rather than non-dairy versions. But we truly think this vegan dough makes for lighter and fluffier buns that are just as soft as, if not more than, any regular bun we’ve made in the past! Plus this flavour combo is pretty dreamy!

Vegan Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns
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  1. 475g strong white bread flour
  2. 75g cocoa powder
  3. 2 x 7g yeast
  4. 50g caster sugar
  5. 200ml non dairy milk (we used oat milk)
  6. 60ml water
  7. 60g dairy free butter (we used vitalite)
  8. 2 tsp salt
  9. 1 tsp cinnamon
  10. 1 tsp mixed spice
  11. 1/2 tsp ginger
  12. 60g dried cranberries
  13. 2 oranges, juice and zest
  1. 2-3 tbsp plain flour
  2. 1 tbsp caster sugar
  3. water
  4. Few drops of almond extract
  5. Few drops of orange food colouring
  1. 50g sugar
  2. 50ml orange juice
  3. 1 tbsp honey
  1. Mix together your dried cranberries, zest and juice in a bowl and set aside whilst you bring together the dough.
  2. Gently heat your milk & water in a pan or the microwave till it's lukewarm, remove from the heat and add the yeast, let this sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. In your stand mixer, fitted with dough hook attachment (or bowl if you're doing it by hand), add the flour, cocoa, salt, sugar & spices.
  4. Drain off the juice from the dried fruit and add it in along with the non dairy butter and milk/yeast mixture. Turn on your mixer and leave it to work to form a smooth dough.
  5. We like to finish our dough off by hand, so tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes until it's soft to touch, then fold in your fruit and chopped chocolate so it's evenly distributed through the dough.
  6. Transfer to a bowl and cover - leave to prove for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
  7. Knock the dough back and then portion into 10-12 equal balls (depending on how big you want them). Place on a lined baking tray and cover with cling film or a tea towel for about 40 mins.
  8. Mix together the plain flour & sugar with a little water and the almond extract and colouring to create a thick paste, add a little water at a time till you get the consistency you're happy with for piping - transfer to a piping bag and snip the end off to create a little hole.
  9. Brush a little non diary milk onto your risen buns and pipe crosses on the top of the buns with your almond paste.
  10. Pop in the oven at 180C for 15-20mins till they're golden brown.
  11. Meanwhile in a pan boil the sugar, orange juice & honey together on a high heat to create a sugar syrup, brush on your hot cross buns whilst they're still hot to create a nice sticky bun, leave to cool.
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