Chocolate buns

Chocolate buns

Jane Mason
Many people have heard of twisted cardamom buns from Sweden.
For those of you who like them (or like the idea of them), here is a simple recipe for twisted chocolate buns using the same technique.
Chocolate is frequently easier to find than cardamom, and almost everyone likes it. This is a fun recipe for children to do. Helps develop dexterity and guarantees a big mess.
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 12


  • baking tray
  • pizza cutter or sharp knife
  • Dough scraper or spatula


Ingredients for the dough

  • 600 g Good quality strong (bread) white flour
  • 400 g Full fat milk Heated to boiling point and let cool right down to room temperature.
  • 6 g Dry yeast Or 3 g instant yeast, 12 g fresh yeast
  • 100 g Sugar
  • 12 g Salt
  • 100 g Butter at room temperature

Ingredients for the filling

  • 100 g Dark chocolate
  • 100 g Unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 pinch salt

Ingredients for the egg wash

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Cold water
  • 1 pinch Each of salt and sugar


Make a pre dough

  • Measure the flour into a big bowl and make a well. Sprinkle the yeast and the sugar into the well and add 100 grams of the milk. Flick a little flour over the water to close the well and cover with a tea towel. Let it rest for one hour.

Make the dough

  • Add 250 g of the milk and the salt.
  • Knead for ten minutes either by hand or by machine on the lowest setting, and then add and the butter. Knead again for 10 minutes until the butter is completely incorporated and the dough gets shiny and is elastic.
  • Pop the dough back in the bowl, cover, and let rise for 2-4 hours, until it has doubled in bulk.
  • While the dough is resting, melt the butter and chocolate (filling) together and then stir in the cocoa, icing sugar, salt and cinnamon if using. Cover and leave it at room temperature. It should be easily spreadable.

Shape the buns

  • Generously flour your work surface and pull the dough out of the bowl and on to the work surface. Flour the top of the dough lightly and roll it into a rectangle. The short side should be around 30 cm and it should be about 0.5 cm thick.
  • Take the filling out of the bowl and spread it all over the dough rectangle. Be patient and spread it all the way to the very edges.
  • Fold the dough up along the long side of the rectangle into thirds, as if you were folding a piece of paper for an envelope. Leave the dough for 20 minutes or so to relax. This will make it easier to stretch out when you form the buns.
  • Using a scraper or a pizza cutter (knife is a worst case scenario) cut the dough into sections about 2 cm wide.
  • Pick up a strip of dough and gently stretch it out and twist it. Then, pinch one end between the first and second fingers of your NON WORKING hand and then make a group of fingers that includes your first three fingers. Only the small finger and the thumb are left out. Hold your thumb away from the group. Pick up the other end of the strip of dough with your working hand and wrap it three times – loosely – around the group of fingers
  • When the dough has come around for the third time, take it past your thumb and then loop it around it. Bring end of the dough up over the dough that is wrapped around your fingers, and thread it between your ring and third fingers, all the way over to the back. Tuck it under the dough at the back and remove the whole thing from your fingers. Bunch it up nicely if it has become wonky and place it on a baking tray you have covered with non stick baking parchment. It takes some practice…..
  • The alternative to this is to pretend you are making a ball of yarn out of your dough. Truly just begin to wind it up, making sure the dough goes around the ball in different directions to keep it together.
  • Cover the buns with a tea towel and let them rise for 45 minutes.
  • Pre heat the oven to 225 degrees C.
  • Glaze the buns with the egg wash and then pop them into the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Check them after 10 minutes and cover them with a piece of parchment paper if they are getting too brown.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack (that’s wishful thinking because they are terrific when they are warm).
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

If you enjoy baking buns, why not buy The Book of Buns and enjoy some bun challenges every few weeks.

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8 thoughts on “Chocolate buns”

  1. Thanks for this exciting recipe. Can’t wait to try them. Just waiting for the last prove. Found the strips difficult to twirl and
    wrap around my fingers because the chocolate mixture went solid and broke apart. Is that normal?

    1. Hi Charlie, sorry for the delay in answering this. The chocolate mixture shold not really go solid but it does get messy twisting them and twisting them does take practice. The amazing thing is that no matter how odd they look in dough form, they always bake beautifully!

  2. So they’re out. The egg wash made them go very brown. Must admit they look a bit messy but taste yummy. I left them in the oven for 20 minutes and they were still a bit raw in the middle even though the outside is crusty. Could this be due to me having a very wet dough?

    1. Dear Charlie

      I don’t think it is to do with the dough being wet because it is. Buns can be tricky because they are usually sweet and then with the glaze they caramalise quickly in the oven. Depending on your heat source, they all bake a bit differently. You can tap a bun to listen for hollowness – it’s don’t if it sounds hollow and if not, put them back in for another 5 minutes. Always watch buns the first time you bake them – until you get to know your oven – andif they are getting too brown, cover them with a sheet of parchment paper or tin foil (paper better) and that stops the browning process, allowing them to bake through without getting too too dark. I am so glad they tasted good! I love them. You can do the same technique and dough and put anything in the middle – butter, sugar and cinnamon; nutella; honey butter; anything you can imagine!

  3. Water or milk? Ingredients list say milk then method describes water! Mine will be half and half. I’m sure it will be fine

  4. Something not right here. My dough is really stiff and everyone else’s is really wet!
    250g of liquid to 600g of flour? Am I missing something
    Hey Ho. It’s going in the fridge overnight. See you tomorrow.

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