Building Huts & Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns

Do you remember making 'huts' or hideouts when you were young? Clubhouses? Cubbies, perhaps?

After a serious pruning session with the cyprus trees, imagine their delight when I let them have the prunings rather that toss them all to the goats (well...maybe the goats did get a little - just so I could watch them gallop down the hill!). Plenty of branches to go around though...

Plenty for some serious hutmaking!

Have you made hot cross buns this year? Perhaps you buy them instead?

My favourite recipe is from here  and is the splattered printout in my recipe folder. It's written out in a strange way though with the ingredients for different things not separated, so I'll jot them down here along with my modifications for future reference.

Hot Cross Buns
1 1/4 cups (310mls) milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
100g butter, melted
165g sugar
4 cups plain flour
4 tsp dried yeast
4-6 tsp mixed spice
1 cup (or more!) of good chocolate chips...or sultanas if you absolutely must.

Into a breadmaker, toss the wet ingredients, followed by the dry, excluding the chocolate chips (place these in the freezer so they are nice'n'cold later on). Set to dough cycle while you go off to do other things.

When the dough is ready, remove and place onto a floured benchtop. Flatten out gently and sprinkle the cold chocolate chips over surface. Fold up like a package and repeat with the remaining chocolate chips. Adding the chocolate in this way stops them from being kneaded to smithereens and then melting into the mixture while the dough is having it's first rise.
Divide dough into 16 equal portions and roll into balls. Place into a parchment lined square 23cm baking tin, fitting them snugly together. Cover and allow to rise for around 30 minutes or so. Preheat oven to 200c.

While the buns are rising, prepare the 'cross' paste:

1/3 cup plain flour
1 tbs sugar (I used pure icing sugar, to dissolve easier)
2 tbs cocoa

Place the paste ingredients into a cup and slowly add enough water to make a thick, spreadable paste. Place into a small piping bag.

Prepare the glaze now as well by placing:

1/3 cup sugar (again, I used pure icing sugar, to dissolve easier) and
2 tbs water

into a small pot and stirring over low heat until the sugar melts and forms a syrup. Place aside until buns are cooked.

Once the buns have risen, pipe horizontal and vertical lines over them with the chocolate paste to form the crosses.

Bake buns for 10 minutes then turn down oven to 180c for a further 20 minutes or so, until buns are firm on top, golden brown and popping out of the tin.

Heat glaze to a simmer and brush the hot glaze over the hot buns and allow to cool slightly before diving in. It's hard, I know, and as you can see, you really have to be quick with a camera in our house to get a picture.

Meh. Who needs sultanas?

Best eaten warm while the chocolate is still meltingly gooey.


  1. These hot cross buns look amazing!! I usually buy ours from a fantastic german bakery and last year discovered the delights of choc chip hot cross buns. I was smitten. I want to have a go at my own this year, so I might try your recipe. I'll let you know if I get the time to make them.

    And for cubbies - we made them all the time as kids on my Nan's farm. And recently made one at the beach on a recent holiday.

  2. I have many many memories of cubbies made from branches...funnny, I was just talking about it the other day. I also made hot cross buns today in the bread maker. I am a novice though and didn't put them close enough in the pan. I can see that is one of the tricks. Thanks for the recipe, I will have a go at it.

  3. I'm in deep trouble if Mr C sees your recipe! They look deeeelicious!! So would you taint the chocolate ones with added sultanas?... Oh how good would that taste!
    Cubbies are the best.

  4. They look fantastic! Between you and chfg, I am now wanting to go eat one of the kids choc chip hot cross buns out in the kitchen!!

  5. We called it a "camp" and made them all the time in the nearby woods. I wonder now how in the world we just "knew" how to construct a shelter in the woods, using only the branches and leaves at hand!

  6. Those look amazing! Thanks so much for the recipe. The hut making looks like a great time.

  7. Yum!!! I've just made HXBs as well, but now mine look ordinary - I want choccie ones! :)

  8. Oh, yum - German bakery sounds divine, monkeemoomoo. I would love to hear if you decide making these ones..they are super easy. I also enjoy linking back to people ;)

    Yep, Hazel, placing them closely together is one of the tricks, along with using a high sided square tin. Stops them from flopping all over the place, and no need to ask, we've had plenty of those here! Again, let me know if you make them..:)

    Oh, Brydie, really! Taint the goodness of chocolate with sultanas? Surely you jest! Most definitely not!! Although if you were so inclined to go down this path, I could not stop you at all... *mutters about offensive sultanas in buns..*

    Why do kids always end up with the good things, dixie? Hubby and I had one, (ONE!), the kids got the rest!!

    Ahh, 'camp'. Like that term, quinn. Such great life skills to be learned by just letting them go off and 'build' things. Negotiating, problem solving, teamwork..

    You're welcome, Homemade Alaska. The hut making provided a great time for all and is surprisingly still holding up! Perfect for afternoon pic-a-nics (said Yogi bear style).

    I want to see, Celia! Can we expect a post soon? Happy Easter to you and yours :)


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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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