Crispy on the top, custardy in the middle, with bombs of chocolate waiting to be discovered, this indulgent pudding is hard to resist! Whether you’re celebrating Easter or not, this is sure to hit the spot. By all means halve or double the recipe to suit you. Happy days. ”


  • 4 tablespoons custard powder
  • 1.1L full-fat or semi-skimmed milk
  • 4 tablespoons apricot jam , plus extra to glaze
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste , optional
  • 8 whole meal hot cross buns
  • 2 tablespoons flaked almonds
  • 100 g milk or dark chocolate
  • unsalted butter , for spreading


  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/325ºF/gas 3.
  2. Dissolve the custard powder in a few splashes of cold milk, mixing well. Pour the rest of the milk into a pan and bring to a simmer on a medium-low heat – keep an eye on it.
  3. Pour half the simmering milk into the custard powder mixture and stir well, then pour that all back into the milk pan. Add the apricot jam and the vanilla bean paste, if using, and simmer until you have a good custard consistency, stirring regularly.
  4. Halve your hot cross buns. Putting the pretty tops aside, tear the bases into small chunks and scatter into a nice baking dish.
  5. Pour a third of the custard into a small pan to serve on the side later, then pour the rest over the bun bases and mix together.
  6. Sprinkle over the almonds, then snap up the chocolate and poke most of it randomly into the mixture.
  7. Lightly butter the hot cross bun tops, spread generously with some of the reserved custard, and arrange on top, cross-side up. Lightly spread a little more butter on the tops, then poke the last bits of chocolate in between the bun tops.
  8. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden, brushing with more apricot jam (loosened with a little water) for the last 10 minutes.
  9. Gently reheat the reserved custard and drizzle over the pudding to serve.
Hot cross bun custard pudding