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CHOICE testing reveals which hot cross buns are best

Coles hot cross buns receive top scores.

Coles has topped the list in an expert taste test of 21 different hot cross buns - covering traditional, chocolate, apple and cinnamon, and gluten free varieties. CHOICE tested buns from Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA, plus Bakers Delight and Costco.

"Coles was clearly the winner in our testing this year, with their hot cross buns coming first in both the chocolate and traditional fruit categories," says CHOICE food journalist, Rachel Clemons. 

"Our experts blind taste tested all 21 hot cross buns, and scored them on flavour, appearance, aroma and texture. We set up our experts in the CHOICE kitchen lab and provided them with the hot cross bun samples in a randomised order, which is different for each expert. Our experts have over 80 years experience in the food industry between them, so they're the perfect people to test out these Easter treats," says Clemons. 

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Best traditional hot cross buns 


1. Coles Traditional Fruit

CHOICE Expert Rating: 80%

Price: $0.58 per bun 

"Our experts really liked the Coles Traditional Fruit bun, praising it for its shiny colour and bouncy texture. If you like quite a lot of fruit in your hot cross bun, this one's for you," says Clemons. 


2. Aldi Specially Selected Traditional Fruit

CHOICE Expert Rating: 79%

Price: $0.75 per bun 

"The Aldi Specially Selected Traditional Fruit gives well when squeezed and bounces back, has a lovely balance of flavour, and an intense ginger aroma," says Clemons. 


3. Bakers Delight Traditional Fruit 

CHOICE Expert Rating: 78%

Price: $1.33 per bun 

"Our experts noted that the Bakers Delight Traditional Fruit bun is a good shape and size, and has a nice texture inside and out," says Clemons.


Infographic available for embedding here:

Best chocolate hot cross buns 


1. Coles Chocolate 

CHOICE Expert Rating: 84%

Price: $0.58 per bun

"The Coles Chocolate hot cross bun is great for the chocolate fiends out there. You get a good chocolate hit from this one, with lots of chocolate chips evident," says Clemons. 


2. Bakers Delight Choc Chip 

CHOICE Expert Rating: 75%
Price: $1.33 per bun 

"Our experts said that the Bakers Delight Choc Chip bun had a good flavour, a pleasant aroma, and lots of choc chips!" says Clemons. 

3. Woolworths Cadbury Chocolate 

CHOICE Expert Rating: 74%
Price: $0.58 per bun 

"The Woolworths Cadbury Chocolate bun has a beautiful chocolate aroma and a moist texture," says Clemons.

The full results of our testing can be found here:

CHOICE's Rachel Clemons is now Tasmanian based and available for radio interviews from Tasmania.

Images and video available here:

Media contact: 0430 172 669,

Editor's notes:

Who are the experts? 

Ian Huntley is a pastry chef by trade and has been in the industry for 35 years. Ian studied confectionery, cake decorating and bread making in the UK before moving to Australia in the mid 1980s. 

After five years of working in two of Sydney's top hotels, the InterContinental and the Regent, he started his wholesale patisserie business, supplying desserts and pastries to airlines, department stores, hospitals, restaurants and coffee shops. 

Today Ian is the chair of judges for the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show Professional Bakery Competition and chief assessor for patisserie for leading French culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu.

Christopher Thé started his cooking career working in commercial kitchens while studying. In 2008, after training in fine dining restaurants including Bel Mondo, Claude's and Quay, he opened his own boutique patisserie, Black Star Pastry, in Newtown. Black Star quickly became a Sydney cult hit, with its signature Strawberry Watermelon Cake becoming known as "the most Instagrammed Cake in the World".

Chris has been an industry assessor for Le Cordon Bleu cooking school for five years, and has contributed to tasting panels for various publications including Gourmet Traveler and Good Food, where he mainly judged bakery items such as Christmas puddings and fruit mince pies.

Brigid Treloar has been a freelance food consultant for over 30 years. The author of eight cookbooks, she also contributes to newspapers and magazines, reviews restaurants, judges cookery and recipe competitions, and is a judge in the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show Bakery Competition. 

Brigid has presented specialist cooking classes around Australia and overseas, and often appears on TV and radio. She's an industry assessor for Le Cordon Bleu, and advises many of Australia's food companies on product and recipe development.