The best hot cross buns according to CHOICE

Hot cross buns have been on many supermarket shelves since the last week of January. Now CHOICE experts have done the rounds and voted on the best.

They sampled 21 different hot cross buns covering traditional, chocolate, apple and cinnamon, and gluten free varieties from Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, IGA, Bakers Delight and Costco.

Coles took the honours.

“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."

Here's how they finished.

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 Ms Clemons.

  1. 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.,”

  1. 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.”

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.”

  1. 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!”

  1. 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.”

The full results of the panel's testing can be found here.


I like to do the 'poke test' on Hot Cross Buns. I think the Coles ones are too soft and they are put into plastic bags while they are still hot which makes them sweat . Not a good look. I do like Baker's Delight ones, slightly firm with Sultanas , I don't like Chocolate in them.

I refuse to buy any hot cross buns from supermarkets which start selling them on Boxing Day! It is obviously all about the money and has nothing to do with Easter. I will either make my own or buy from Baker's Delight.

Also, when bread or buns are squishy it usually means they are under-cooked. It saves big manufacturers a lot of time and therefore money.

It has me intrigued as to why the old name "Hot Cross Buns" is still used. Why not just call them cross buns as they are not hot. Or maybe just call them fruit buns or choc chip buns as the cross part lost it impact years ago when they became commercialised by going on sale the week after Christmas

if one likes the buns, buy them, if not, doesn't matter, everyone's happy then,

billy ;)


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