Spelt Chocolate & Cranberry Hot Cross Buns

by Caryn Lawrence
Spelt Chocolate & Cranberry Hot Cross Buns

Deliciously soft and fragrant brioche styled hot cross buns, overflowing with chocolate chips and cranberries.

Hot cross buns are an amazing treat but they are especially known for being consumed around Easter time. Easter would not be the same without hot cross buns, as there is something special about these soft, fluffy, lightly spiced buns, which are traditionally filled to capacity with raisins, currants, and citrus peel. Most people love the traditional hot cross buns but I am fully aware that not everyone is a fan of the raisins. This year I made hot cross buns with a twist, as I replaced the raisins with dark chocolate chips and cranberries and made them brioche style. Now all you non-raisin lovers can enjoy some delicious chocolate and cranberry hot cross buns.

Spelt chocolate and cranberry buns

These chocolate & cranberry hot cross buns are so delicious when slightly heated and served with a dollop of butter, although my absolute favourite thing to do is eat them straight out of the oven. These hot cross buns take a bit of time to make, but they come together with little fuss and I can guarantee you that it is well worth the effort.

Ingredients Required

Ensure that the butter and eggs are at room temperature before beginning.

Ingredients - Spelt chocolate and cranberry hot cross buns
  • Spelt Flour
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Buttermilk
  • Butter
  • Castor Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Salt
  • Instant Yeast

How to make the buns

These spelt chocolate and cranberry hot cross buns can be made in a stand mixer with a dough hook, which is the method that I used. Alternatively, you can knead the dough by hand, which takes a little longer and requires a bit more energy.

Spelt chocolate and cranberry hot cross buns - Guided Recipe Step 1
  1. Into the bowl of your stand mixer, add the yeast, castor sugar and lukewarm buttermilk. Allow the mix to stand for 5 minutes and you will notice the yeast begin to foam.
  2. Add in the beaten eggs and mix until well combined.
Spelt chocolate and cranberry hot cross buns - Guided Recipe Step 2
  1. Add in the spelt flour, xanthan gum, ground cinnamon and salt. Knead for 5 minutes on low speed and then increase the speed and mix for a further 5 minutes or until you are left with a soft, smooth, and elastic dough (Please note the dough will be smooth but it will be sticky to the touch).
  2. Add the softened butter cubes and knead for a further 5-7 minutes or until you have a soft and homogenous dough. The dough will be very slack after the butter is added but fear not because as you knead the dough, it will result in a soft, smooth, and shiny dough. Once the butter is incorporated, stop kneading as overbeating will result in compact brioche buns.
Spelt chocolate & cranberry  hot cross buns - Guided recipe 3
  1. Add in the chocolate chips and dried cranberries. Knead for 3 minutes on low speed until the chocolate chips and cranberries have been well incorporated into the dough. (Please note the dough will be smooth but it will be sticky to the touch).
  2. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rise for 1 hour at room temperature, before placing it into the fridge to rest overnight. The brioche can be made after 10 – 12 hours of resting. (Please note that it can rest in the refrigerator for up to 3 days).
Spelt chocolate and cranberry hot cross buns - Guided Recipe Step 4
  1. Remove the dough from the fridge and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Deflate the dough and divide into 12 equal pieces (I prefer to weigh the dough balls as this ensures that the buns bake evenly).
  2. Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball and arrange, seam side down, on a baking tray or in a baking dish, depending on your preference.
Spelt chocolate and cranberry hot cross buns - Guided recipe 5
  1. Cover and allow the dough to rise for 1½ – 2 hours or until the dough rounds have doubled in size.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180℃ and then prepare the mixture for the crosses by combining the flour and water until you have a thick smooth paste. Spoon the paste into a piping bag. (If you do not have a piping bag, place flour paste into a ziplock bag and cut off the tip of one end of the bag). Pipe a line along each row of buns and repeat in the opposite direction to create crosses.
  1. Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. While the buns are baking prepare the glaze by heating the castor sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove the buns from the oven and immediately brush the hot glaze over the top of the warm buns. Place the buns onto a wire rack and allow them to cool. (If you prefer them hot out the oven, then go ahead and enjoy them piping hot)

Substitutions

  • Spelt flour can be replaced at a 1:1 ratio with cake flour but when doing so, you will need to remove the xanthan gum from the recipe.
  • The buttermilk can be replaced with milk, but the buttermilk definitely adds to the soft texture of these buns.
  • If you would prefer to make a traditional hot cross bun recipe then replace the chocolate and cranberry portion with a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, and citrus peel to a total of 280g
  • The glaze which is added to the top of these hot cross buns is what gives the buns its beautiful, glossy finish! If preferred, the castor sugar and water mixture can be substituted with 2 tablespoons of apricot jam and 2 teaspoons of water.
Spelt chocolate and cranberry buns - served

Storage

Home-baked buns are best served and eaten on the day but if you have some leftovers, you can pop them into the freezer for a later date as these freezes really well. When you are ready to use them, remove from the freezer, defrost and then pop them into the microwave or an oven to reheat and they will be as delicious as when you first made them!

I trust that you will give these spelt chocolate and cranberry hot cross buns a try! It will definitely not be as quick as popping into a store, but it will be well worth the effort and taste. I hope that it will become one of your family’s favourites at Easter time as well.

Spelt Chocolate and Cranberry Buns - Glazed

If you make this recipe, I would love to hear more about it.

Please leave a comment below.

Thank you for visiting, until next time, stay blessed!

Spelt Chocolate & Cranberry Hot Cross Buns
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Spelt Chocolate & Cranberry Hot Cross Buns

Deliciously soft and fragrant brioche-styled hot cross buns, overflowing with chocolate chips and cranberries.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting Time15 hrs
Course: Cake & Tea, Snack
Cuisine: Baking, Bread and Rolls
Keyword: Chocolate, Cranberry, Hot Cross Buns, Spelt, Wheat Free
Servings: 12 Buns

Ingredients

Buns

  • 300 ml Buttermilk, Lukewarm
  • 75 grams Castor Sugar
  • 10 grams Instant Yeast
  • 2 XL Eggs
  • 500 grams Spelt Flour
  • 2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon (Ground)
  • 100 grams Butter (Cubed)
  • 100 grams Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 180 grams Cranberries (Dried)

Crosses

  • 70 grams Spelt Flour
  • cup Water

Glaze

  • cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Castor Sugar

Instructions

  • Into the bowl of your stand mixer, add the yeast, castor sugar, and lukewarm buttermilk. Allow the mix to stand for 5 minutes and the yeast will begin to foam.
  • Add in the beaten eggs and mix until well combined.
  • Add in the Spelt flour, xanthan gum, ground cinnamon, and salt. Knead for 5 minutes on low speed and then increase the speed and mix for a further 5 minutes or until you are left with a soft, smooth, and elastic dough
    (Please note the dough will be smooth but it will be sticky to the touch).
  • Add the softened butter cubes and knead for a further 5-7 minutes or until you have a soft and homogenous dough. The dough will be very slack after the butter is added but fear not because as you knead the dough, it will result in a soft, smooth, and shiny dough. Once the butter is incorporated, stop kneading as overbeating will result in compact brioche buns.
  • Add in the chocolate chips and dried cranberries. Knead for 3 minutes on low speed until the chocolate chips and cranberries have been well incorporated into the dough.
    (Please note the dough will be smooth but it will be sticky to the touch).
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rise for 1 hour at room temperature, before placing it into the fridge to rest overnight. The brioche can be made after 10–12 hours of resting.
    (Please note that the dough can rest for up to 3 days in the refrigerator before use.)
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Deflate the dough and divide it into 12 equal pieces (I prefer to weigh the dough balls as this ensures that the buns bake evenly).
  • Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball and arrange, seam side down, on a baking tray or in a baking dish, depending on your preference.
  • Cover and allow the dough to rise for 1½ – 2 hours or until the dough rounds have doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 180℃ and then prepare the mixture for the crosses by combining the flour and water until you have a thick smooth paste. Spoon the paste into a piping bag. (If you do not have a piping bag, place flour paste into a ziplock bag and cut off the tip of one end of the bag). Pipe a line along each row of buns and repeat in the opposite direction to create crosses.
  • Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • While the buns are baking prepare the glaze by heating the castor sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove the buns from the oven and immediately brush the hot glaze over the top of the warm buns. Place the buns onto a wire rack and allow them to cool ~ If you prefer them hot out the oven, then go ahead and enjoy them piping hot.

Notes

  • The buttermilk can be replaced with milk.
  • Spelt flour can be replaced at a ratio of 1:1 with cake flour but you will need to eliminate the xanthan gum from the recipe as well.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Spelt Chocolate & Cranberry Hot Cross Buns
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 394 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 21mg7%
Sodium 403mg18%
Potassium 106mg3%
Carbohydrates 62g21%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 22g24%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 252IU5%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 62mg6%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This website provides approximate nutritional information for convenience and as a courtesy only.

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