Easy vegan hot cross buns with TWO types of chocolate chips. They are fluffy, will melt in your mouth and better than store-bought!
This is my favourite easy vegan bread recipe for Easter! I've revamped traditional hot cross buns by replacing wrinkly raisins with two types of choc chips. They also happen to be:
- vegan, particularly egg free and dairy free
- super easy to make
- and have just the right amount of spice
If you're more of a traditionalist, see my recipe for vegan brioche hot cross buns.
Is it hard to make these buns?
These buns are based on an easy vegan bread recipe and don't need much effort or elbow grease. If you have a stand mixer, it's even easier!
Even though this is an easy recipe, all authentic bread (such as my vegan brioche) requires a little patience and time as the dough needs to rest.
Ingredients to make these vegan hot cross buns
These hot cross buns has a SHORTER ingredient list than commercial or store-bought hot cross buns! That makes these potentially healthier ;). You will need:
- Plain or all-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar (such as cane, coconut or brown)
- Plant-based milk
- Instant quick yeast
- Melted vegan butter or light-tasting oil
- Vegan-friendly chocolate chips
- Spices including cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice (last one is optional)
You can make refined sugar free hot cross buns if you use coconut sugar and refined sugar free chocolate chips.
These buns are also a great way to use up unwanted Easter eggs! Just chop them up, bake them in the dough and you're on your merry way to carb heaven.
Making the dough for the hot cross buns
To make the easy dough, add all ingredients except the choc chips to a bowl (or stand mixer), mix and knead. Add the choc chips then knead again.
It's a two step process because if you place the choc chips with the warm milk and butter, the choc chips may melt. The choc chips are less likely to melt when the ingredients are already kneaded together.
The choc chips may struggle to 'stick' to the dough which is fine. We can always stick them on/in the buns when we shape them!
Make sure you cover your hot cross bun dough with a DAMP towel as the moisture prevents it from drying out. After 1-2 hours, your dough should double in size.
If your dough hasn't grown enough, let it rest for longer and make sure the dough is in a WARM place in your home. Since the dough has butter in it, it'll take longer to rise than, say, pizza dough.
Shaping the vegan chocolate hot cross buns
To shape the buns, I simply grabbed sections from my dough (about 70g each). Then I shaped each section with my hands making sure the top was taut and smooth. This ensures the buns rise and bake with a beautiful surface.
If you need a visual guide on shaping the buns, check out this step in this Youtube video.
Tip: you can also roll out your dough into a long tube and cut 12 equal sections out of your dough.
I also buttered and floured my baking tray so I didn't have to use baking paper!
Second rise: resting the hot cross buns
Resting your buns the second time is similar to the first. Leave it in a WARM spot in your house and cover with a damp tea towel.
You can also let the buns rise in the fridge overnight. Just make sure you allow the buns to come back to room temperature before baking.
How to decorate the chocolate hot cross buns
To make the paste for the cross, simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Just make sure it's a thick and pipeable consistency. It doesn't look like much paste but we don't need much!
Piping the cross on the buns can be a little messy. I used a reusable polyflex piping bag and the smallest tip I had to pipe crosses onto each bun. It helps if your buns are close to each other as you can just to a few straight lines rather than stopping and starting!
Baking and glazing the buns
It's pretty straight forward baking the buns. I knew my buns were ready when their tops were golden brown. Or you know when they are ready when can tap on the bottom of a bun and it sounds hollow.
I made a simple refined sugar free glaze for these buns. The glaze gives each bun a beautiful shine and also keeps in their moisture so they can keep for longer.
I stored my buns in an airtight container at room temperature. I'd say they would keep for up to 3 days but mine didn't last that long.
Of course, you can freeze the buns. Just make sure they are in an airtight container because breads often absorb an unpleasant freezer aroma!
I hope you enjoy this easy vegan bread recipe!
Check out my other vegan Easter recipes:
- Hot Cross Bun Cinnamon Scrolls
- Hot Cross Bun, Custard and Blueberry Cake
- Vegan Zebra Bundt Cake
- Vegan Chocolate Babka
- Chocolate Rugelach
You may also like:
Double Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns (vegan)
Hot Cross Buns*
- 3 cups (375g) plain or all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- ¾ cup (180g) plant-based milk, such as almond, soy or coconut, warm
- ⅓ cup (75g) melted vegan butter, OR light-tasting vegetable oil, such as sunflower, rapeseed or refined coconut**
- ½ cup (80g) regular or coconut sugar, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon (9g) instant dried yeast**
- 2 tablespoons (13g) ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon (2g) ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice, optional
- Pinch of any good-quality salt, if using unsalted butter
- ~½ cup (85g) vegan dark or milk chocolate chips
- ~½ cup (85g) vegan white chocolate chips, or more dark/milk chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons (45g) water
- 3 tablespoons (25g) plain or all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (6g) cocoa or raw cacao powder
- 1 tablepoon (12g) cane or coconut sugar, OR any light-coloured liquid sweetener OR apricot/orange coloured jam
- Dash of water
To make the hot cross bun dough:
- Combine all of the bun ingredients except the chocolate chips in a large bowl and mix until it comes together. If you have a stand mixer, you can do this using your dough hook. Knead the mixture until it forms a cohesive and smooth dough.
- Add the chocolate chips and knead them in. The chocolate chips may not 'stick' to the dough if you use a stand mixer (that's fine, you can always 'stick' some choc chips on the buns when you shape them! Leave the dough in the bowl or stand mixer, cover with a tea towel and leave it in a warm place for at least 1 hour or until the dough doubles in size.
Shaping the hot cross buns:
- Divide the dough into 12 equal parts (about 75g each) and roll each into a ball making sure the top is smooth. Place the buns into a rectangular or circular lined greased baking tray, leaving around 3 cm (1 inch) between each bun. Place a damp tea towel over the buns and set them aside to rise for at least 1 hour.
- When you are ready to bake the buns, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Making the cross and baking:
- Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl to form a thick but smooth paste. Add more flour or water if needed. Spoon the paste into a piping bag with a small round nozzle. Pipe crosses onto the buns.
- Bake the buns in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are slightly golden brown.
Making the glaze (while the hot cross buns are baking):
- Add the sugar (or sweetener or jam) and water to a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.
- When the buns are hot from the oven, brush them with the glaze.
- The buns are best eaten the day they are baked. Alternatively, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days.
This post was originally published in April 2019 and updated in March 2021.
Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help other readers and Rainbow Nourishments.