This recipe celebrates all there is to love about Easter - Chocolate and Hot Cross Buns! And the combination of delicious Tony’s Chocolonely Salted Almond chocolate and Ironclad Pan toasted almonds in lots of lovely butter sets these Hot Cross Buns apart from any you’ve ever tasted. Deliciously spiced and sweet, dripping with chocolate and with the additional crunch of rock salt, they’ll have your whānau leaping out of bed as soon as they smell them cooking and begging you to make more. 

And the best thing about Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate? There’s not a mouthful of child slavery in any bite. We love this. Keep Easter clean by checking the chocolate you are eating is sustainably and kindly produced. It matters. 

Happy Easter from the Ironclad Fam! 

Makes 12. 


¼ c warm milk
1 T yeast.
1 T flour
1 t brown sugar


1 c almonds, roughly chopped
75 g soft butter
½ t salt flakes


2 1/2 c white flour
2 T Mixed spice
1 T cinnamon powder
¼ c cacao or cocoa powder, sifted
¼ c brown sugar
½ c glazed mixed peel, roughly chopped
¾ c warm milk
1 egg
1 t vanilla essence
170 g salted almond Tony’s chocolate, roughly chopped.
Extra cacao or cocoa powder to dust. 


1 T butter
1 t salt flakes 
1 t cocoa or cacao powder


½ c water
½ c flour
Salt flakes to sprinkle on top


1 egg yolk – before the bake  
2 T maple syrup – after the bake



To make the yeast sponge:

In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over the milk, flour and brown sugar, stir gently and leave for 10 minutes in a warm place, till fluffy and risen

In your Lil’ Legacy Pan melt the butter and sauté the chopped almonds and salt over a low heat for 3 minutes or until just starting to brown. The almonds will continue to cook in the pan after you have removed them from the heat. Set aside to cool

Mix all dry ingredients together then add chopped citrus peel and buttery toasted almonds and mix well

Make a well in the centre of these ingredients and add half the warm milk, the egg and vanilla essence. Whisk lightly to combine ingredients. Add the yeast sponge and the remaining milk and use a wooden spoon to combine the dry and wet ingredients

Turn the mix onto the benchtop liberally dusted with cocoa or cacao powder. The dough should be a little bit sticky. Add extra powder if the mix is sticking to the bench

Knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is shiny and elastic

Form the dough into a ball and leave to rise, covered, for an hour in a warm place 

Liberally grease your Ironclad Legacy Pan with butter then dust with salt flakes and cacao or cocoa powder. The amount of salt you use is up to you! 

Once risen, knead the dough for a further 5 minutes. Form into a log and cut into 12 equal pieces. Using your hands, mould each piece into a ball and pat out into circles about 10cm in diameter

Evenly sprinkle the chopped chocolate in the middle of each dough circle. Seal the buns by pinching the doughy edges together firmly. Roll lightly in your hands to create a perfect bun shape then place seam side down in your prepared Ironclad Pan

Glaze the top of the buns with egg yolk and finish with a sprinkle of salt flakes. More or less depending on your tastebuds

 Mix flour and water paste together, stirring well to remove all lumps and pipe a cross pattern on top of each bun. Leave to rise for 45 minutes covered in a warm place (don’t cover with a tea towel or cling film as this will ruin your crosses! I use an upturned bowl)

 Bake at 180°C for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven, brush with maple syrup and serve to the table hot with lashings of butter

And feel the love! 

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