Hot cross buns, Easter table

Hot Cross Buns On Trial

Author: Miranda Eason

I’ll never say no to a Mini Egg but, when it comes to Easter eating, it’s all about hot cross buns for me. So it was not completely unselfishly that I suggested we do a hot cross bun taste test for an Easter week Rock My Style post.

Luckily team Rock My Style were on board and so a couple of weeks ago Adam, Lauren and myself took time out from a busy day of meeting and shooting to eat our way through five different types of hot cross buns, bought from the nearest supermarkets to our respective homes and/or workplaces. Charlotte wasn’t with us due to illness. While obviously gutted not to be hanging out with team RMS I think she was at least as upset about missing out on all the hot cross bun action.

Lauren’s usual hot cross bun eating MO is untoasted without anything on top, whilst Adam and I favour ours toasted with butter. We decided that for the purposes of the tasting we would eat the buns toasted but without any toppings, figuring that we’d taste all the flavours better that way. After burning the first round (seriously!) we got the hang of things. Without further ado…

M&S Luxury Hot Cross Buns {Miranda’s Favourite}

The damage: £1.70p for four
They say: Packed full of juicy fruit, mixed peel and a unique spice blend
We say: Highly glazed, stodgy (a good thing in this instance), full of currants, even fruit distribution. Made with a darker flour and so looks healthier than the rest. Moist, sweet, delicately spiced, wouldn’t necessarily need butter.
Calories: 209 per bun

Morrisons M Signature Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns

The damage: £1.19 for four
They say: Spicy buns packed with juicy vine fruits and orange
We say: Lots of fruit (a very good thing), quite airy and light, and, as they’re bigger than the others you get more bun for your money. Looks-wise a bit burnt. Taste-wise not as zesty and spicy as the rest, more like an aromatic teacake.
Calories: 218 per bun

Rowan Hill Hot Cross Buns Lidl

The damage: 75p for six
They say: Hot cross buns with sultanas and raisins soaked in orange juice and mixed peel, approx 60% less fat that Rowan Hill Luxury Hot Cross Buns
We say: Not too keen on these, quite dry and the spices are quite mace-y. (Adam). A disgrace to hot cross buns (Lauren).
Calories: 149 per bun

Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Fruity Hot Cross Buns {Lauren’s favourite}

The damage: £1.80 for four
They say: These ultra-fruity buns include Chilean jumbo raisins, fresh citrus zest and a secret blend of aromatic spice oils
We say: It’s possible we got a rogue batch but the crosses on these were so off-centre they were basically a T. Less fruit than M&S, dryer than the others, zesty but subtle spiciness, not overpowering.
Calories: 208 per bun

Tesco Finest White Hot Cross Buns {Adam’s favourite}

The damage: £1.53 for four
They say: Packed with plump orange-juice soaked sultanas, currants and Chilean flame raisins, with a touch of honey.
We say: Tasty, fruity, bitter aftertaste (a good thing), nice texture, very soft, darker golden brown colour, glossy top.
Calories: 227 per bun

So there you have it. Our totally amateur, completely unscientific taste test. Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, your jobs are safe. Over to you. Which are your favourite hot cross buns? Do you eat them as is? Toasted? With butter? Anything else? And what do you think of the growing trend to mess around with the classic hot cross bun with various non-trad fruits being added and even hot cross loaves?! (An actual thing, available at Morrisons). Any thoughts, leave a comment below.

Born in Yorkshire. Lives in East London. California girl at heart.
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19 thoughts on “Hot Cross Buns On Trial

  1. Yummmm! I wonder which the best gluten free ones are? Perhaps you’d better do another taste testing round…?!

    1. I haven’t looked into gluten free ones Victoria. Yes, as you say, we must do another taste test!

    2. Sainsbury’s Freefrom Hot Cross Buns are really lovely! Especially toasted with butter (soya butter in my case) – they’re not cheap but definitely the nicest gluten free ones I have tasted so far 🙂

    1. until I met my husband I had never tried toasted with butter! It was always as they come but wow I love toasty warm melty butter ones now! The best I have had were from a bakery in Ambleside and they were huge and so so nice!! Always thought of trying to make my own but it’s just so much easier to buy them! X

      1. Toasted with butter is definitely my favourite way to eat them Alex! Much easier to buy than make your own, especially when there are so many tasty ones in the shops. Ambleside bakery ones sound yum!

  2. Hehe, I love that you’ve put the M&S ones “look healthier” than the rest! I can’t wait for hot cross bun eating at the weekend! I love them toasted with butter, so much so that as soon as they go on sale (let’s face it, it’s in January now isn’t it!) I could easily see myself getting through a pack a week. You’ll be pleased to know that I don’t, and have enforced a rule on myself (for my own sake!) that I’m only allowed to eat them over the Easter weekend itself! x

    1. I have to admit that the taste test buns were not the first I’ve eaten all year Kitty. I could easily get through a pack a week too, in fact it’s hard to stop at a bun a day! x

  3. I love the Marks and Spencer’s ones. Might sneak in and get some on the way home. We tried the Apple m&s ones last week and they were really yummy.

    1. Ooh, good to hear that the apple ones are yummy Laura, to be honest I wasn’t sure although I was tempted…!

  4. I’ve bought some Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference ones this evening in preparation, they look great but not yet tasted!

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