Le Creuset Hot cross bun loaf with chocolate and candied citrus fruit

Anyone for a treat? We’ve teamed up with Bicester Village homeware favourite Le Creuset to bring you a delicious hot cross bun recipe with a twist – perfect for the Easter weekend!

These spiced chocolate buns with milk chocolate chips, candied citrus peel and sultanas are a twist on the traditional Easter recipe. They are placed into in the shallow casserole dish and finished with traditional crosses before baking together to make a tear and share loaf. A sticky orange glaze adds a unique finishing touch.

Preparation & making time
  • 1 hour and 1¾- 2 hours rising
Cooking time
  • 5 minutes for the glaze and 30- 35 minutes in the oven
Additional equipment
  • Le Creuset 30cm Signature Cast Iron Shallow Casserole Dish
  • Cling film
  • Piping bag and fine plain nozzle
Serves 8-10



  • 425 g (15oz) strong white flour plus extra for dusting
  • 30 g (1oz) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 50 g (2oz) butter with a little extra to grease the casserole dish
  • 6 tbsp of caster sugar
  • Fine zest of 1 orange
  • 200 ml (1/3 pint) of milk
  • 1 tbsp dried active yeast
  • 1 large egg - beaten
  • 60 g (2 ½ oz) milk chocolate chips
  • 50 g (2oz) chopped candied citrus peel
  • 60 g (2 ¼oz) sultanas


  • 25 g (1oz) of strong white flour
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp cold water


  • Juice of 1 orange (around 75ml/ 2 ½ floz)
  • 2 tbsp honey


  1. Sift the flour, cocoa, salt, and spice into a large warmed bowl. Rub in the butter, and stir in the orange zest and 5 tablespoons of caster sugar
  2. Warm the milk, whisk in the dried yeast and the remaining tablespoon of sugar, and leave for 5 minutes until frothy
  3. Make a well in centre of the dry ingredients, pour in the frothy yeast mixture and the beaten egg. Work the mixture together using a large spatula until it leaves the sides of the bowl and forms a dough
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5- 6 minutes until it has become smooth and elastic. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with some oiled cling film and set to rise in a warm place until it's doubled in size. This will take around 1 – 1½ hours
  5. Turn the risen dough out onto a floured work surface and knead 2- 3 times to knock out the air. Flatten the dough out into a large rectangle, and sprinkle over the chocolate chips, candied citrus peel and the sultanas. Knead 2- 3 times more to incorporate the chocolate and fruit into the dough
  6. Divide the dough into 11 equal pieces and roll into balls. To ensure all the buns are the same size, weigh the finished dough, divide the figure by 11 then cut and weigh each piece of dough before rolling into a ball. The dough will be a little over 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) making the dough balls approximately 95 g (3¼oz) each
  1. Grease the casserole dish with some of the extra butter and lightly dust with flour
  2. Evenly space the dough balls in the dish, eight around the outside and three in the centre. Cover and leave to rise for 1- 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size. Warming the casserole before putting the buns in to rise and then placing the lid on will provide a perfect environment for the rising process.10-15 minutes towards the end of the rising process preheat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F/ Gas Mark 6. For fan assisted electric ovens you may need to reduce the temperature by 10- 20°C
  3. For the crosses mix the flour, oil and enough of the water together to make a smooth paste. Place the mixture into a plastic piping bag or small plastic bag, snip 4- 5mm off the corner and pipe a cross on each bun
  4. Place the dish into the preheated oven and bake the loaf for 30- 35 minutes until well risen and lightly browned
  5. To make the glaze simmer the orange juice and the honey together in a small pan for 3- 4 minutes until it has reduced a little and has a sticky texture. Brush the glaze over the hot baked bun loaf and allow to soak in

Serve the bun loaf in the casserole dish




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