Chocolate Brioche Hot Cross Buns – egg and dairy free

a dozen chocolate brioche hot cross buns

Easter is fast approaching, while many retailers roll out hot cross buns months in advance, I like to eat with the seasons. Seasonal eating is not just about fruit and vegetables, to me it applies to festive treats too. They mean more if enjoyed at the appropriate time. My Hot Cross Brioche already has a following, but I always like to add new recipes to my festive repertoire, this year it’s Chocolate brioche hot cross buns. A spiced cocoa bun is studded with sultanas and mixed peel. Serve warm and the nuggets of dark chocolate will still be soft and gooey – making them really special. They had rave reviews from my customers last year, but I knew I had an instant winner when they went through testing (my family) – hopefully yours will love them too.


Chocolate Brioche Hot Cross Buns

Serves 12

Chocolate Brioche Buns

  • 480g white flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 10g  instant active dried yeast
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 15g mixed spice
  • 5g sea salt
  • 80g mixed peel
  • 80g sultanas
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 100ml aquafaba
  • 100ml oat milk
  • 70ml water
  • 70ml orange juice
  • 40g plant-based butter


  • 50g flour
  • 25g dairy-free butter
  • water


  • 25g sugar
  • 30ml oat milk

Put the dry ingredients and dried fruit in the bowl of a stand mixer bowl.

Mix the liquids together in a jug.

Using a dough hook, start the mixer on a slow speed and pour the jug of liquid slowly down the inside of the bowl. Increase speed when the dough starts to come together leaving the sides of the bowl. 

Add the dairy-free butter about a teaspoon at a time, knead the dough until it is incorporated. It will start forming a ball around the dough hook and will eventually leave the sides of the bowl clean .

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean tea towel, leave in a warm spot until it doubles in size.

Tip the dough onto a clean surface and divide into 12 portions, each should be about 100 – 110g. Flatten each portion and add the chocolate pieces, fold the dough around the chocolate and roll into a ball.

Place in a lined 22 x 30cm baking tray, cover with the clean tea towel then set aside in a warm spot to double in size again.

Preheat the oven 180ºC or 160ºC fan forced.

To make the crosses, rub dairy-free butter into the flour until it resembles fine crumbs. Add water a little at a time until you have a paste that will hold its form when piping.

Chef’s tip: If you don’t have a piping bag, use a plastic bag, just snip a small hole in one of the corners.

To make the glaze, gently heat oat milk and caster sugar in a small pot until the sugar is dissolved.

When the brioche loaf has doubled in size, pipe crosses on the top and put into the pre-heated oven to bake for 30 – 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and brush the tops with the glaze immediately.

Delicious served warm or lightly toasted the next day.

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