Bakeries & Delis

Auckland’s Best Hot Cross Buns For Easter 2024

By Kathryn Steane

Rows of hot cross buns at Daily Bread.

Chocolate may get most of the attention come Easter, but it isn't the only treat we're coveting once the season for bunnies, eggs and unabashed gluttony rolls around. Yip, that's right fam—we're talking about hot cross buns, or HCBs.

Picture this: a perfectly baked bun, flavoured with a heavenly combo of fragrant spices and sweet, juicy dried fruit, topped off with a cute little cross (preferably toasted, and slathered in a shitload of butter). 

Heard enough? Loosen that belt and prepare to meet your baker, because here are the absolute best hot cross buns in Auckland.

The Best Hot Cross Buns In Auckland Right Now


66-68 Tyler Street, Britomart, Auckland

Some of the best hot cross buns in Auckland, from Amano. Image credit: Amano | Supplied

We love their pastries and bread beyond measure—but at Easter time, we only have eyes for Amano's hot cross buns. So what's their secret, you ask?

A sprinkle of something old mixed with a dash of something new, actually. These guys have paired traditional HCB ingredients with farm-fresh orange juice and a citrus-spiced glaze for a game-changing bun that will treat your tastebuds, big time.

And it appears we're getting double the blessing in 2024, with the team bringing back their decadent choccy version for another year.


596 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland

It will come as no surprise to Florets fans, who are already well acquainted with this spot's brand of whole-grain sourdough goodies from the hands of New York-trained baker, Maya Handley, that they make some of Auckland's best hot cross buns.

These babies are the result of some serious blood, sweat and tears (or rather, three years of recipe testing), and we reckon the result—a soft, slightly tangy bun made with local organic flour and a trio of currants, sultanas, and housemade peel—is pretty damn divine.

Levain Artisan Bakery

224 White Swan Road, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland

Some of the best hot cross buns in Auckland, from Levain Artisan Bakery. Image credit: Levain Artisan Bakery | Facebook

Chocolate and orange is the hot cross bun flavour we never knew we needed—until now. And it's all thanks to Levain Artisan Bakery, which has introduced us to this scrumptious treat made with dark chocolate from the crème de la crème of choccy makers here in NZ, Whittaker's, before being slathered in a gorgeous marmalade glaze.

If you're not in the mood to live quite so dangerously, check out their traditional fruit HCB, also made from pillowy brioche dough and then stuffed with aged rum-soaked fruit, spices, and mixed citrus peel. Levain sells thousands of their hot cross buns each year, and with credentials like these—we can totally see why.


6/80 Gunner Drive, Te Atatu Peninsula, Auckland

There's something truly divine happening in the kitchen at Wildflours—and it's the creation of some of the city's best hot cross buns. This little cakery in Te Atatu has been making a considerable mark on the HCB scene in recent years, with some locals even putting their buns above those of a certain widely recognised, award-winning brand.

We're told the secret to their popularity is just the right selection of spices, coupled with plump juice-soaked fruit and a long fermentation process. It sure sounds like heaven to us.


12 Gore Street, Auckland CBD

Some of the best hot cross buns in Auckland, from Giapo. Image credit: Giapo | Supplied

Everyone knows that Giapo makes some of the best ice cream in Auckland, but it may come as a surprise to learn that they also make some of its best hot cross buns. And what's more, they're gluten-free (these guys have been a dedicated gluten-free facility for several years now).

Yup, if you're living the GF life—and even if you're not!—you're gonna want to get your lips around these golden goodies stat, which are easily recognised by their big, fat, bright yellow cross. Stuff your bun with some of Giapo's freshly churned ice cream for the ultimate noms.

Mor Bakery

158 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland

This Easter we're giving our blessing to Mor's hot cross buns, which are so gloriously glossy, you can almost see your reflection in 'em. Dig beneath their shiny exterior, and you'll find a beautifully textured dough that's gentle on the spice and generous on the fruit, which they've taken the liberty of steeping in black tea and orange juice.

Fresh from the kitchen of one of Auckland's finest pastry shops, it's no surprise these hot cross buns make our list of the city's best.

The Pantry

Park Hyatt Auckland, 99 Halsey Street, Auckland CBD

Some of the best hot cross buns in Auckland, from The Pantry. Image credit: The Pantry | Supplied

If you like your HCBs pumped full of rum-soaked raisins, currants, sultanas and citrus peel then blended with cardamom, tonka bean and cinnamon, listen up.

Award-winning pastry chef, Callum Liddicoat is serving up hot cross buns featuring that exact description from Park Hyatt Auckland's all-day eatery, The Pantry (but not before stamping them with the obligatory cross and slathering them in a citrusy, spiced-rum glaze). We feel we must also inform you that Callum has created two lush hot cross bun donuts for Easter this year, filled with your choice of vanilla or caramel vanilla custard.

Daily Bread

Auckland CBD, Belmont, Britomart, Newmarket, Ponsonby & Pt Chev. Also Instore At Farro

Give us Lord our daily bread, especially when it comes in the form of hot cross buns from one of our favourite bakeries. Daily Bread's version ain't shy on the spice and is filled to the brim with sultanas, raisins and currants soaked in a splash of golden rum (now you're talking).
However, it's the sourdough base that's where the magic really happens, resulting in a bun that's springy, moist, and drop-dead DELICIOUS. Last year they created their tastiest version yet, thanks to the ancient Italian method of lievito madre. This three-day-long process gives the buns even more flavour and a longer shelf life, minus the additives.
Two new flavours are joining the fold this year—a rather delightful-sounding spiced apple number and another one spiked with sour cherry and chocolate (oof). P.S. We're not the only ones who have a thing for these HCBs—Daily Bread has won the Great New Zealand Hot Cross Bun competition the last three years in a row.

Ima Cuisine

53 Fort Street, Auckland CBD

Ima Cuisine's legendary hot cross buns up close and personal.Image credit: Ima Cuisine | Facebook

Ima Cuisine's hot cross buns are the stuff of legend, known to cause queues and stop traffic (okay, so maybe not quite that last part, but we have been told that more than 1000 orders were placed for them the day before Easter one year).

One bite of these bad boys and you'll soon discover why they're so popular—the base is deliciously dense, bursting with currants, spices and orange peel, all topped off with a gooey custard cross.

That said, we recommend using Ima's online ordering system so you can secure your stash of this coveted treat before—God forbid—it sells out for the day. Keep your eyes 'peeled' for a vegan version, which they've also been known to do.

The Real Bread Project

103 Mill Road, Helensville, Auckland

Did someone say stout-infused hot cross buns? Hell yeah they did, and it was The Real Bread Project. A game-changing take on the traditional HCB, these hearty treats have become something of an Easter icon and you'll find them at The Real Bread Project's bakery in Helensville.

Made from all the traditional bits and pieces (think raisins, sultanas and candied fruit peel) and Darkest Days oat stout, courtesy of fellow Helensville legends Liberty Brewing, these are some of the most unique hot cross buns you'll ever taste.

Bread & Butter

34 Westmoreland Street West, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Some of the best hot cross buns in Auckland, from Bread & Butter. Image credit: Bread & Butter | Supplied

We're saying a big fat amen to the hot cross buns at Bread & Butter, which we must confess are some of the best in Auckland.

The result of a li'l dough-making magic (12 hours' fermentation to be precise, resulting in subtle flavours, a moist texture and easier digestibility), they feature a buttermilk-infused base studded with raisins, apricots, currants and cranberries, topped with burnt butter and spiced cinnamon glaze. Gluttonous stuff.

Richoux Patisserie

119 Main Highway, Ellerslie, Auckland

Jason Hay, you've done it again. Yip, the multi-award-winning baker and owner of Richoux Patisserie has cranked out yet another glorious treat for us to try and as you may have guessed, it's hot cross buns.

If you like a traditional bakery-style HCB pumped full of juicy fruit, these babies are solid, and it seems we're not the only ones who think so because they've won a ton of awards. And did we mention they also happen to be vegan?

Pastrami & Rye

112 Main Highway, Ellerslie, Auckland

One of Auckland's best hot cross buns, from Pastrami & Rye. Image credit: Kathryn Steane

How's this for a heavenly partnership—Ellerslie fave, Pastrami & Rye has buddied up with famed Auckland brewery, Hallertau to create their very own hot cross buns. These boozy beauties feature a gorgeous, double stout-infused dough wrapped around all the usual yummy HCB suspects (plump fruit pieces and warming spices, for example), resulting in what can only be described as a gift from God himself.

Better yet, you can choose to have your hot cross bun stuffed full of fried, house-smoked bacon (yes, bacon!) then slathered in maple syrup as part of their mind-blowing bacon buttie experience aka the very definition of heaven on earth.

Wild Wheat

Belmont, Birkenhead, Howick, Mangere, Mt Albert & Mt Eden

Wild Wheat's hot cross buns are an absolute vision. Baked in individual rounds rather than as a batch, it almost seems a shame to cut into them, but... nah! And you'll be glad you did, because these beauties also deliver on the flavour front, big time.

They absolutely nail the balance of fruit and spice, while the bun itself is light, fluffy, and topped off with a crunchy, slightly chewy exterior. One might even say they're Last Supper-worthy.


Britomart, Ponsonby & Sandringham

Some of the best hot cross buns in Auckland, from Miann. Image credit: Miann | Instagram

If you're a true hot cross bun aficionado, you'll be familiar with Miann. That's because these guys make some of the most popular HCBs in the entire city. So c'mon then, what's the big deal? A decadent chocolate bun flavoured with chunks of housemade dark chocolate topped off with a chocolate cross, that's what.

Or perhaps you'd rather have their traditional version, which also receives our highest praise. Whatever the flavour, we'd strongly advise stuffing your hot cross bun with a scoop or two of Miann's famous gelato.

Loaf X Farro

Instore At Farro

For some of the tastiest HCBs in town, you can't go past Loaf, whose buns can be found exclusively in-store at Farro. Whether you like to keep things traditional or mix it up with a bit of the sweet stuff aka chocolate, these guys are bringing their absolute A-game this Easter with deliciously dense treats packed full of flavour, and featuring an improved recipe.

We're particularly partial to the choccy version, which reaches irresistible new heights when paired with a healthy whack of butter and some hazelnut spread.

Fort Greene

327 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD

Some of the best hot cross buns in Auckland, from Fort Greene. Image credit: Fort Greene | Facebook

It takes something pretty damn special to tear us away from our go-to cinnamon cruffin at Fort Greene, but their hot cross buns have officially done it. Made with a sourdough starter, these babies are nothing short of an epiphany.

Think not too sweet, flavoured with just the right amount of citrus and spice, and with a lovely fluffy texture hidden beneath a beautiful golden shell. We could keep going, but really, you should just try one for yourself.

Honourable Mention


199 Shakespeare Road, Milford, Auckland

Some of Auckland's best hot, erm, knot cross buns, from Scandibunz. Image credit: Scandibunz | Facebook

Now technically this one isn't an HCB (for obvious reasons), but when devouring Scandibunz drool-worthy (K)not Cross Buns, we couldn't help but draw a comparison. Taking inspiration from three different treats—the traditional Scandinavian Vörtbröd (spiced, malted rye bread with raisins), the classic hot cross bun and Scandibunz very own cardamom bun—this holy trinity of treats is where it's at this Easter. Bursting with festive flavours including rich notes of gingerbread, then slathered in a gorgeous coffee glaze, these are what we call Scandi-lously good.

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Main image credit: Daily Bread | Instagram 

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