Few things typify Easter like a warm, sticky, currant-laden batch of glazed hot cross buns.
If the thought of kneading and piping your way to hot cross bun bliss is too much to bear, you needn't panic. Thankfully, Auckland has evolved in to a city spoiled for choice when it comes to bakeries.
From the CBD to the city fringe and beyond to the depths of suburbia, here at Dish, we took it upon ourselves to butter each and every sweet and spicy batch, devouring the city's best buns in plenty of time for Easter.
So, if you're considering opting for a store-bought alternative this Good Friday, be sure to take heed of our picks of the city's finest:
1. Little and Friday, Newmarket, Takapuna
The team here are no strangers to the humble hot cross bun. Boasting a glossy, sticky and pillowy bun, Little and Friday's easter offerings are among the best you'lll find over the counter. Generous in size and finger-licking good, these beautiful buns are best enjoyed warm.
Tasting note: These buns are spicy, textured and rustic, the generous portions mean one can be shared between two. Don't go overboard with your Good Friday order, there will be plenty to go around.
2. Scratch Bakers, Auckland City
Coming in hot this Easter are central Auckland's Scratch Bakers. While modestly-sized compared to their counterparts, what these tasty buns lack in volume they make up for in flavour. Scratch buns are sticky and packed with currants.
Tasting note: Beautifully formed and full of fruit, Scratch buns are an ode to the holiday classic. If you're after a traditional, spiced crowd-pleaser, Scratch won't disappoint.
3. 4&20, Remuera
Served buttery and fresh out of the oven, those with a penchant for citrus-infused buns will adore what Remuera-based organic bakery 4&20 are offering. Nestled down Clonbern Road, this little bakery with a big reputation is batting way above its average when it comes to reinventing the classic Easter treat.
Tasting note: The freshness of the orange peel make 4&20's buns a winner with those who enjoy citrus. The subtle espresso glaze is the perfect accompaniment to your mid-morning coffee.
4. Tart, Grey Lynn
This little vegan bakery is a favourite among locals. Full of fruit and the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea, just because you're vegan doesn't mean you need to go without. With the added option of a chocolate variety, Tart have everyone covered.
Tasting note: The cinnamon schnapps butter on offer is an added bonus.
5. Amano, Britomart
We love the density of these beautiful buns. Spiced to perfection and delightfully doughy, Amano's buns are made with stout, boasting a beer-infused aroma and taste. These tasty Easter treats were spiced just right.
Tasting note: If you like your buns doughy, Amano have you covered.
6. Magnolia Kitchen, Stanmore Bay
If you ever find yourself in Stanmore Bay, be sure to pay a visit to Magnolia Kitchen. The baked offerings here are plentiful and well-worth the detour. Magnolia's fruity buns and delicious chocolate varieties are a standout, and best served fresh out of the oven – with a generous lick of their whipped maple and nutmeg butter, naturally.
Tasting note: If you're a fan of fruitier buns, you'll be delighted with the fruit-to-dough ratio.
7. Olaf's, Mt Eden
Better thought of as the holy grail of all things doughy, Olaf's Artisan Bakery never cease to impress. We love a generous fruit to spice ratio, with Olaf's light and lovely buns proving a crowd-pleaer.
Tasting note: Olaf's famously fruity buns boast the perfect glaze. These buns are full of peel with a light, fluffy consistency.
8. Bread and Butter Bakery and Cafe, Ponsonby, Auckland Central
Arguably this year's standout, make no mistake, when it comes to buns, Bread and Butter take their glazed goodies very seriously. Fresh out of the oven and boasting a sweet, cinamonny waft wherever they go, these Organic Buttermilk Hot Cross Buns are something to savour - if you possess the self-control.
Tasting note: The burnt butter and spiced syrup glaze further reaffirm that these buns are what dreams are made of. Not overly fruit-filled, so a great buffer bun for the faint of heart.
9. Wild Wheat, Mt Eden
Pioneers of the great bun movement, Wild Wheat Bakery have been piping their way to perfection (and the top of our list) for years now. Boasting a deliciously fruity texture and just the right density in their buns, there's a legitimate reason why Wild Wheat is a hot favourite among those living in Auckland's city fringe.
Tasting note: Wild Wheat's buns are a perfect snack size.
Something a little different: The Caker's Hot Cross Bun Cake
While technically not a hot cross bun by conventional standards, The Caker's light and spiced Easter-inspired cake and cupcakes are a delectable alternative to the humble bun. We love the thought of substituting the annual Easter egg hunt for a slice of this delicious, chocolate-laced cake. Be sure to place your orders quick smart, these limited-edition sweet treats won't be available for long.