Best hot cross buns – on test

We taste tested our way through supermarket and bakery buns to bring you our top buys for Easter 2017. 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. We taste tested 27 buns to bring you our four best buys. 

Best… classic bun

Morrisons hot cross bunsMorrisons Best extra fruity hot cross buns 

Our taste panel rated these buns for the plump fruit, attractive glazed top, good spice level, buttery and slightly savoury dough and subtle citrus endnote. They’re also really great value for money and the right choice for traditionalists. 

£1 for four. Buy from Morrisons

Best… non-traditional bun

Hot cross bunsBettys giant hot cross bun

This uber bun falls somewhere in the land between teacake and panettone, with a delicate level of spice to make it fit the Easter bill. You can tear and share it out as hunks, otherwise slice it as you would any other loaf of bread and toast it until golden. 

£5.75. Buy from Bettys 

Best… free-from bun

M&S Made without WheatM&S Made Without Wheat hot cross bun 

We were a little disappointed by the gluten-free bun options – most of them failed on the texture front. While these M&S buns didn’t have the same aeration as classic hot cross buns, they had an enjoyable spice profile. 

£1.70 for two. Buy from M&S

Best… novelty bun

Carrot cake hot cross bunsM&S carrot cake hot cross buns 

Carrot, sunflower seed and cinnamon bread filled with a cream cheese frosting centre – sound all kinds of wrong? These inventive buns divided our taste panel, but some of us loved them. They’re very sweet and certainly not a choice for lovers of tradition, but hats off for innovation. 

£1.70 for two. Buy from M&S

This review was last updated in April 2017. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at 

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

Comments, questions and tips

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6th Apr, 2017
Don't be rediculous, these aren't the 'best Hot Cross buns'. They are just things you can buy in a supermarket.
12th Apr, 2017
Wholeheartedly agree!
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