Dark Chocolate and Apricot Buns – add a cross and they’re good for Easter too!

apricot chocolate buns

As it gets closer to Easter I find myself more and more inclined to both eat and bake buns. In the UK, like many other places, we have hot cross buns at Easter: spiced buns with a pastry cross on top traditionally made with mixed spice, currants and mixed peel. I love them. These days there are all sorts of variations that include chocolate, ginger, cranberries, coffee and so on. Essentially they are flavoured buns with a cross on top. I am teaching an Easter baking course this week, how to make hot cross buns and traditional Easter biscuits, so I am using it as an excuse to make lots of buns. Last year I tried making cranberry and dark chocolate hot cross buns. While they were delicious, they just weren’t quite right with a cross. I wasn’t convinced then and I’m still not so these apricot and dark chocolate buns will be staying uncrossed in my house. Let me know what you choose to do with yours!

This is a very wet and sticky dough so if you have a mixer with a dough hook I would recommend using it, but you definitely don’t need to.

Apricot chocolate spiced buns 11



200ml milk

85g butter

450g strong white flour

20g fresh yeast or 1½ teaspoons dried yeast

55g sugar

1 tablespoon mixed spice

2 eggs

125g dried apricots, chopped

50g dark chocolate chips


Put the milk and butter into a saucepan and heat very gently, until the butter has just melted. Leave to one side to cool.

Put the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer and either mix in the dried yeast or rub in the fresh yeast.

Add the sugar and the mixed spice and mix in.

making apricot chocolate buns

Do not add the salt until you are ready to add the liquid and eggs.

making buns

When the milk is tepid, add the salt to the flour mixture and then add the milk and eggs.

Using a dough hook, knead the dough for around five minutes, until the mixture is smooth and silky. You can also do this by hand but it will take longer.

Put the dough into a large oiled bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm.

spiced bun dough

Leave until doubled in size.

bun dough

When the dough has doubled in size, tip it out onto a clean surface and add the chopped apricots and chocolate chips.

chocolate apricot spiced bun dough

Knead until they are evenly mixed in.

Put the dough back into the bowl and cover again with the clingfilm.

bun dough

Leave again to prove.

spiced bun dough

When the dough has risen again, tip out onto a floured surface and knead very briefly.

Divide the dough into twelve equal amounts and shape each one into a round bun.

Place quite close together on an oiled baking tray in three rows of four and cover with a tea towel. Allow to rise again.

chocolate apricot buns

Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove again

Set the oven to 220ᵒC (fan oven 200ᵒC).

Apricot chocolate spiced buns 9

Ready to bake

If you want to turn these into hot cross buns, now is the time to add the cross. Mix around 100g plain flour with enough water to make a paste with the consistency of toothpaste. Using a piping bag with a small round nozzle, pipe a line across the middle of the buns across each row and then down each column as well to create crosses.

Bake for around 10-12 minutes, until well browned and they sound hollow when tapped on the base.

Apricot chocolate spiced buns 10

Just out of the oven

Remove from the oven and put onto a wire cooling rack.

Using a pastry brush, brush apricot jam over the top of the buns while they are still hot.

Apricot chocolate spiced buns 11

Brush with jam while they are still hot

Delicious any time of the year.

Categories: Baking, Bread, Recipes, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

4 replies

  1. They look delicious. I do love a fruit bun. Simple is good. Mx

  2. Looks so beautiful! Can imagine the taste. Love~Pushpita 💕💕

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