Prep Time: 2h10min Cooking Time: 20min Serves: 12
willie's cacao recipes


  • For the dough
  • 500g strong white flour
  • 2 level teaspoon salt
  • 16g easy bake yeast
  • 4 level teaspoons ground cinnamon, 2 level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or 7 teaspoons of mixed spice)
  • 100g raw cane sugar
  • 150g currants or a mixture or dried fruit
  • 160g 70% dark chocolate (Willie suggests Madagascan)
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 150ml semi skimmed milk
  • 75ml water
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • For the cross on the buns
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • For the egg wash
  • 1 large egg (beaten with a little milk)

·         For the sugar glaze

  • 1 tablespoon raw cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water

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  • First put the yeast in hand temperature water, about 26 degrees.



  • Heat the milk, butter and chocolate in a saucepan until it is hand warm and the cacao has melted


  • Put the flour, spices, sugar and water and yeast mixture in a bowl and mix with a bread hook for a few minutes until combined. Then add the egg and continue to beat for a few minutes.


  • Add the chocolate milk mixture and beat on high until a glossy dough ball forms.


  •  Put the dough to a flour dusted bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for at least an hour, or until doubled in size.


  •  Transfer the dough to a clean flour dusted work surface. Knock the air out by bashing it with your fist, then sprinkle over the dried fruit and mixed peel and knead into the dough for 1 to 2 minutes.


  •  Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Grease and line a large baking tray.


  •  Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into balls. Place them on the baking tray well spaced out.


  •  Cover with the tea towel and leave in a warm place for a further 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.


  •  Meanwhile, place the plain flour and 2 tablespoons water into a small bowl and mix to a thick paste.


  •  Gently pat down the risen buns, brush them with the egg wash, then pipe the flour and water paste over the top to form the cross


  •  Place the buns into the preheated oven for 15 20 minutes, or until golden brown.


  •  Just before the buns are ready to come out of the oven, melt the sugar in the water to form a glaze. It is ready as soon as the sugar is fully melted


Transfer to a wire cooling rack, and immediately brush over the sugar glaze and leave to cool.

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