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CHOICE testing reveals which hot cross buns taste best

Woolworths Luxurious Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns receive the highest score.

Last updated: 21 March 2024

CHOICE has taste tested 29 hot cross buns from Coles, Woolworths, IGA, Aldi, Bakers Delight, and Costco to see which buns are the best this Easter.

"With the long Easter weekend creeping closer, many people are filling their trolleys with hot cross buns. These days, there are so many different varieties that it can be hard to find the best of the bunch, but CHOICE is here with the answers. Our expert panel taste tested 29 hot cross buns, including 14 traditional fruit varieties, to find this year's tastiest winners," says Serrels.

"Woolworths Luxurious Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns scored first place in our taste test with a score of 72%. Our experts praised it for its pleasant aroma which intensified when toasted," says Serrels.

Our experts judged each hot cross bun in a blind taste test in the CHOICE kitchen. They were assessed for flavour, appearance, aroma, and texture. 

Best traditional hot cross buns 

Hot Cross Buns 24 Ch -09-1

1. Woolworths Luxurious Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns

CHOICE Expert Rating: 72%

Price: $1.25 per bun

"These Woolworths hot cross buns were soft, had a nice chew and were pleasant on the nose, especially when toasted. They also had the highest fruit percentage of all the buns we tested at 30%," says Serrels. 

Woolworths Traditional Fruit Hot Cross Buns

2. Woolworths Traditional Fruit Hot Cross Buns

CHOICE Expert Rating: 67%

Price: $0.67 per bun 

"Our experts were pleased with the pleasant level of spice and plump fruits from the Woolworths hot cross buns baked on premises," says Serrels.

Bakers Delight Traditional Hot Cross Buns

3. Bakers Delight Traditional Fruit Hot Cross Buns 

CHOICE Expert Rating: 65%

Price: $1.50 per bun

"These buns scored third place, with our experts praising the balanced mouthfeel and texture when toasted," says Serrels

Best chocolate hot cross buns 

"If you prefer your Easter chocolate in bun form, we've got you covered. Bakers Delight Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns scored 70%, high enough to make it into our recommended list," says Serrels.

Hot Cross Buns 24 Ch -15-1

1. Bakers Delight Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns

CHOICE Expert Rating: 70%

Price: $1.50 per bun 

"This bun was praised for being more like a traditional bun with chocolate chips - a good mix of spice and chocolate," says Serrels.

Woolworths Hot Cross Buns Made With Cadbury Milk Chocolate Chips

2. Woolworths Hot Cross Buns Made With Cadbury Milk Chocolate Chips

CHOICE Expert Rating: 68%

Price: $0.67 per bun

"Our experts liked the appearance and smell of these buns, praising their sweet aroma and evenly dispersed chocolate chunks," says Serrels.

Bakers Life Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

3. Bakers Life Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

CHOICE Expert Rating: 58%

Price: $0.62 per bun 

"This bun had less aroma than its higher ranking competitors, but had nice big chocolate chips," says Serrels.

Editor's notes:

Who are the experts?

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 judges chocolate at the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show. 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, advises many of Australia's food companies on product and recipe development, and also provides recipes and cooking information for company websites.

Ian Huntley is a pastry chef by trade and has been in the industry for 35 years. He 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 Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) Professional Bakery competition and chief assessor for patisserie for leading French culinary school Le Cordon Bleu.

Jane Bardell might fill her days checking facts and figures as one of CHOICE's esteemed verifiers, but she spends her weekends and evenings perfecting her brioche, refining her frangipane tarts and decorating cakes for special occasions. She's just as comfortable manipulating data in a spreadsheet as she is shaping a loaf of sourdough, and she's even a multi-award winning pastry chef – if you count CHOICE's prestigious annual staff lemon bake-off.

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