Hot cross bun season is nearly over, which means we’ll have to wait until Boxing Day before they start appearing on shelves again. This year, the Broadsheet team has tried more buns than we can count. Here are some of our favourites from around town, and some tips on the best ways to heat them up.

Wildlife Bakery

Wildlife Bakery in Brunswick East always wins for me. They’ve changed up the recipe this year and it’s better than ever. Their hot cross buns are made with Gippsland Jersey cultured butter, organic Woodstock flour, stoneground rye and The Gospel Solera Rye whisky. They have chocolate ones, but I’m a stickler for an OG.

I cut mine in half, pop them on the top shelf of the oven for a minute or two, then spread butter on afterwards.

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– Sasha Murray, content marketing manager

Monforte Viennoiserie and Lumos

If I’m going traditional, then it has to be a bun from Giorgia McAllister Forte’s Monforte Viennoiserie. They’re made with Earl Grey-soaked fruit, candied orange, malted Rouge de Bordeaux flour from Tuerong Farm on the Mornington Peninsula, and mixed with a warm house spice blend. I’m a plain, untoasted freak, but you can order it with a Lard Ass butter medallion on the side (classy).
For something out of the ordinary, this year I loved Lumos chef-owner Carina La Delfa’s Pistachio Papi Crème hot cross buns. They’re filled with the Nutella-like pistachio paste. Badass buns from a badass baker, what more do you want?

– Audrey Payne, Melbourne food and drink editor

Baker D Chirico

I love heading down to Lygon Street and stopping at Baker D Chirico. There’s something very quaint and cosy about it. The Baker D Chirico hot cross buns are made from sourdough and mixed with Aussie sultanas and orange puree, which feels very festive to me. I like them toasted with butter, but I find it annoying that hot cross buns often get stuck in the toaster, so I actually just pop them on top of the toaster face down, so they get slightly charred.

– Evie Baker, photo editor

Bread Club and Koko Black

Can I have two favourites? I love Bread Club for traditional hot cross buns and Koko Black x Black Star Pastry for a chocolate one. The best method is in the toastie press; everyone’s mind was blown by this technique last year during my first hot cross bun season in the office.

Heat up the press, place a liberal amount of butter on the bun – on both sides – and none of that spreadable butter. Toast until golden. Then sometimes I add a little more fresh butter and the tiniest bit of jam.

– Pascale Coade, Access program manager

Candied Bakery

At Candied Bakery in Spotswood, they use a sourdough starter so they’re nice and soft but still have a bit of bite. There’s also a good balance between the spice and fruit. I eat them toasted with a big hunk of butter.

– Tri Nguyen, senior creative solutions manager

Loafer Bread

As a hot-cross-bun enthusiast, I can proudly say I get my HCBs from Loafer Bread in Fitzroy North. They’re filled with spices and fruit, and are the perfect consistency.

I have mine with butter. Without is fine, but it must be fresh as all hell.

– Camille Allen, social video producer

To Be Frank

These are exactly what you want from a hot cross bun – nothing fancy, nothing out of the ordinary. Just a traditional hot cross bun done really, really well. Toast it so it’s nice and warm, and then slather an obscene amount of butter on it.

– Ruby Harris, deputy branded content editor

Millers Bread Kitchen

Millers Bread Kitchen’s Nutella-choc hot cross buns are out of this world. I eat them toasted with a healthy lashing of good quality butter.

– Lachsley Parton, social media executive

Mork

Give me mork mork mork of Mork’s choc-chip hot cross buns. I’ll have mine fluffy and fresh, please, with a far-too-thick slab of Lurpak butter slathered across the top.

– Holly Bodeker-Smith, directory editor

Bread Club

I just had a choc hot cross bun from Bread Club and I can’t stop thinking about it! I’m generally a toasted-and-lathered-in-butter lady. But the chocolate hot cross bun from Bread Club needs no further moisture element. I whacked it in the toaster for a few minutes and ripped into it sans additional dairy. It made for the perfect not-too-sweet, not-at-all dry mouthful(s).

– Stephanie Vigilante, head of social media