Best Hot Cross Buns in Sydney

Updated 6 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 citrus-glazed croissant hybrid, make sure you cross one of these buns off your list.

Related pages:
Best Bakeries in Sydney
Best New Cafes in Sydney

  • Nadine Ingram’s beloved bakery is doing Florentine Easter buns right up until Easter Saturday. The rosemary-and-currant brioche strikes a perfect balance between sweet and savoury – and gives us yet another reason to visit. Order a half or full dozen for $30 and $55 respectively.

  • A note-perfect rendition of the classic rolled with currants, apricots, cranberries and candied orange. A spicy trio of ginger, cinnamon and cardamom permeates the cushiony dough, which tears perfectly with each chewy bite. Head to Brickfields’ website to pre-order a half dozen for $20 or a dozen for $40.

  • Head baker Dougal Muffet and his team toast and mill cardamom, cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg in-house, before marrying them with classic vine fruits in a classic bun brushed with a cardamom-brown-sugar glaze. Grab a bun for $4.50 or extend the indulgence with a $25 six-pack. Available in-store and online.

  • Instead of a classic cross, Sonoma’s Not Cross Buns have the bakery’s signature “S” piped on top before they’re brushed with a sugar glaze steeped in coffee and spices. Inside is a juicy blend of raisins, cranberries, apricots, candied oranges and more aromatic spices. Take some home for $3.50 each or $20 in a six-pack. Order them online or on the app.

  • Instagrammable watermelon cakes aren’t the only thing Black Star should be celebrated for. Its dense, citrusy traditional buns are rolled with a bouquet of aromatic spices, and achieve a lustrous shine thanks to a frankincense glaze. It's also turning out sticky, sweet and cushiony chocolate HCBs. Both are vegan, and could be yours for $25 for a half-dozen or $45 for a dozen.

  • The first step in making Andy Bowdy’s stellar bun is to soak dried fruit and citrus peels in a mixture of brandy, whisky and amaro. This mixture is folded into a spiced brioche base, then baked to soft, buttery perfection. But sometimes it’s best to leave it to the master. Order these by the half dozen for $30.

  • Federico Zanellato – the subversive chef behind Italo-Japanese institution Lumi – is turning out HCBs with at his high-end bakery. Enriched with croissant dough, this one’s juicy, rich and packed with Easter spice. Available in packs of four for $20.

  • Suitable for coeliacs, Messy Spoon’s giant gluten-free buns are packed with sultanas and dripping with a maple glaze. Rock up to the bakery doors and get these buns in packs of six, or grab a single (served toasted or natural) with a mandatory lashing of butter. Singles are priced at $5.50, a half-dozen – $20.

  • The Porteno crew’s humble little bakery nearly broke the internet with this gorgeous finger bun. The HCB isn’t quite as pretty, but it certainly hits the spot – and it sells out daily. Secure one in-store for $4.50 or half a dozen online for $22.

  • This Portuguese cafe and bakery is famed for its pasteis de nata. But it also makes a show-stopping HCB worthy of praise. Picture preposterously fluffy brioche buns filled with port-soaked raisins, and topped with a signature custard cross. Grab one with that mandatory tray of custard tarts.

  • Wholegreen’s buns tick every box. Not only are they gluten- and dairy-free, they’re also completely completely delicious. Traditional fruit and dark chocolate buns are $3.50 each or $11 in a four-pack, and are available for pick-up or home delivery. You can also grab four-packs at every Harris Farm store in NSW, or order them online, until April 16.

  • It’s no surprise this relaxed bakery-cafe does an equally unpretentious bun. The classic, fruit-filled version is exemplary, and the sweet alternative is a boon for chocolate-lovers. Indulge in a six-pack of either for $18. Extended family coming over? A pack of 36 will make you the ultimate caterer for $75.

  • The sourdough superstar’s bun features a sourdough base jam-packed with fruit, myrtle tea and a house blend of spices. You can get your mits around a six-pack for $22. These have proven popular in the past, so it’s best to order ahead to avoid missing out.

  • The hot cross bun has British origins, but Grumpy’s interpretation tips the cap to founder Michael Cthurmer’s Israeli heritage. Plump sultanas (or chocolate chips) are rolled into a base of challah dough; a traditional kosher dough enriched with oil. The result is chewy, dense and completely addictive bun, which could be yours for $2.50 or $14 for a half dozen.

  • Sold by the thousands at its 12 locations across town, Bourke Street Bakery has crafted a cushiony, fruit-laced bun with a golden shine. Pick one up in-store or pre-order a six-pack for $20 online.

  • Filled with organic apricots and sultanas, the buns from this rustic-yet-modern bakery cater to a range of dietary requirements. Expect a with a sticky honey glaze, a spiced chocolate hot cross bun and an unglazed vegan bun. Buy a single for $5, half a dozen for $28 or a full dozen for $56.

  • The glass walls surrounding this slick CBD bakery will let you spy on the bakers as they whip up their spin-off hot cross cube, which will be filled with sultanas, cinnamon crème and pastry. This one costs $12, and will be available in-store from March 27.

  • This cafe is devoted to old-fashioned desserts. Owners Cherie Bevan and Tassie Tauroa are big on nostalgia, and you can bet their light, fluffy, golden buns are full of the stuff. Take a trip down memory lane with a single or six-pack option (available in-store or over the phone) for $3.50 and $20 respectively. Plus, expect a chilli and chocolate special on weekends.

  • This Easter the Tuga team will do a cracking rendition of the HCB at both the Alexandria and Clovelly bakeries. Plus, specials including peanut butter and jelly and dulce de leche-filled chocolate buns. Traditional and chocolate are available in-store at $4.50 each, $27 for a half-dozen and $54 for a dozen. Our tip? Pre-order a batch online.

  • The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (the organisation behind the Easter Show) crowned Staple’s sourdough loaves the city’s best a few years ago. With credentials like that, you know the classic HCB here is worth a look-in.

  • Classically trained pastry chef Yves Scherrer is giving you options this year. Choose a classic fruit-filled bun for $4.50 (or $25 for a half-dozen, to which you can add a scoop of house-made gelato. There’s also a “Hot Crois-sant” filled with burnt butter cinnamon curd and spiced fruits ($10), and a “Hot Cross Pudding” which sees the classic HCB soaked in custard overnight, baked, topped with mascarpone and served warm ($8).

  • This French favourite is back with a classic. Like many buns on this list, these ones include a bouquet of dried fruit – but with the addition of sticky dates for an extra kick of sweetness. Buns go for $2.90 a pop or $14.50 for a half dozen. A discount for two or more pre-ordered packs can be found online.