Chocolate & Salted Caramel, Apple & Cinnamon and even Rhubarb & Custard: flavour pairings are transforming the humble hot cross bun.
Despite the late Easter, the mults begun rolling out their hot cross bun ranges as early as January. Here, British Baker rounds up this year’s category NPD.
For more on hot cross bun innovation, subscribers to British Baker can read our report here.
As well as its traditional fruit hot cross buns, this year Asda is offering indulgent flavours including Extra Special Apple and Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns, Extra Special Chocolate Hot Cross Buns and Extra Special Fudge Hot Cross Buns (rsp: £1/four-pack).
Aldi has added five new hot cross buns to its range, including Specially Selected Rhubarb & Custard Hot Cross Buns (rsp: £1.09/four-pack), which it says “capture the quintessential flavours of the nation’s favourite combination in a hot cross bun”. Also new are the Specially Selected Blueberry Hot Cross Buns, which it says are similar in taste to a blueberry muffin, and the Specially Selected Very Berry Hot Cross Buns (both £0.99/four-pack) which contain lingonberries and cranberries. It also added Specially Selected Salted Caramel & Belgian Chocolate Hot Cross Buns (rsp: £1.09/four-pack) and Village Bakery Apple & Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns (rsp: £0.85/six-pack) to offer something for every taste.
The four new Specially Selected hot cross buns have been manufactured by Haygates-owned Fine Lady Bakeries, which has worked with the retailer since 2003.
M&S’ latest additions to its range include the Mini Chocolate Hot Cross Buns and Golden Hot Cross Buns. The retailer says the chocolate buns contain 22% Belgian chocolate chips, while the Golden ones contain blended golden wholemeal flour with golden berries and honey.
Morrisons has unveiled NPD including The Best Double Belgian Chocolate Hot Cross Buns (rsp: £1/four-pack). In terms of new formats, it has also launched Market Street Fresh Cream Hot Cross Buns (rsp: £1.65/two-pack) - a hot cross bun sliced in half and filled with fresh cream and jam, the Hot Cross Bun Loaf (rsp: £0.85) and Giant Hot Cross Buns (rsp:£0.70/two-pack).
Waitrose has added a duo of flavoured hot cross buns made with a bespoke Waitrose sourdough. The additions include the Waitrose 1 Elderflower & Lemon Hot Cross Buns, made with soaked fruit and double cream with elderflower extract, lemon zest and lovage, and the Waitrose 1 Orange Cranberry & Jasmine Hot Cross Buns, made in the same way with soaked fruit and double cream, with dried cranberries, orange peel and Jasmine green tea (both rsp: £1.89/two-pack)
The Co-op has launched its first own-label gluten-free Hot Cross Buns (rsp: £2/four-pack). It has also added Chocolate and Toffee Mini Hot Cross Buns (rsp: £1/nine-pack), Co-op Irresistible Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns rsp: £1.25/four-pack) and Co-op Hot Cross Boule (rsp £1.50).
Sainsbury’s has introduced Deliciously Free From Chocolate Hot Cross Buns (rsp: £2/four-pack), which contain chocolate chips and are free from wheat, gluten and milk. It also added Taste The Difference Triple Berry Hot Cross Buns (rsp: £1.25/four-pack), which are made with sultanas, dried sweetened cranberries, blueberries and lingonberries.