'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross


 
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns

Hi! I’m just popping in super quick to drop this recipe here in time for the lead up to Easter! I was obsessed with how the Dark Chocolate Cardamom Hot Cross Buns turned out, so I wanted to develop a recipe for a more traditional fruit recipe too, just so that we have some options, you know? I’m equally as obsessed with these ones as am the chocolate ones, so would have a really hard time deciding between them!

I riffed on the chocolate recipe - the dough is perfect and soft, so I ditched the cocoa, and heavily spiced the dough. In New Zealand, we use a mixed spice blend (as opposed to allspice which is actually a spice of its own) that you can buy in the supermarket. I haven’t seen anything like it here, so I came up with my own mix of spices, which I actually prefer a little more, as I was able to control the ratio of spices within the dough a little more easily. I went for a big hit of the regular suspects - cinnamon and nutmeg, then rounded it out with some ground ginger, cardamom, cloves, allspice, and coriander. If you don’t have all of these spices, feel free to sub one for another, but I would make sure to include the cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in there if you can!

I also snuck in an additional step - soaking the fruit before incorporating it into the dough. For this recipe, I soaked the dried raisins and currants in some strong Earl Grey tea, which helped to soften them and hydrate them so that they weren’t chewy in the dough. You can’t taste the tea in the finished product, but it just adds another dimension of flavour. Because the dough is quite soft, and the fruit is also quite soft, I prefer to incorporate it by hand once the dough has finished rising, in order to avoid it all getting squished along the edges of the bowl. I shaped these into 20, rather than the 12 buns I did with the chocolate version. This gave me slightly smaller buns, which I arranged 4x5 on a lined baking sheet - either works perfectly, so you can choose your size depending on what you are feeling!

I then finished them off with what I now consider the only way to do a cross on a hot cross bun - with a custard cross. I followed Ima’s lead, scoring the dough before it went into the oven, and then piping the crosses on once they had had 20 minutes in the oven, which makes the scored lines open up, giving you perfect wee gaps in which to put the pastry cream. Once the buns are fully baked, I brushed them with a vanilla bean syrup, to give them a perfectly shiny finish. Whether you make these or the chocolate ones, you’re going to have a great time. Happy Easter Baking! xx

A few wee tips:

  • I made these buns into 20 - arranged 4 across and 5 down. If you would like them slightly larger, follow shaping instructions for the dark chocolate cardamom buns.

  • I like to make the pastry cream while the dough is doing its first rise, then place it into a piping bag with a clip both above the tip and above the pastry cream, then cool it directly in the piping bag which helps to prevent a skin from forming

  • I did these all in one day, but the first rise can absolutely be done overnight in the fridge if you wanted to have them first thing in the morning - the second rise post shaping may take a little longer.

  • The dough for these will seem a little softer than you are used to - I jammed a whole lot of milk and butter into them, which makes for the most lush, soft bun. Just trust me on this one - it makes it easy to roll them too!

  • I kneaded the fruit in by hand toward the end. It will feel really weird and wet squishy to start off with, but just keep kneading and incorporating - you can add a teeny bit of flour to the surface if you need, but it will all eventually incorporate. I like to pat the dough into a rectangle, scatter the fruit over the top, then kind of fold it up into a package and start kneading from there.

  • If you don’t like Earl Grey Tea (you can’t really taste it, but some people just don’t like it), you can soak the fruit in some warmed orange juice, or strong black tea. They would be good soaked in chai too!

 

 

'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross

- Makes 20 buns -

Pastry cream cross adapted from Ima

Bun Dough
300g strongly brewed earl grey tea (see notes)
200g raisins, golden raisins, or sultanas
50g dried currants
340g whole milk, lukewarm
120g sugar, divided
3 tsp active dry yeast
590g all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross
40g corn starch
85g sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
400g whole milk
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Vanilla Bean Syrup
60g water
50g Sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
tiny pinch of salt

 

- PROCESS -

BUN DOUGH

Place the raisins and currants in a medium bowl, and cover with the hot Earl Grey tea. Leave to soak for 30 minutes, then drain thoroughly - I like to transfer them to a sieve and leave them to drain while I make the dough.

Place the lukewarm milk, 15g of the sugar, and the yeast in a medium sized bowl, and stir to combine. Leave for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place the remaining 105g sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves, cardamom, and coriander, and mix well to combine.

Add the milk mixture and vanilla bean paste to the dry ingredients, and mix on low for 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes. Add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is incorporated until adding the next piece. Mix for a further 7-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and soft. 

Turn out the dough onto a work surface (I do not find that there is a need to flour, but add some if needed), and knead in the fruit by hand (see notes). It will take longer than you expect but the fruit will eventually incorporate into the dough.

Shape the dough into a ball, and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or place in the fridge overnight. While the dough is proofing, make the pastry cream.

 

VANILLA BEAN PASTRY CREAM

In a medium bowl, whisk together the corn starch and sugar. Add the eggs, salt, and vanilla bean paste, and whisk well to combine.

In a medium saucepan, place the milk over a low heat until just shy of a simmer.

Whisking constantly, pour about half of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk until smooth, then add back into the saucepan. Whisking constantly, cook until thick. Add the butter and whisk to combine.

Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip, and a clip just above the tip to prevent any leakage. Twist the piping bag closed, or secure with another clip, and store in the fridge until needed.

ASSEMBLY

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, and weigh the dough. Divide the weight of the dough by 20, and divide the dough into 20 equal sized pieces. Roll each tightly into a ball, then arrange evenly on the baking sheet, in a 4 by 5 arrangement, leaving a little space between - don’t space them too far apart if you want them to join together in the oven to give the ‘classic’ hot cross bun look.

Lightly cover the pan with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place for about 45 minutes, or until puffy and the dough springs back when lightly pressed with a finger.

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Using a sharp paring knife or razor blade, score crosses in the buns.

Bake the buns for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and pipe the pastry cream in crosses in the holes provided by the scoring.

Return the buns to the oven and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until the buns are lightly golden brown, or until they register 200°f / 90°c on an instant read thermometer. While the buns are baking, prepare the sugar syrup.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool, before brushing on the sugar syrup (recipe below).

SUGAR SYRUP

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes, then leave to stand until ready to use.

Store leftover buns in an airtight container at room temperature. Reheat in the microwave briefly before eating. Serve with butter.


'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns

Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel


 
Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel. Light and fluffy brioche rounds are filled with a vanilla bean custard, then finished with a swirl of Bonne Maman Mixed berry preserves, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean streusel. These are perfect for a super easy but incredibly delicious brunch, as everything can be prepared the night before, making assembling the next morning super easy. #brioche #custardbun #breakfastpastry
Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel. Light and fluffy brioche rounds are filled with a vanilla bean custard, then finished with a swirl of Bonne Maman Mixed berry preserves, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean streusel. These are perfect for a super easy but incredibly delicious brunch, as everything can be prepared the night before, making assembling the next morning super easy. #brioche #custardbun #breakfastpastry
Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel. Light and fluffy brioche rounds are filled with a vanilla bean custard, then finished with a swirl of Bonne Maman Mixed berry preserves, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean streusel. These are perfect for a super easy but incredibly delicious brunch, as everything can be prepared the night before, making assembling the next morning super easy. #brioche #custardbun #breakfastpastry
Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel. Light and fluffy brioche rounds are filled with a vanilla bean custard, then finished with a swirl of Bonne Maman Mixed berry preserves, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean streusel. These are perfect for a super easy but incredibly delicious brunch, as everything can be prepared the night before, making assembling the next morning super easy. #brioche #custardbun #breakfastpastry
Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel. Light and fluffy brioche rounds are filled with a vanilla bean custard, then finished with a swirl of Bonne Maman Mixed berry preserves, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean streusel. These are perfect for a super easy but incredibly delicious brunch, as everything can be prepared the night before, making assembling the next morning super easy. #brioche #custardbun #breakfastpastry
Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel. Light and fluffy brioche rounds are filled with a vanilla bean custard, then finished with a swirl of Bonne Maman Mixed berry preserves, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean streusel. These are perfect for a super easy but incredibly delicious brunch, as everything can be prepared the night before, making assembling the next morning super easy. #brioche #custardbun #breakfastpastry
Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel. Light and fluffy brioche rounds are filled with a vanilla bean custard, then finished with a swirl of Bonne Maman Mixed berry preserves, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean streusel. These are perfect for a super easy but incredibly delicious brunch, as everything can be prepared the night before, making assembling the next morning super easy. #brioche #custardbun #breakfastpastry

Hi! I’m coming at you with a super simple but crazy delicious Easter brunch (or anytime really) idea - these custard brioche buns, with Mixed Berries Preserves and vanilla bean streusel. It’s no secret that I love anything to do with brioche, but these are next level. Soft, pillowy brioche is filled with a silky vanilla bean custard, then swirled with a touch of preserves, and finished off with a sprinkle of streusel.

The inspiration from this recipe comes from a Scandinavian bakery I visited recently in Brooklyn with a friend. We had a Skolbrod, which is essentially a brioche bun, topped with custard, then finished off with coconut. I instantly knew that I had to recreate it, but couldn’t help adding in a few more elements. I replaced the coconut with a vanilla bean streusel which is sprinkled on before baking so goes beautifully toasty, and finished the buns with a big swirl of Mixed Berries Preserves.

I have partnered with Bonne Maman to bring you this recipe! You have probably seen their gorgeous preserves, jellies and curds in your supermarket - they are super distinctive in their angular jars with the pretty gingham lids. We have been eating their products for years in our house, so I am super excited to be working with them on this post. Their products are everything I look for in a preserve - simple, no fussy ingredients, and a recipe that has stayed the same since they were very first made. They taste just like homemade. I’m a huge fan.

I used Bonne Maman’s Mixed Berries Preserves in this particular recipe. I love the variation of fruit (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and wild strawberries), which goes so well with the custard - it is the perfect finishing touch that brings everything together and takes the buns to the next level. Aside from the Preserves, my other favourite part about this recipe is how easy it is to make ahead. The brioche can be made the day before, doing its first rise in the fridge, which makes the dough super easy to handle. Both the custard and the streusel topping can also be made ahead, and using Bonne Maman Preserves means another component is already done for you too, meaning that the day of baking, all you have to do is shape the buns, give them a rise, egg wash, then sprinkle with streusel, fill with custard, and then finish with the Preserves. They then have a quick spin in the oven and turn into the most perfect buns, which are best eaten straight from the oven. Happy Brunching! x

A few wee tips:

  • This dough is probably a little wetter than you are used to - but I promise you that it will work out. If it really seems super wet and isn’t eventually pulling away from the bowl, you can add an extra tablespoon of flour. Make sure you knead it until it is really soft and stretchy. The sticky dough leads to beautifully soft buns!

  • The first proof can be done overnight in the fridge - I prefer this because it makes the buns much easier to shape.

  • Ideally the custard also needs overnight in the fridge - but you can cool it in a few hours if you need to - just spread it into a shallow container so you have a thinner layer, meaning it cools a bit quicker.

  • I used Bonne Maman’s Mixed Berries Preserves for this particular recipe, but any of their preserves would be beautiful - I also love the raspberry, the apricot, and the blackberry, and I have been eyeing up the peach. If you wanted you could even pick up a few different flavours of the preserves to give a nice variation in both colour and flavour!

 

 

Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla Bean Streusel

- Makes 16 buns -

Brioche Dough
250g whole milk, lukewarm
100g sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
560g all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
Zest of 2 lemons
2 eggs, at room temperature
1tsp vanilla bean paste
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Custard
80g sugar
50g cornstarch
130g egg yolks (about 7 yolks worth, but ensure you weigh to make sure)
550g whole milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp salt
40g unsalted butter

Streusel
80g all-purpose flour
60g sugar
40g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)
Pinch of salt

For Assembly
One jar of Bonne Maman Mixed Berries Preserve
Egg wash - One egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water

 

- PROCESS -

Brioche DOUGH

Place the lukewarm milk, 15g of the sugar, and the yeast in a medium sized bowl, and stir to combine. Leave for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place the remaining 85g sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest, and mix well to combine.

Add the milk mixture and the egg to the dry ingredients, and mix on low for 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium, and mix for a further 10 minutes. Add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is incorporated until adding the next piece. Mix for a further 10-15 minutes, until the dough is smooth and soft. If you are finding the dough will not pull away from the bowl, add an extra tablespoon of flour.

Flour your hands, remove the dough from the mixing bowl, and quickly shape into a ball. Lightly grease the bowl with butter or baking spray, then place the ball of dough back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.

CUSTARD

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and corn starch (this helps the corn starch to stay lump free). Add the egg yolks and whisk well to combine.

In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, warm the milk, vanilla bean paste, and salt, until just shy of a simmer. Whisking constantly, pour about half of the warm milk mixture onto the egg yolk mixture, then mix briskly to combine. Add back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk and place over a low heat.

Cook the custard, whisking constantly, until thick. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, mixing until incorporated and lump free. Strain through a mesh sieve into a container, and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard. Place in the fridge to cool completely, ideally overnight.

STREUSEL

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt. Add Vanilla bean paste if using, then add the butter, and rub in with your fingertips until it resembles wet sand. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

ASSEMBLY

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Weigh the dough, and divide into 16 pieces. Cover the pieces you are not working with with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in baking spray.

Shape each piece of dough into a ball, then, using a cupped hand, roll on the work surface until it forms a nice taut ball. Place back under the plastic to rest for 5 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten into a disc, then roll out into a circle approximately 3 inches (7.5cm) in diameter. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls - you should be able to fit 8 on each baking sheet.

Cover each baking sheet with a clean tea towel, and leave to rise for about 45 minutes, until puffy. Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Arrange two oven racks evenly in the oven.

Remove the custard from the fridge and whisk briefly to ensure that it has a cohesive texture, then transfer to a piping bag and snip off the end.

Using a measuring cup lightly dusted with flour (I used a 1/3 cup and it was the perfect size), press down in the centre of each circle of dough to create an indentation. Brush each round of dough with egg wash, then pipe a mound of custard into each hole in the buns. I find it easiest to work with one tray at a time, completing the assembly process before moving onto the next to prevent the egg wash drying out.

Smooth down the custard slightly using an offset spatula, then top with about 1 tsp of Bonne Maman Mixed Berries Preserves. Sprinkle the edge of each bun with the streusel, making sure to not get it on the filling. Repeat with the second tray of buns.

Bake the buns for 20 to 25 minutes, swapping the top and bottom trays over and rotating half way through the baking process, until the buns are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before eating. Best served warm.

Store remaining buns in an airtight container. Warm slightly in the microwave before serving to freshen up the bread and warm up the preserves.

Custard Brioche Buns with Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves and Vanilla bean Streusel. Light and fluffy brioche rounds are filled with a vanilla bean custard, then finished with a swirl of Bonne Maman Mixed berry preserves, and a sprinkle of vanilla bean streusel. These are perfect for a super easy but incredibly delicious brunch, as everything can be prepared the night before, making assembling the next morning super easy. #brioche #custardbun #breakfastpastry

Thank you so much to Bonne Maman for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross


 
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross

I often make recipes, then accidentally sit on them for ages and eventually get around to posting them. I’m trying super hard to be better at it and post as close to when I made and shot the recipe as I can. These hot cross buns though, I needed to share with you immediately.

These are a perfect twist on the traditional spiced fruit bun - I started with a super soft, lush dough, which I spiked with a little cocoa and a lot of cardamom, then kneaded in more chocolate chips than I thought the dough could handle. I then divided the dough into 12 buns, and let them rise again, then gave them a quick score before popping them in the oven to partially bake.

What sets these apart from standard hot cross buns is the cross. Instead of the standard choux cross or icing cross, I made a chocolate pastry cream, and piped it on once the buns were nearly baked. The idea from this came from an amazing place in Auckland called Ima. A few years ago, they started making hot cross buns with a pastry cream cross, and I’ve been drooling over them every easter since, and when I came across their recipe on the internet, I knew I had to give it a try.

The pastry cream cross is piped onto the bun once it has been in the oven for about 20 minutes - the cross that you score in opens up nicely, providing you with a little trench in which to pipe the cross. The buns then finish baking - the pastry cream cross gets a thin skin, but stays super fudgy. Once the buns are done, they are glazed with a cardamom vanilla bean syrup, adding a little bit of moisture, and giving them a beautiful sheen.

These are honestly some of the best hot cross buns that I have had - they are super soft, lightly spiced from the cardamom, loaded up with chocolate, and finished off with the most perfect fudgy cross. I’m totally addicted and hope that they find their way into your Easter baking lineup! I also can’t wait to revamp my original hot cross bun recipe - that will be coming your way very soon! x

A few wee tips:

  • The dough for these will seem a little softer than you are used to - I jammed a whole lot of milk and butter into them, which makes for the most lush, soft bun. Just trust me on this one - it makes it easy to roll them too!

  • I did these all in one day, but the first rise can absolutely be done overnight in the fridge if you wanted to have them first thing in the morning - the second rise post shaping may take a little longer.

  • I like to make the pastry cream while the dough is doing its first rise, then place it into a piping bag with a clip both above the tip and above the pastry cream, then cool it directly in the piping bag which helps to prevent a skin from forming.

  • I used this enamel pan to make these, but a quarter sheet pan or other large baking pan you have should work well too! I have included a photograph just after I popped them into the pan so you can see the spacing.

 

 

Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross

- Makes 12 buns-

Pastry cream cross adapted from Ima

Cardamom Dark Chocolate Dough
340g whole milk, lukewarm
120g sugar, divided
3 tsp active dry yeast
520g all-purpose flour
30g dutch process cocoa
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
275g dark chocolate, chips, chunks, or callets (I used callebaut callets)

Pastry Cream Cross
50g corn starch
100g sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
400g whole milk
15g cocoa
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Cardamom Vanilla Bean Syrup
120g water
100g sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 tsp ground cardamom  

- PROCESS -

BUN DOUGH

Place the lukewarm milk, 15g of the sugar, and the yeast in a medium sized bowl, and stir to combine. Leave for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place the remaining 105g sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon.

Add the milk mixture and vanilla bean paste to the dry ingredients, and mix on low for 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes. Add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is incorporated until adding the next piece. Mix for a further 7-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and soft. 

Turn out the dough onto a work surface (I do not find that there is a need to flour, but add some if needed), and knead in the chocolate by hand. It will take longer than you expect but the chocolate will eventually incorporate into the dough.

Shape the dough into a ball, and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or place in the fridge overnight. While the dough is proofing, make the pastry cream.

 

PASTRY CREAM

In a medium bowl, whisk together the corn starch and sugar. Add the eggs, salt, and vanilla bean paste, and whisk well to combine.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the whole milk and cocoa powder, then place over a low heat until just shy of a simmer.

Whisking constantly, pour about half of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk until smooth, then add back into the saucepan. Whisking constantly, cook until thick. Add the butter and whisk to combine.

Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip, and a clip just above the tip to prevent any leakage. Twist the piping bag closed, or secure with another clip, and store in the fridge until needed.

ASSEMBLY

Lightly grease an 11” x 13.5” baking pan or roasting dish. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, and weigh the dough. Divide the weight of the dough by 12, and divide the dough into 12 equal sized pieces. Roll each tightly into a ball, then arrange evenly in the pan.

Lightly cover the pan with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place for about 45 minutes, or until puffy and the dough springs back when lightly pressed with a finger.

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Using a sharp paring knife or razor blade, score crosses in the buns.

Bake the buns for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and pipe the chocolate pastry cream in crosses in the holes provided by the scoring.

Return the buns to the oven and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until the buns are lightly golden brown (this can be a little hard to gauge with the cocoa in the dough), or until they register 200°f / 90°c on an instant read thermometer. While the buns are baking, prepare the sugar syrup.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool, before brushing on the sugar syrup (recipe below).

SUGAR SYRUP

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes, then leave to stand until ready to use.

Store leftover buns in an airtight container at room temperature. Reheat in the microwave briefly before eating. Serve with butter.

Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross