The Great Hot Cross Bun Taste-Off

Easter is upon us, and apart from the obvious Easter eggs, there are some more staples that we just have to rush out and get our fill of before Easter is up. Yep, that’s right: Hot cross buns.

At Brighton Girl, we love some hot cross buns (HCBs), but the choice for where to get them and what flavour to buy just keeps growing and growing!

To solve all your hot cross bun needs, our Content Editor Sofaya and her trusty friend Grace (who didn’t take much persuading…) took on a HCB taste test to tell you all that you need to know. Our options range from independent bakeries to high street shops, classic flavours to down-right decadent.

The Flour Pot Bakery

Wholemeal, soft, not too doughy, delicately spiced and with a good distribution of currants and peel. A pleasure to eat with just a bit of salted butter, although I’m sure Flour Pot’s homemade marmalade would really take it up a notch (available when eating in store).

£1 each, £5 for 6 or buy a hot cross loaf for £4.50.


Beautifully tall, dense buns with a lovely nutmeg spice and a light coating of icing on the top for extra stickiness. The icing is a nice touch – a twist whilst staying traditional - but it does mean you’ll struggle to put that half in the toaster without mess. These are without preservatives or anything artificial.

£1.30 each or £6.30 for 6.

Marks and Spencer

Savoury cheese

Let’s start with the weird option of the bunch! The smell first reminded us of tomato soup for some reason… perhaps because it would match up perfectly with a hot bowl of tomato soup. It’s very much like a cheese scone, but softer, and would be perfect for someone who doesn’t really have a sweet tooth. Nice, but not our fave.

St Clements

Zesty buns with a nice delicate orangey flavour. Considering the amount of orange they detail on the package, they’re not at all as orangey as they smell!  Like a traditional HCB but a bit more interesting.

Cranberry and orange

Wonderfully flavourful HCBs packed full of fruit and crunchy pumpkin seeds. If you like a bit more bite to your bun, and a whole lot more flavour, these are for you.

Toffee fudge and Belgian chocolate

Weird for a HCB, but overall, very tasty! The texture was not all fudgey, but the toffee flavour came through nicely. The Belgian chocolate was delicious – much nicer than the chocolate pieces in the previous HCB. If you’re going for traditional, stay away from these, but if it’s a yummy bun you’re after, give them a go.

Kentish bramley apple

Like a traditional HCB with the addition of soft apple, a similar texture to the sultanas, and a bit of cinnamon for good measure. Can you ever go wrong with apple and cinnamon? Not really. The warming flavour and good distribution of fruit had us both agreeing on this as the fave.

Mini chocolate and orange

With a chocolate dough and little choc pieces, these HCBs were choclatey, but not too chocolatey. A quick run in the toaster turned the chocolate pieces to goo, which was really yummy, but we couldn’t taste any orange! A cute option for the chocolate-obsessed out there.

All packs £2.50 for 2.

And, finally, a little cameo from Brighton Girl Rosie, who’s been talking about these HCBs for weeks…


Not your traditional HCB, these are top of the list if you have a sweet tooth. Imagine a HCB but with dark chocolate chunks, sweet pieces of toffee fudge and no weird mixed fruit getting stuck in your teeth. I love these lightly toasted (so the choc and fudge start to melt) with a bit of butter and a coffee on the side. They’re so good, I’ve made the most of the two packs for £2 offer (that’s 25p a bun!) and stocked up my freezer for the next few weeks.

£2 for 2.

Written by Sofaya.