Dulce De Leche & Chestnut Puree Hot Cross Buns Recipe

To me, one of the signature foods of this Easter season is hot cross buns. This is different take on the classic recipe to try out this Easter. You can adapt the recipe to suit how much time you have too – I know we are all busy people! You can put some of the chestnut and dulce de leche spread inside the buns for a surprise centre, or just bake the buns and serve the incredibly moreish mixture of sweet, sticky and saucy on the side.

This was my first attempt ever in my life at making hot cross buns. They tasted fantastic as just as hot cross buns should. I just need to work on the look of them though (and piping the crosses was a massive fail).

If you’re pressed for time, and need a completely no cook version, just buy some ready baked hot cross buns and spread them with dulce de leche – simples!


Cooking Time: 10-30 minutes    Servings: 8      Dietary Options: Vegetarian

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  • 500g plain flour
  • 1, 7g sachet fast action yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 120g dulce de leche
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 150ml warm milk
  • 150ml warm water
  • 125g fat raisins
  • 60g mixed peel
  • Grated zest of 1 large orange
  • Grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 100g grated Bramley apple
  • Oil to grease the tray

For the Spread 

  • 200g pouch of Merchant Gourmet Chestnut Puree
  • 200g dulce de leche

For the Crosses and Glaze

  • 95g flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 medium egg yolk mixed with 2 tbsp milk
  • 100g apricot jam


  1. Get a large bowl. Add the flour, yeast, salt, 120g dulce de leche and cinnamon. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk, water, raisins, mixed peel, apple and fresh citrus zest. Mix to a firm dough. Transfer the dough to a floured worktop and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is elastic and bouncy.

  2. Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to rest for 20 minutes to make the dough easier to shape into buns.

  3. Get a medium sized bowl. Add the chestnut puree and the 200g dulce de leche. Mix together well, and set aside.

  4. Cut the dough into 12 even sized pieces. Dust your worktop with flour. Flatten the pieces of dough into 8-10cm circles. Put a dessert spoonful of the chestnut mixture into the centre of each, leaving plenty of dough around the outside. Lightly dampen the dough around the chestnut mixture. Fold the dough over the chestnut mixture until it is completely encased. Dust your hands with flour, and turn each roll so that the join is on the bottom. Roll the buns between your palms until the tops are smooth.

  5. Lightly oil a baking tray and put the buns in, just touching each other; they will grow together as they prove. Leave to prove in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour until they have almost doubled in size.

  6. Preheat your oven to 220°c.

  7. While the buns prove, mix together the flour for the crosses with the water and whole egg until you have a stiff, smooth paste. Put this paste into a piping bag with a very fine nozzle (or use a sandwich bag with the corner snipped off).

  8. Once the buns have risen, brush them with the egg yolk and milk mixture. Pipe a cross on top of each.

  9. Bake in your preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until golden.

  10. Warm the apricot jam in the microwave or in a little pan with 2 tablespoons of water. Brush this mixture over the top of the buns as soon as they come out of the oven.

  11. Transfer to a rack to cool and then serve with the dulce de leche spread.

Happy Easter baking!


*thanks to Merchant Gourmet for providing the recipe and ingredients.

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