Where to buy hot cross buns this Easter.
It’s nearly Easter and before you shell out your hard-earned money, IOL's team of lifestyle reporters tasted some of the hot cross bun options on offer.

Thrupps & Co. (Illovo, Sandton)

Price: R25.99

Thrupps & Co's chocolate hot cross buns.
When it comes to hot cross buns, the traditional ones will always be a favourite.

But we live in exciting times, where boundaries are pushed in the baking world and a s such, palates have become more adventurous and the options varied. 

Personally, anything with chocolate gets my nod, so  the idea of sampling chocolate-flavoured hot cross buns required no arm-twisting.

Filled with chocolate chips instead of fruit, the soft and fresh bun is brushed with a sweet glaze and topped with a white icing cross. 

It was the perfect marriage of complementary levels of sweetness.

It is light in consistency too. 

Woolworths Hot Cross Buns 

Gluten Free hot cross buns 

Price: R39.99 – 4 pack

Woolworths gluten-free hot cross buns.
The perfect hot cross bun is soft, fresh and has just the right amount of sweetness from the glaze finish to the raisins inside.

When opening the packaging I expect to get the subtle aroma of spices and when I bite into it I want that same flavour in my mouth.

I got none of that from this gluten-free hot cross bun.

First, there was no glaze, so the bun looks dry and the taste isn’t any better. 

Although the bun contains raisins, currents and sultanas it wasn't enough to enhance the taste.

The worst part of the glutenfree hot cross bun is the cross. 

It is generally tasteless, however, the cross on this bun has the texture and taste of hard plastic. 

Vegan-friendly traditional hot cross buns 

Price: R24.99

Woolworths vegan-friendly traditional hot cross buns.
The spiciness and authentic, traditional taste of these buns would  surprise many that they are vegan-friendly

You can taste the citrus peel  (orange and lemon) and even see  it’s colouration in the dough. 

The  white wheat flour also helps with the  traditional taste and, even if you’re  not vegan, you would enjoy this hot  cross bun without noticing it’s also  intended for people with this dietary  requirement. 

Extra Spicy Buns 

Price: R24.99

You would be right to assume that  this Woolworths hot cross bun  would be the best of the lot, but it  wasn’t. 

The sleek packaging and a  luxurious glaze aside, this product  just doesn’t live up to its hype.

As much as they are packed with  currants and raisins they lacked  flavour and sweetness.

The citrusy after taste and  the lack of the extra spice  promised, disappointed me. 

Fruit-Free Hot Cross Buns 

Price: R 19.99 

Fruit-free hot cross buns.
An alternative take on the traditional  hot cross bun recipe, the Woolworths  fruit-free hot cross buns are made for  those who aren’t a big fan of dried  fruit.

Hot cross buns are generally a  minefield of raisins and, while we are  not averse to dried fruit out of the  box, the whole traditional hot cross  bun package is just not something  that everyone would enjoy.

The texture changes and it can  be bothersome, particularly for  some children.

These buns are plump, lighter in  colour and less spicy, which may take  away from the authenticity if you’re a  die-hard fan of this Easter treat.

Toasted fruit-free hot cross buns  dripping with butter and topped  with a slice of soft but flavoursome  cheese, along with a fruity preserve  are a combo that must never, ever be  refused. 

Pick n Pay's cranberry hot cross buns 

Price: R21.99

When you open the packaging, a gorgeous smell permeates the air.

The buns look and feel soft and well glazed, giving them a dark finish.

The array of spices used to make the buns lingers on the nose.

Unfortunately, that’s where the good things about these buns stop. 

For a product offering cranberry, there was very little in the bun.

The real disappointment was that they were tasteless, you cannot taste the cranberry flavour. 

To top it off, the bun was dry and tasted bland.

I suffered from a bad case of buyer’s remorse after this.