Chocolate hot cross buns Picture: Chris Collingridge

Not everyone likes their hot cross buns with raisins. 

Fatima Sydow, author of The Journey of Cape Malay Cooking with Fatima Sydow, shares her easy chocolate hot cross bun recipe.  

Dry ingredients

5 cups of cake flour or strong bread flour

1&1/2 packets of instant yeast (15 grams)

1/2 teaspoon of salt 

6 tablespoons of caster sugar 

2 1/2 teaspoons of mixed spice

2 1/2 teaspoons of fine cinnamon

1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg

2 teaspoons of fine ginger (I use fresh ginger grated)

1 1/2 cups of chocolate pieces (I used milk chocolate slabs and chopped with a knife into small chunks the size of a raisin)

Wet ingredients

300 ml of lukewarm milk

70 grams of melted butter

2 extra large eggs whisked


Put all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir till combined.

Add wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.

Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes and place in a lightly oiled bowl.

Cover and allow to rise for 90 minutes.

Next knock down the dough and shape round balls placing it 2 cm apart on a baking tray lined with baking paper. 

Next step -cover with tea towel and allow to rise again for 35 minutes.

Take half a 1/4 cup of cake flour, 2 tbsps of cocoa powder and just enough water to make a soft thick paste.

Take this paste and spoon it into a piping bag with a thin nozzle or a plastic bag, cut a small piece with a scissors at the tip corner and pipe down on each row all the way to the last bun and do the same with the other rows of buns forming the cross shapes.

Bake in a preheated oven at 190°C for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

While still hot out of the oven brush with a simple sugar syrup, take a quarter cup of boiling water and stir in about 4-5 tablespoons of sugar.

Stir until dissolved. 

You can cook this syrup for a few minutes on the stove or stir in the sugar syrup a teaspoon of apricot jam until dissolved and brush over hot buns.

Tip: Do not be tempted to add more flour to dough mix, this will result in a heavy and dense bun. To take it to another level add the zest of one orange. I used freshly grated ginger. You may use remaining syrup to brush for a second time after it has cooled. You can store in a airtight container in the fridge to keep for the next day. Simply pop in the microwave for a few seconds and it will taste oven fresh again.