We tasted our way through supermarket and bakery hot cross buns to bring you our top buys for Easter 2018. Read our review to find the winning products…
Hot cross buns are our number one Easter essential. While making your own is easier than you might think, shop-bought buns save time and hassle, but which ones are worth buying? We’ve noticed supermarkets are getting more and more inventive with flavourings, shapes and sizes – from chocolate, cheese and fudge buns, to brioche, sourdough and wheat-free options.
Out of 21 hot cross buns, we picked five best buys in two categories: traditional and alternative.
Please note that some of these products are only available to buy in-store and not online.
Traditional hot cross buns
Our panel highly rated these buns for their plump fruit, attractive glaze and spice – they tasted almost like Christmas. They're incredibly buttery, too, and have a slightly savoury dough to balance the sweetness of the fruit. Plus, they're great value for money. The right choice for traditionalists.
Lidl Deluxe hot cross buns
Thanks to a super sticky glaze and a mix of fruit that is extra juicy, these buns were popular with the tasters. There is just the right amount of sweetness, too, with pleasing treacly undertones. They would be even more delicious spread with salted butter and Seville orange marmalade.
M&S luxury hot cross buns
Perfect in shape, containing lots of dried fried and citrus peel, this is what a classic hot cross bun tastes like. Toast them until golden, slather on plenty butter and you won't be left feeling disappointed.
Alternative hot cross buns
M&S salted caramel & chocolate hot cross buns
If you're put off the thought of hot cross buns because you're not a fan of dried fruit, this salted caramel and chocolate twist is a very welcome break from the norm. With chunks of chocolate, salted caramel fudge and toffee pieces, you don't need to add anything else – they're so tasty on their own.
Co-op toffee & chocolate hot cross buns
You'll see a theme emerging this year with chocolate and fudge pieces replacing the traditional fruit. These uber-fluffy buns from the Co-op tasted almost brioche-like and were so buttery and rich that the addition of fudge was just icing on the cake. They’re quite sweet and definitely not for traditionalists, but the kids will love tucking into them (if you're willing to share).
Lidl Deluxe apple & cinnamon hot cross buns
Apple pie fans will simply adore this quirky twist on the classic hot cross bun, full of moisture, well balanced in terms of flavour and with a generous distribution of both fruit and cinnamon spice. They'd make a tasty bread and butter pudding with that warming cinnamon punching through.
This review was last updated in March 2018. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's your favourite style of hot cross bun? Let us know in the comments section below. For more taste tests and product rundowns, visit our review section.