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Food and drink

Here are the best hot cross buns, according to Choice

- March 10, 2023 3 MIN READ
hot cross buns
Photo: AdobeStock
Choice has tested 21 hot cross bun varieties, so you know exactly which ones to add to your shopping trolley this Easter.

The independent, member-funded consumer advocacy group had their experts blind-taste-test each hot cross bun and rated them based on flavor, appearance, aroma, and texture. 

Choice editorial director Marg Rafferty said that with so many options out there, it can be hard to choose the best bun, but whether you’re a fruit fan or a chocolate lover when it comes to cross buns, Choice has the answers. 

“Our expert panel taste tested over 20 products from traditional fruit and chocolate categories purchased from national supermarkets, Bakers Delight, and Costco,” Rafferty said. 

Woolworths’ traditional fruit hot cross buns took first place in the taste test, receiving a score of 75%. Experts praised it for its softness and ability to toast well. 

Despite the wide range of hot cross bun varieties available, including flavors like Cadbury Caramilk and Burger Sauce, Choice polls continue to show that the traditional fruit hot cross bun remains the favorite choice.

The expert panel recommended cross buns that scored 70% or more. 

Best traditional hot cross buns 

1. Woolworths Traditional Fruit Hot Cross Buns

hot cross buns

Woolworths Traditional Fruit Hot Cross Buns

“These Woolworths’ hot cross buns have a soft texture and toast well if you like your bun on the crunchy side. Plus, they’re vegan-friendly with no preservatives,” says Rafferty.  

  • Choice score: 75%
  • Toasted score: 77%
  • Fresh (untoasted) score: 74%
  • Price: 67c per bun ($4.00 per 6-pack)
  • Health Star Rating: 3.5
  • Good to know: Vegan-friendly with 25% fruit. No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
  • Experts say: Good crust, good cross, soft, toasts well, good texture.


2. Coles Traditional Fruit Hot Cross Buns

hot cross buns

Coles Traditional Fruit Hot Cross Buns

 “These buns came in second place, with our experts praising them for their moist texture and softness,” says Rafferty. 

  • Choice score: 72%
  • Toasted score: 74%
  • Fresh (untoasted) score: 72%
  • Price: 67c per bun ($4.00 per 6-pack)
  • Health Star Rating: 3
  • Good to know: 27% fruit and vegan-friendly.
  • Experts say: Moist and soft, better toasted.

3. Woolworths Luxurious Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns

hot cross buns

Woolworths Luxurious Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns

“These buns have dropped slightly in our testing after scoring first place last year. However, our experts were pleased with the fruitiness of the bun and the hint of cinnamon with each bite,” says Rafferty. 

  • Choice score: 61%
  • Toasted score: 64%
  • Fresh (untoasted) score: 57%
  • Price: $1.25 per bun ($5.00 per 4-pack)
  • Health Star Rating: 3.5
  • Good to know: No artificial colours or flavours and suitable for vegetarians.
  • Experts say: Good colour, even cross, soft texture, toasts well, artificial cinnamon, pleasant fruitiness.

Best chocolate hot cross buns

Why wait for the Easter bunny to bring eggs when you can indulge in chocolate through a bun?

While none of the nine chocolate hot cross buns Choice experts tasted scored high enough (at least 70% for taste) to be recommended, they recommended the following top three for the chocolate lovers.

1. Aldi Bakers Life Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

hot cross buns

Aldi Bakers Life Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

“Our experts discovered these buns scored much better when toasted and had a good shape and size,” says Rafferty.

  • Choice score: 57%
  • Toasted score: 63%
  • Fresh (untoasted) score: 55%
  • Price: 58c per bun ($3.49 per 6-pack)
  • Health Star Rating: 2
  • Good to know: Suitable for vegetarians, no artificial colours or flavours, no preservatives, source of protein, source of fibre.
  • Experts say: Little chocolate, good appearance, much better toasted.

2. Community Co Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

hot cross buns

Community Co Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

“Our experts agreed the Community Co chocolate buns were soft and looked good visually, with a clear cross,” says Rafferty. 

  • Choice score: 56%
  • Toasted score: 56%
  • Fresh (untoasted) score: 54%
  • Price: 67c per bun ($4.00 per 6-pack)
  • Health Star Rating: 3
  • Good to know: No artificial colours or flavours, no added preservatives, Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa.
  • Experts say: Clear cross, soft, better toasted.

3. Coles Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

hot cross buns

Coles Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

“These buns had the equal highest chocolate content at 25% but lost points due to their salty aftertaste,” says Rafferty.

  • Choice score: 53%
  • Toasted score: 57%
  • Fresh (untoasted) score: 52%
  • Price: 67c per bun ($4 per 6-pack)
  • Health Star Rating: 2
  • Good to know: Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa, highest chocolate percentage at 25% (equal with Bakers Delight Handmade Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns).
  • Experts say: Tastes better toasted, salty aftertaste.

Who are the experts?

Adam Moore is an experienced culinary judge with over 25 years in the food industry. He holds formal qualifications in various areas of food and is a certified global executive chef. Currently, he is the culinology director at Culinary Revolutions.

Brigid Treloar is a freelance food consultant with over 30 years of experience. She has authored eight cookbooks, reviews restaurants, and judges cookery and recipe competitions, including the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show Competition. Brigid is an industry assessor for Le Cordon Bleu and advises many of Australia’s food companies on product and recipe development.

Anneka Manning is the founder of BakeClub and an expert in baking. She has worked with leading Australian magazines, newspapers, and book publishers, including Gourmet Traveller, Australian good taste, and The Australian Women’s Weekly. Anneka specialises in teaching the ‘how’ and ‘why,’ offering home cooks a complete understanding and skills to bake confidently. She also runs the unique six-month Make Me a Baker program.

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