The best hot cross buns of 2018

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 in a ring with butter and flowers
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


Morrisons hot cross bunsMorrisons The Best extra fruity 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.

£1 for four. Buy from Morrisons 


Lidl hot cross buns in black packaging on white backgroundLidl 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.

99p for four. Buy from Lidl 

**Highly commended** 

M&S hot cross buns on white backgroundM&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. 

£1.70 for four. Buy from M&S

Joint 4th place: The Co-op hot cross bun (£1.25 for four), Iceland hot cross bun (£1 for four)
5th place: Aldi traditional hot cross buns (99p for four)

Alternative hot cross buns 


Salted caramel hot cross buns in orange pack on white background

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.

£1.70 for four. Buy from M&S


The Co-op chocolate hot cross buns on white background

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).

£1.25 for nine. Buy from the Co-op

**Highly commended**

Apple and cinnamon hot cross buns on white background

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. 

99p for four. Buy from Lidl

4th place: Betty's large hot cross bun (£5.75 for one large cake)
5th place: Aldi toffee chocolate hot cross buns (99p for four)

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 

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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20th Mar, 2018
I love hot cross buns and the best I've ever had is from The Caven in Hinchley Wood.
Real Bread Chris
7th Mar, 2018
For a great hot cross bun and to help keep your high street alive, buy yours from a local, indepedent, Real Bread bakery!
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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