Chocolate Swirl Buns

What goes perfectly with a perfect cup of coffee? A warm ooey-gooey bun 🙂 Add chocolate to it and you’re in heaven!  Now imagine a soft and sweet dough, swirled with dark rich chocolate and drizzled with an orangy glaze that smells like you’re in a citrus orchard – does it get any better?


It takes inspirations from the traditional babka (a popular Eastern European Jewish dish) and Swedish cinnamon buns. The brioche dough has a hint of cardamom to keep it close to its roots. The chocolate can easily be switched to any fruit or nut filling of choice. Add some almond paste instead of chocolate and sprinkle sliced almonds on top. Or go the savoury way!

I made half of the batch with white chocolate for my husband who doesn’t like dark chocolate.



I also intend to use the same process and try a savoury bake next with garlic, cheese and maybe sundried tomatoes? If you have any ideas, do share 🙂

Ingredients –

For the dough (makes 12 big buns):
750 grams all purpose flour
4 tsp dried yeast (2 x 7g yeast satchets)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cardamom
110 grams granulated sugar
110g unsalted butter
400 ml milk

1 beaten egg mixed with little water for brushing (you can use milk/butter instead)

For the filling:
50 grams unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
50 grams granulated sugar
200 grams dark chocolate (finely chopped) – you can use all dark, or use half white chocolate like I did

For the orange glaze:
100 grams icing sugar
2-3 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest for glaze + 1 tbsp for sprinkling on top

Procedure – 

1. Melt the butter and add milk. When the mixture is lukewarm, add the yeast and let it rest for 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt and cardamom and mix.
3. Make a well in the centre and pour in the butter-milk-yeast mixture. Mix using a wooden spoon till the dough comes together in a soft mass. Turn it out onto a clean surface and knead it for about 5-7 minutes till the dough is smooth & elastic. If you poke a finger in the dough, it’ll spring right back up. (if the dough is too sticky, add a little flour while kneading, just don’t add too much).
4. Put the dough in the bowl and cover with a cling film and let it rest for 45-60 minutes in a warm dry place till it doubles in size. Refer to my notes at the end for checking if the dough is proofed.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the filling – beat the butter & sugar together till smooth.
6. Punch the dough in the bowl and take it out on a clean surface. Cut it into two halves.
7. Roll out one-half of the dough into a rectangle to about 2-3 mm thickness. Take half of the filling and spread it on the lower half of the rectangle. Sprinkle the chocolate evenly on the same half. Fold the top half over the lower and press it slightly so that the chocolate sticks well.


8. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Make a cut in each piece in the centre leaving a little at the end. (It’ll resemble a pair of pants!) Twist each end of the dough and tie into a rough knot. (One end under, one end over – they don’t have to be perfect and match each other!).

9. Put the buns on a tray lined with parchment paper and cover them with cling film. Let it rest for about 30 minutes or until double in size.

10. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Brush the buns with egg wash (or milk). Bake the buns for about 15-16 minutes till they are golden brown.
11. Meanwhile, prepare your glaze. Mix orange juice into sifted icing sugar 1 tbsp at a time till you get a glaze of pourable consistency. Add 1 tbsp of zest in the glaze. Drizzle it on top of the cooled buns and sprinkle some orange zest on the top.
12. These taste great when warm.

How to check if the dough is proofed –
Gently push your finger into the dough –
a. if it springs back immediately, it’s not proofed yet
b. if it springs back slowly, it’s done – the gluten strands are strong enough to hold the gas but still allow some expansion.
c. if it doesn’t spring back at all and the indent stays, it’s over-proofed.

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