dish’s mission statement: to eat our way to hot cross bun heaven on your behalf.
Here is our tried and tested list, with statements from out team of taste testers. Our overriding conclusion is that we have great bakers across the North Island – so well done.
Three things stood out:
1. We’d like more fruit please
2. A heavier hand with the spices wouldn’t go amiss
3. In fairness to all bun creators and consumers alike – hot cross buns taste best when toasted or straight out of the oven as this brings out the flavours.
Here is just a selection of the buns we tried. Enjoy!
Wild Wheat, Mt Eden, Belmont & Howick, Auckland
“Always loved Andrew's Easter buns: Good fruit and spice mix, not too dense and a glazed, slightly chewy outer crust which is unique to him.”
Arobake, Aro Valley, Wellington
“A bit more like a regular bun with a tiny bit of spice and fruit. Lacking some of the qualities of a true hot cross bun in my book.”
4&20, Remuera, Auckland
“Fruity and spicy with a lovely sticky glaze. An all-round good hot cross bun – but not my all-time favourite.”
Thoroughbread, Levin, Horowhenua
“I liked the dark sponge (grain-free), but it didn’t taste like a hot cross bun, more like a fruit loaf. And a little more spice would have been nice!”
Ima Cuisine, Auckland CBD
“I loved this delicately spiced and not-too-doughy bun – especially the custard piping on top. Toasted, it really brought out the aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. I love dried fruit, and could have done with more of it here. Also, being a small eater, it’d be nice to have a mini option so you could eat the whole lot yourself rather than having to halve it.”
Little & Friday, Belmont & Newmarket, Auckland
“Another substantial bun with a lovely sticky glaze and a good amount of spices and fruit. One of my top buns.”
The Real Bread Project, Auckland
“Dense but not heavy and filled with a good dose of raisins, sultanas and candied fruit, soaked in Sparks Outlander Stout. Very moreish with a lovely earthy flavour. Loved these.”
Leeds Street Bakery, Wellington
“I like the sourdough content - the whole lengthy fermentation process - a lot. However, they are more in the realm of fruity sourdough toast as opposed to a hot cross bun per se. The addition of more spices and extra fruit would change this up.”
Mr T's, Onehunga, Auckland
“They were packed with heaps of fruit, spices and a gorgeous sticky glaze – lovely texture of the bun itself. Really liked this one.”
Craving some fruity, spicy goodness but you've already had one too many hot cross buns? We know how it feels. We've compiled a list of hot cross bun flavoured goodies so you don't bun overload. These have all of the spice, and they certainly entice.
Hot cross pancakes, recipe from Joy the Baker
So you want something special for your Easter Friday breakfast, but you forgot to prepare the hot cross bun dough the night before? Oops. Don’t worry, we’ve found the next best thing – these hot cross pancakes. Even better, you don’t need to get your hands dirty with dough.
Hot cross bun truffles, Chocolate Brown
We love chocolate in our hot cross buns but how about hot cross bun flavoured chocolate? These truffles conveniently come in a box of four – the perfect bite-sized gift. They’re also convenient to keep all to yourself.
Hidden world hot cross bun gin, ginzealand.co.nz
Your Easter party is about to get so much better. Just don’t demolish the bottle the way we can a six-pack of buns in one sitting.
Hot cross bun M&M’s, The Warehouse
Can't stop at just one bun? Neither can we. But we'll let you off for popping more than one of these M&Ms in your mouth.
Hot cross rum, recipe from Toast
Yes, this is a bun-inspired cocktail and yes, it is delicious. Time flies when you’re having rum.
Hot cross bun flavoured ice cream, Countdown
Juicy raisins and hot cross bun flavoured ripples mean you can enjoy the spicy, fruity tones of the bun, hot or cold.