Seeing hot cross buns on supermarket shelves is an annual reminder of how fast the year is passing. Beyond the existential panic it prompts about the passage of time, there’s the question of fruit, chocolate or plain? The questions don’t stop there: do you slice it in half, toast it and slather in butter, chuck the whole bun in the microwave or even in the air fryer? It’s a question both Broadsheet editors and the country’s top bakers have debated for years.

Whichever flavour and method of toasting you prefer, your first step is to skip the plastic bag and missing bread clip, make your way out of the supermarket and pay a visit to these local bakeries for a freshly baked bun. Here – in alphabetical order – are seven of the best hot cross buns in Brisbane.

Banneton Bakery, various locations

While Banneton Bakery specialises in sourdough, it also stocks a range of bakery classics: pastries, savoury pies and various sweet treats. The team has embraced the Easter spirit with glossy fruit and rich chocolate hot cross buns. Find them in-store or get an order in before March 28. $4.20 each or six for $16.

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Beurre Pastries, Milton

Beurre’s croissant-HCB lovechild involves a pastry cream with sweet soaked raisins that has been piped into the cavity of a crisp pastry shell. The pastry is laminated with rich Normandy Isigny Sainte-Mere butter. Amid all the experimentation the hybrid piece returns to tradition by marking the bun with a white icing cross. Order in-store.

Darvella, Bulimba

Want to take things to the next level? How about a hot-cross-bun-inspired beverage to go with your bun? Swiss-influenced bakery and patisserie Darvella (sister to Southeast Asian kitchen Pawpaw Cafe) is coming at you with the ultimate Easter experience: a “hot cross bun iced chai” to go with the bun of your choice. Darvella’s traditional bun is made with whole nutmeg, citrus zest, cranberries, sultanas, currants, figs and dates (soaked in brandy for two months). These are available every day until Easter weekend (and can be pre-ordered online). On weekends in the lead up to Easter the team also spice things up with double chocolate and Biscoff flavours. Chai lattes are also available each weekend until the end of Easter. $4 each or six for $16.

Doughcraft, Albion and CBD

Yes, at the very same spot where you can order charcuterie boards and Negronis, you can also find classic pastries and hot cross buns to delight the daytime crowd. The French-Italian bakery, deli and wine bar is making traditional (fruit-filled) or rich chocolate hot cross buns that are available until March 29. $4.50 each in-store or preorder online: six for $20 or nine for $30.

King St Bakery, Bowen Hills

This bakery by the team at Montrachet typically offers viennoiseries, artisan bread and gourmet take-home meals. But it’s jumped on the festive train with the classic spiced buns – available in traditional or chocolate chip varieties. Place an order and pick up in-store between Friday March 15 and Monday April 1. Six for $16.

Lune, South Brisbane and CBD

Revered croissanterie Lune is no stranger to an adventurous, and often themed, baked good (usually using laminated dough). For the month of March, the Lune cruffin is filled with spiced custard (complete with dried fruit) and topped with a signature cross. Preorder online or grab one in-store. $10.50 each.

Oh My Bread, Grange

Artisan bakery Oh My Bread (from the minds behind Crust & Co) has a diverse profile. From pistachio New York rolls to silky Portuguese tarts and chocolate mille-feuille, its pastry cabinet truly offers something for everyone. If you’re getting in the Easter spirit, pick up a fruit HCB (available every day) or fun and funky chocolate chip (available over the weekends).