The best hot cross buns and simnel cake 2021
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Find out which supermarket hot cross buns and simnel cake won in our Easter Taste Awards this year. We tested traditional, flavoured and gluten-free hot cross bun varieties and classic simnel cake to find our favourites.
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Hot cross buns are our number one Easter essential, but which supermarket hot cross buns are worth buying? Over two days, our expert judging panel taste-tasted more than 25 hot cross buns and six simnel cakes from 10 national supermarkets to bring you our favourites for Easter 2021.
This year, testing took place remotely, with judges receiving coded packages, each filled with portioned out slices of simnel cake and whole, carefully wrapped hot cross buns so that they could blind-test them from home. Read on to find out which traditional, flavoured and gluten-free hot cross buns came out on top, as well as our favourite simnel cake for Easter 2021.
Find out the results of our taste test below, and visit our Easter Taste Awards hub page for more handy information, including the winners of our chocolate Easter egg categories.
Please note that some of these products are only available to buy in-store and not online.
Best traditional hot cross buns
Sainsbury's Taste the Difference fruity hot cross buns
These buttery-tasting buns are super-soft, moist and squidgy. They're nicely packed full of plump, juicy fruit, and subtly spiced without being overpowering.
ASDA Extra Special extra fruity hot cross buns
These were praised by our judges for their neat, strong cross and subtle glazing, juicy, well-distributed fruit and sweeter flavour.
Best flavoured hot cross buns
M&S extremely chocolatey hot cross buns
These light and fluffy yet rich and decadent chocolate flavoured buns studded with chunks of dark chocolate really live up to their name. Our judges loved their dramatic look and indulgent, brownie-like flavour.
Buy in-store at M&S (£1.65)
Morrisons The Best very berry hot cross buns
For those who prefer fruity flavours, these sweet fluffy buns are loaded with cranberries, lingonberries and wild blueberries for a lovely sweet-sour flavour. Our judges thought this would be a great breakfast bun, particularly when toasted and slathered in butter.
Buy in-store at Morrisons (£1.50, pack of four)
Best gluten-free hot cross buns
Morrisons Free From fruit hot cross buns
These gluten-free buns are a nice size, with pleasant spicing and a good amount of fruit. Although slightly drier in texture than the classic hot cross buns, they’re great toasted.
Buy in-store at Morrisons (£2, pack of four)
Best simnel cake
Waitrose Easter simnel cake
Although not the most traditional of the simnel cakes tried, our judges praised this for its soft texture, generous fruit filling and sweet, cinnamon and nutmeg-heavy flavour.
This review was last updated in February 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at email@example.com.
For more taste tests and product rundowns, visit our reviews section.
What’s your favourite hot cross bun? Let us know in the comments below...