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Earl Grey Buns with Dark Chocolate Filling

  • Author: Erin Clarkson
  • Prep Time: 1 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes plus rising time
  • Yield: 9 buns 1x
  • Category: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Earl Grey Buns with Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Nib Filling. Fluffy brioche dough is filled with an earl grey dark chocolate custard, and a crunchy cacao nib filling, then rolled up and sliced into buns. Once baked, the rolls are brushed with butter and rolled in a cocoa nib earl grey sugar. These are a must for tea lovers!



Brioche Dough 

  • 3g (1 tsp) active dried yeast
  • 42g (3 Tbsp) Sugar
  • 110g (1/2 cup) warm water
  • 1 large egg
  • 110g (1/2 cup) heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 385g (2 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5g loose leaf earl grey tea, finely ground
  • 3 Tbsp Unsalted butter, melted

Chocolate Earl Grey Custard

  • 220g whole milk
  • 10g loose leaf earl grey tea
  • 115g chopped 70% chocolate
  • 1 large egg
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • pinch of salt

Cocoa Nib Filling 

  • 110g (1/2 cup) light brown sugar
  • 60g (1/2 cup) cocoa nibs

Earl Grey Sugar

  • 200g Sugar
  • 30g (1/4 cup) cocoa nibs
  • pinch of salt
  • 5g loose leaf tea



  1. Place the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a medium sized bowl, and stir to combine. Leave for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, cream, and vanilla bean paste.
  3. Place the flour, salt, and earl grey tea in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add the yeast and water mixture, the cream and egg mixture, and the melted butter, and mix on low until the dough comes together.
  4. Increase the mixer speed and mix on medium for 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and pulling away from the edges of the bowl.
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl, shape into a ball, and then lightly grease either the mixing bowl, or a large bowl, and place the ball of dough in it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rise overnight in the fridge.


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk to just shy of a simmer. Add the loose leaf tea, cover, and steep for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing with a spoon to get as much flavour as possible from the tea. Clean the saucepan, then re-weigh the milk and top up to 150g if needed. Warm again to just shy of a simmer.
  2. Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler, or in 30 second increments in the microwave. Set aside.. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, vanilla bean paste, and salt.
  3. Add about half of the hot earl grey milk mixture to the egg mix, whisking constantly. Whisk until smooth, then return to the saucepan with the rest of the milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Remove the milk mixture from the heat and pour over the melted chocolate, whisking to combine, and finishing with an immersion blender if needed.
  5. Place in an airtight container and press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the custard. Place in the fridge to chill overnight.


  1. Lightly grease a muffin pan with butter or non stick cooking spray. Combine the light brown sugar and cocoa nibs in a medium bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a rectangle 13”x18” (33x45cm).
  2. Spread the cooled chocolate custard evenly over the surface of the custard using an offset spatula. Sprinkle with the sugar and cocoa nib mixture, and press down lightly to adhere.
  3. Starting at a long end, roll the dough up into a tight spiral log. Cut into 2” pieces using a sharp knife. Place each piece into a cavity in the muffin pan.
  4. Lightly cover the muffin pan with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place to rise for 30 to 45 minutes. While the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c.
  5. Once the buns are risen, bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan once to ensure even browning.
  6. While the buns are baking, place the cocoa nibs and loose leaf tea in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Sift through a strainer, and then combine the sifted mixture with the sugar and salt.
  7. Remove the baked buns from the oven, and allow to stand for 10 minutes, then remove from the muffin tin. Brush each all over with melted butter, then roll in the cocoa earl grey sugar.
  8. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container.


Recipe adapted from ‘Making Chocolate’ by Dandelion Chocolate

Keywords: Earl Grey, Earl Grey Buns, Earl Grey chocolate, Dandelion chocolate, Chocolate buns