Best Hot Cross Buns in Melbourne

Updated 7 months ago


Come January, hot cross buns are already flying off the shelves. And while the supermarket HCB is a fine (and affordable) choice, there are plenty of bakeries and cafes around town putting their own spin on the ubiquitous Easter classic.

Now as we close in on the holiday, it’s time to hunt down the city’s best. From a traditional style packed with fruit and spice to something more inventive, like a spiced custard-filled doughnut-croissant hybrid, make sure you cross one of these buns off your list.

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Best Bakeries in Melbourne
Best Cafes in Melbourne

  • Baker Mike Russell’s signature buns are back after a star performance last year. This time around, you’ve got two choices: for something a little more out there, try the sour cherry and dark chocolate priced at $27 for a pack of six. Or, if you’re a stickler for tradition, go for the six-pack raisin and pecan at $24. If you’re feeling indecisive, why not order both?

  • Boris Portnoy's gourmet lookalike of the classic Baker’s Delight bun is infused with freshly ground spices and layers of citrus and made with biodynamic flour including spelt, giving its buns a nutty flavour. The shiny glaze and perfectly-drawn cross embody the less-is-more approach. Buns are priced at $4.50 each or $5.50 with a slab of cultured butter.

  • Baker’s HCBs are among the ranks of Melbourne’s most sought-after. There’s a traditional fruit option with accents of orange peel, sultanas and currants priced at $4 each as well as its specialty chocolate hazelnut bun priced at $4.50 each. There are usually crowds for these buns – so get in quick.

  • Instagrammable watermelon cakes aren’t the only thing Black Star should be celebrated for. Its dense and citrusy vegan buns are rolled with a bouquet of aromatic spices, and achieve a lustrous shine thanks to a frankincense glaze. This year it has also added a smooth chocolate offering made with Koko Black dark chocolate. Grab a half or full dozen for $25 and $45 respectively.

  • These twice-baked Hot XXX Buns are sure to attract the same queues as last year. The traditional option features a light base and is jam-packed with fresh fruit and spice, including citrus, cranberries, ginger and cardamom, and comes in at $22 for a six-pack. There’s also a “rough, fluffy and super choc-loaded” variety made from a buttery brioche-style dough, house toffee and cocoa by local chocolatiers Birdsnake at $24 a pack.

  • A favourite among Fitzroy locals, these traditional sourdough beauties are baked fresh seven days a week. Hero ingredients include certified organic Aussie flour, raisins, whole pureed orange, fresh ginger and Dench’s secret spice mix.

  • According to some of the city’s top chefs, Falco is responsible for the best HCB in town. An all-rounder in their field, Falco’s HCBs are soft, chewy, fruity, spicy, and gloriously sticky all at once. Buns are priced at $4.60 each or $24 for half a dozen and sell out early, so get in fast.

  • For a Noma alumnus, Cobb Lane's Matt Forbes keeps things surprisingly simple with his stellar bun – and we’re all for it. This note-perfect rendition on the classic comes with a zesty kick courtesy of spiced orange peel and puree. You can take one home in a bag for $4.50, or ramp it up with a six-pack for $25.

  • Ned’s brioche buns are a playful take on the classic. Hints of sultanas, currants, mixed peel, mixed spice and accents of ginger make for a balanced, full-bodied bun. The bakery is also putting a rich, chocolatey spin on things this year with a version that has dark chocolate mixed throughout. It's all yours for $4 a pop or $22 a six-pack.

  • Hot cross buns in traditional, dark chocolate and (wait for it) doughnut form. The latter is made from Rustica’s famous sourdough, filled with brandy creme and covered in sugar. Prices start at at $4.50 each and $22.50 for a six-pack, and you can order online here.

  • Assembled using minimal yeast, organic vine-fruit, premium fresh spices and candied orange peel, these are just as good fresh as they are toasted and drenched in butter. They’re so versatile, in fact, Phillippa’s suggests turning them into ice-cream sandwiches or bread-and-butter pudding. Coming in a box of six for $23, they can be purchased in-store or ordered online for click and collect.

  • Alongside its usual slow-fermented breads and indulgent morning treats, this spot serves buns made with spelt, wheat and rye flours, along with raisins, currants, ginger, house-made candied orange, orange puree and spices. Priced at $4.60 for a single bun or $26 for a half-dozen, you can order them ahead of time so you don’t miss out.

  • This poky and beloved bakery turns out sourdough hot cross buns that are laced with all the good stuff: raisins, currants, dark barley malt, cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla bean and house-made candied orange and lemon. Plus, they’re vegan. You can buy for $4.80 each or half a dozen for $24.

  • If you’ve not tried Lune’s once-a-year hot cross cruffin, do yourself a favour before it’s too late. A hybrid of Lune’s wild interpretation of the HCB is bursting with sultanas, candied citrus peel and a gooey spiced custard, and is priced at $10 a pop.

  • A master in the bun business for years, Woodfrog has become a go-to in the lead-up to Easter. It’s got plentiful stock at each of its Melbourne locations, which means you’re unlikely to miss out on these soft, sweet and citrusy delights. Devour one for $4, or take half a dozen home for $21.

  • Made from scratch with 72-hour sourdough, the traditional fruit bun hits all the right notes with mixed spice and house-made orange puree. There's also a sweeter chocolate-forward option made with Veliche Belgian chocolate, Callebaut cacao and cranberries. The classic HCB cross is replaced with a signature 'H', and buns are priced at $4 each or $18 for a six-pack.

  • Candied Bakery will not only be serving up the classic HCB that is soft, fruity and made with just the right amount of spice, it's also offering hot cross donuts. This consists of deep frying its hot cross bun, rolling it in sugar and filling it up with creamy vanilla custard once cooled. Buns are priced at $4 each, while donuts are $5.70 a pop.

  • Wild Life is recreating its traditional bun this year with a splash of straight rye whiskey from Brunswick distillery, The Gospel. The crowd-favourite chocolate and sour cherry bun has also made a return. You can wrap your mits around one for $4.50 or half a dozen for $27.

  • True to its no-frills ethos, Sourdough Kitchen's buns are classic and traditional made using a sourdough base, sultanas, currants and fresh orange peel. You can enjoy one for $4.50.

  • For its classic buns, this bright little patisserie soaks fruit in cider for a good six months before hand-rolling it into a flavourful, yeasted dough. The triple choc option – made with white, milk and dark Belgian chocolate – is a decadent alternative. Buns are priced at $4.90 each or $24.90 for a pack of six.

  • With a blend of dried fruits and a crunchy-sweet short crust, these original HCBs make a welcome return to Prahran Market this year. There's also a chocolate HCB that perfectly marries chocolate chips, dates and wattle seed. They're all $4.50 a pop or $25 for a six-pack. And they're sure to leave you feeling light and ready to butter up another.

  • Penny For Pound is widely loved for its flaky croissants, glistening danishes and sourdough. Yet it’s decadent hot cross buns are also worth your time. Choose from three equally excellent flavours: traditional fruit, sticky date and chocolate. Order them online at $4.50 each or $22 for a six-pack. or pick some up at at one of its stores across Moorabinn, Camberwell and Richmond.

  • Known for its cinnamon scrolls and croissants, Artisanal Bakehouse is bringing back its beloved HCB this Easter. Offering a decadent chocolate bun as well as the classic with homemade candied fruits, you can order them online starting from $4 each or $22.50 for half a dozen.

  • Meet Moon Cruller's decadent HCB spinoff: the Hot Cross Cruller. Its signature choux dough has been laced with spices, Kirsch-soaked dried fruit and citrus peel. Once deep-fried, it’s covered in a fruity glaze, plus a delicately piped cross made from royal icing. It's available for two weeks from Saturday April 1, or you can pre-order online from Sunday March 26.

  • Mörk's rich, pillowy chocolate HCBs are back for another year. They’re layered with Mörk's own dark chocolate, candied orange, plump raisins and spices, which are all sealed in a fluffy bun with a chocolate cross. While these delicate buns might melt in your mouth within minutes, they’ll stay on your mind for days. They’re $6 each or $32 for a half-dozen, and you can easily order them online for pick up at both of Mörk’s stores.