Best way to eat and serve hot cross buns this Easter

Hot cross buns. Picture: Henk Kruger Independent Newspapers

Hot cross buns. Picture: Henk Kruger Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 26, 2024


What is the best way to gobble the notorious hot cross bun, most people’s favourite Easter snack?

Hot cross buns are an Easter classic, but you either love them or hate them. They can be enjoyed as a savoury snack with thick slices of mature Cheddar cheese or toasted with salted butter and a generous spread of jam for those with a sweet tooth; regardless, these spicy buns are a must-have at every Easter celebration.

Cultural beliefs surrounding hot cross buns are abundant, with various superstitions suggesting they hold spiritual or medicinal properties.

Stories circulate that these buns could prevent illnesses or protect homes from evil when hung in the kitchen.

Despite their sombre connections to religious events, hot cross buns today are enjoyed in a more secular manner, largely as a seasonal treat accompanying the Easter holidays.

Taking a creative spin on this classic, we have rounded up a few ways to enjoy hot cross buns this Easter holiday.

Hot cross buns. Picture: Henk Kruger Independent Newspapers

Toasted and buttered

One of the most classic ways to enjoy hot cross buns is to toast them until they are warm and crispy, and then slather them with a generous amount of butter.

The heat from the toaster brings out the flavours of the spices and the fruit, while the butter adds a rich and creamy element to each bite.

Go crazy for chocolate

Chocolate and hot cross buns are a winning combo, whether you add a tablespoon of cocoa to the dough or sprinkle in a few chocolate chips on top, and top with melted white chocolate for the cross as the final touch.

Hot cross buns are an Easter classic, but you either love them or hate them. Picture: Supplied

Melted cheese

Fruit toast is a classic cheeseboard accompaniment, so it makes perfect sense that a layer of melted cheese would be just the thing atop a toasted hot cross bun.

Toast lightly, then butter and top with cheese. Flash under the grill until the cheese is bubbling and enjoy straight away.

With a cup of tea

Hot cross buns are the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of tea. The warmth of the tea complements the spiciness of the buns, creating a comforting and satisfying snack.

Whether you prefer black tea, green tea or herbal tea, the combination of a warm beverage and a hot cross bun is sure to please your taste buds.

If you are looking for another ultimate Easter dessert show-stopper you can impress with a “hot cross bombe”.

This fun bombe makes use of hot cross buns and store-bought ice cream to deliver an easy dessert that punches well above its weight. It is an Easter dessert show-stopper that can be made well in advance.

Using shop-bought caramel or chocolate sauce also makes this dessert even easier.

Hot cross bombe. Picture: Supplied

Hot cross bombe

Serves 10–12


2 packets (12) PnP chocolate hot cross buns, halved

2 litre PnP vanilla caramel flavoured dairy ice cream

Handful of red berries, for serving

1 packet (6s) PnP candy-coated chocolate eggs, for serving

Caramel sauce

1 cup sugar

⅓ cup cream

¼ cup cold butter


Line a 2-litre bowl with cling film, then line the sides of the bowl with the top halves of the buns to create the outer layer, making sure there are no gaps.

Fill a bun-lined bowl with ice cream.

Top with remaining hot cross bun bottoms to form a base.

Cover with cling film and freeze overnight (or for at least 4–5 hours).

For the butterscotch sauce, place sugar in a saucepan and add enough water to wet the sugar – about ¼ cup (60ml).

Bring to a gentle simmer while stirring the sugar until dissolved. (Once the sugar has dissolved, stop stirring, as this can crystallise sugar, and bring it to a boil.)

Boil until sugar turns an amber colour and large bubbles appear. (Swirl the pot if only one side changes colour – it happens quickly, so keep a close eye.)

Once the sugar is a rich amber colour, add cream and butter all at once.

Swirl to combine and cook for a moment longer on lower heat. Set aside.

Invert the bowl to turn out the bombe and top with berries and candy-coated eggs.

Serve with sauce on the side.