With Easter around the corner, the sweet smell of hot cross buns is starting to waft out of bakeries across Melbourne. With so many on offer, it’s hard to know who makes the best hot cross buns in Melbourne; that's why we put out the call on our Instagram.
Everyone got stuck in voting for their favourite spice-filled and glazed numbers, so without further adieu here are Melbourne’s best hot cross buns for 2022:
Chic de Partie
Online, via DM
One of the silver linings of Melbourne's lengthy lockdowns were the various order via DM bakeries, and one such account that caught our eye was Chic de Partie from Aidan Robinson, an ex-Dinner by Heston pastry chef. You can't go wrong with any of his creations, but it's his boozy brioche hot cross buns, complete with orange zest brandy cream, that take the cake. They're available right now via DM—and expectedly, they're going damn quickly. Best get to it.
North Melbourne, Albert Park
The cult-following of Bread Club is unlike any other, the loyal baked good community rallied hard for the Hot Cross Buns from Bread Club, and obligingly we agree, they’re an absolutely perfect 10. The glorious sugary glaze over the top of the dense fruit and spiced-filled bun is like a shining beacon of glistening flavour. They're lovingly made using a three-step 24-hour process in which the pre-fermented dough is mixed with a variety of classic dried fruits and spices as well as a couple of more modern additions like cranberries and blueberries— Alongside their regular range, they've also just released a mind-melting twice-baked almond croissant hot cross bun. The extremely decadent Easter-themed baked good is a new rotating special, keep an eye out on the Bread Club Insta to find out how to get it.
Tivoli Road Bakery
Not one for half-measures, the institutional bakery destination, Tivoli Road Bakery has long been lorded as one of the finest establishments in Melbourne to tackle a hot cross bun. Made with elite precision and featuring a to-die-for brown sugar glaze, this is a recipe that’s been refined year on year, down to fine art, with that perfect mixed peel twinge to every bite. Even though they churn out a staggering amount of the hefty buns each day they still walk out the door at a staggering rate so ensure you’re there pre 11am if you want to secure one.
What can’t they do? The absolutely lorded sourdough specialists, Rustica, are it again this time with their seasonally perfected, Hot Cross Buns. So choice-wise here it gets contentious because you’ve got three variations, the timeless classic original HCB, a dark chocolate iteration, as well as the incredibly innovative, Hot Cross Dougnnut which is your typical sultana, currant and spice mixed doughnut bun which is then piped full of vanilla, cardamom and brandy creme patissier. It may not be traditional but it’s bloody good.
We’ve been a big fan of the Cobb Lane team for quite some time, their dedication to the craft is something you can taste in every bite. Coming alive every Easter season, the Cobb Lane HCBs incorporates just about everything we love about the Yarraville-originated bakers; very decent in size, equating to around the width of your palm. They're soft but dense to the touch, comprised of rich orange puree, citrus peel and generous mixing of dried fruit you're tangoing with flavour with every bite.
Millers Bread Kitchen
So not metropolitan Melbourne, but the buns on offer here are worth clocking up a few kilometres. Millers Bread Kitchen is sandwiched between a motley collection of industrial businesses on Nepean Highway in Dromana, the refurbished garage space is now home to a tidy collection of some of the best-baked goods around and their hot cross buns are no exception. Showcased just out of the oven on large metal trays, the symmetry of the white crosses is memorising, and the spice-filled buns are delicately soft—no toasting required here.
A local favourite, Falco is a small-batch bakery known for their rustic loaves and flakey pastries. Their hot cross buns are some of Melbourne’s finest, and if there’s one thing this city needs in 2022, it’s a healthy dose of wholesome baked goods from some small businesses. The best part, Falco's HCBs are available right now. Get to it.
Wild Life Bakery
The gang at Wild Life are of course getting some buns in and out of the oven, too. For Easter 2022, Wild Life's iteration is a play on a traditional HCB; you've got all the essentials in there balancing those sweets and spices, but for that extra kick they're adding in a health splash of straight rye whisky courtesy of their mates at Gospel Distillery. They're also bringing back the wildly popular Chocolate and Sour Cherry hcb, made with Hunted + Gathered 70% Dominican Republic chocolate 'chip. Wild Life's hot cross buns are available now, but your best bet is to order ahead—more here.
Toorak And Middle Park
Ned's Bake knows the importance of doing a classic right, and their traditional hot cross buns might just be one of the best available in Melbourne this year. Dried sultanas, currants, and candied mixed peel are all balanced out by the perfect splashes of nutmeg and cinnamon set within those delightful brioche buns. And in case your wondering, yes, there'll be a choccy version too, made in collaboration with chocolate mainstays Koko Black.
Woodfrog Bakery is known for crusty baguettes and hearty sourdough loaves, but their hot cross buns are a seasonal treat we simply can’t resist. The sweet syrupy buns are perfectly filled with fruity goodness. Buy them in a pack or individually—we dare you to stop at just one. Keep an eye on their Instagram for when their sweet, sweet buns are released.
Black Star Pastry
This Sydney bakery is famous for their Strawberry Watermelon Cake, but they make a pretty mean hot cross bun too. It'll mark the second year in a row we can get these buns here in Melbourne, and we reckon they’ve been worth the wait. Black Star Pastry’s buns are 100% vegan and beautifully glazed in frankincense syrup, creating the perfect balance of spicy and sweet. They’re making around 25,000 this HCB season across all Sydney stores and in Melbourne at the Chadstone flagship, so your best bet is to get your orders in here when they open on Monday 28 March.
The Hamptons Bakery
In 2022, the standards for a hot cross bun in Melbourne are exceptionally high, and The Hamptons Bakery Head Pastry chef, Carina La Delfa, is all too aware of that. Coming from the likes of Lume Restaurant and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, there's been no stone unturned here; the fruit's been soaking since new years which is mixed in with a hand-rolled dough. This year will also see a Chocolate Chai Spiced Hot Cross Bun added to the mix.
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Image credit: Shelley Horan (Wildlife Bakery)