Food & Drink

The Great Hot Cross Bun Road Test

By Sophia Fukunishi - 22 Mar 2016

hot cross buns

One could argue that hot cross bun season is the tastiest time of the year. In my book they beat mince pies, ANZAC biscuits and lamingtons (even though all these are pretty great). The humble hot cross bun can be eaten for breakfast, as a snack during the day or late at night when no one is watching/judging you.

Sydney’s best bakeries are turning it on this year and are baking up damn delicious hot cross buns. So, in the interests of top quality journalism, we took it upon ourselves to review what may possibly be the best hot cross buns in Sydney…  With heaps of butter slathered on, of course.

Brickfields

We don’t love using the word “moist” around here, but we have to use it to describe the Brickfields hot cross buns. They are a little on the sweeter side and don’t pack too much spice. Overall a solid bun.

Black Star Pastry

Hey, vegans! The hot cross buns from Black Star Pastry are vegan friendly so you too can get in on the action (this pleased our resident vegan to no end). Aside from being vegan, these HCBs have some serious spice and rind game, and have a good level of density—not too cakey and not too heavy.

Zumbo

These bad boys were sweet as (in a good way). They weren’t as dense as other HCBs on the list, but they had a good fruit to bread ratio and weren’t at all dry.

Sonoma

Quite sweet… but the addition of cranberries added a bit of tartness, which was a welcome addition. They are more bready and less dense than the others. A few people in the office proclaimed these to be their favourite.

Bourke Street Bakery

Okay, these are technically hot cross loaves but we’ll allow it because they taste so damn good. These aren’t super spicy or super packed with fruit, so if you’re adverse to both these things, then these loaves are for you. Cut the loaf into slices and have some of the world’s best fruit toast for breakfast. Now that’s livin’.

Boundary Road

We ordered these from Harris Farm and, for store-bought buns, they were amazing. The perfect balance of sweet and spicy and a wonderful density which made them feel super decadent.

Oregano Bakery

Hot cross scrolls? Shut up and give them to me. Makers of the best scrolls in Sydney (for reals), Oregano Bakery have made hot cross scrolls for Easter and they are unsurprisingly out of this world. Sweet? Yes. Dense? Yes. Do we wish these were available all year round? Ummm yes.

ALDI

There’s something to be said about store-bought hot cross buns. The ALDI buns were actually really good—light, "the m word" and with a whole lotta fruit. There’s also a vegan-friendly version, so everyone is happy.

Brasserie Bread

A little on the bready side compared to the rest, the Brasserie Bread hot cross buns were packed full of orange rind and fruit. So if you love your rinds, these buns are for you.

Infinity Bakery

These hot cross buns were the models of the HCB world. So perfect looking, if you were to look up hot cross buns in the dictionary, a photo of Infinity Bakery’s buns would be there. Taste wise? Super soft, not overly fruit or spicy. Probably a little too easy to eat more than one.

How we love our buns…

Heat them up in the microwave (15 seconds for one bun) and butter it up well and good with a heap of Pepe Saya butter.

And we’re done. I think I’ve had enough hot cross buns to last me until next year.


Image credit: Bruce & Rebecca Meissner

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Bakery

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