Chocolate orange hot cross buns

Happy Easter my little chicks and bunnies!! I have always loved hot cross buns, and was sent into a frenzy of desire when I saw an advert on TV for choc orange ones- another of my fave flavour combos. And so, I set to work on making a vegan version, in a bid to make my Easter just as lovely and wholesome as any other. These things are delish, and worth the effort of waiting around and proving- this spoken by the most inpatient wretch of all time. Try ’em already!


  • 130ml coconut milk
  • 1.5 tsp dried yeast
  • 3 tbsp agave (or maple syrup or honey)
  • 190g plain flour (plus 2 tbsp for later)
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  •  1/2 tsp ground ginger (optional)
  • 30g coconut oil, melted
  • 50g raisins or sultanas
  • zest of an orange plus 2 tbsp orange juice (from a bottle is fine)


  • Heat your coconut milk until just warm, add 2 tbsp. of the sweetener, the yeast, and set aside for a few minutes until bubbly.
  • In the mean time, place the raisins in a mug and spoon over the orange juice. Top up with hot water from the kettle until just covered. Soaking them for a few hours will make them super juicy.
  • Mix the 190g flour, cocoa powder, spices and a pinch of salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the coconut milk mixture, bringing together to make a dough. Pour in the melted coconut oil and knead everything together for five minutes until smooth and elastic. Leave in a warm place to prove for an hour or so.
  • Knock back the dough and briefly knead. Drain the raisins. Stretch out the dough and sprinkle on the raisins and grate over the zest of most of your orange. Knead everything together really well, before shaping into six buns. Place on a baking tray, so that they almost touch, and leave to prove for another hour.
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5. To make the classic crosses, mix together 2 tbsp of flour with 3 tbsp water until you have a smooth and workable paste. Pour into a piping bag and pipe on your crosses, or if like me, you don’t have a piping bag, just try to gently spoon on in a vaguely cross-like way.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until puffed up and golden.
  • Whilst still warm, mix the remaining tbsp. of sweetener with the remaining little bit of orange zest and brush over the buns for a little bit of stickiness and shine.
  • Eat them warm, or split and toast later with a good dollop of nut butter.



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