Hot cross buns are getting a makeover as the nation’s biggest retailers mix up their Easter offering.
From rhubarb and custard to sticky toffee pudding, and even a savoury version, British Baker rounds up the latest NPD for this seasonal favourite.
Discounter Aldi has expanded its Specially Selected range of hot cross buns with three additions this year – Bramley Apple, Raspberry & Belgian White Chocolate and Sticky Toffee Pudding.
Inspired by the classic dessert, the sticky toffee variant is made with dates and toffee pieces (rsp £1.09/four-pack), while the Kentish Bramley apple ones have a sultana and apple filling (rsp £0.99/four-pack). Rounding off the NPD trio are the raspberry and white chocolate hot cross buns, which feature white chocolate chunks, raspberries and sweetened dried cranberries.
Aldi has also brought back some classic flavours and some of last year’s NPD, including Rhubarb & Custard Hot Cross Buns (pictured) filled with candied dried rhubarb and white chocolate chips; and Salted Caramel & Belgian Chocolate, which has Belgian dark chocolate, chunks of salted caramel and toffee fudge. Both are priced at £1.09 for a pack of four.
Finishing off Aldi’s line-up are Brioche Hot Cross Buns, which the retailer said have a buttery taste and are packed full of sultanas and raisins (rsp £0.99/four-pack).
Asda has brought back some previous favourites for its Extra Special Easter range, including Bramley Apple & Cinnamon, Extra Fruity, Chocolate and Fudge Hot Cross Buns.
The Extra Fruity ones are described as “beautifully buttery” and are scattered with Chilean flame raisins, while the Chocolate buns are “irresistibly soft and sweet” and filled with chocolate chips.
Co-op is keeping things more traditional with its choice of flavours and inclusions for hot cross buns.
First up in its Irresistible range are the Bramley Apple & Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns, containing slices of sweet apple, sultanas and a hint of cinnamon throughout, priced at £1.35 per four-pack. Also joining the range are Belgian Chocolate Brioche Hot Cross Buns, which are described as a “delicate, buttery bun packed with dark chocolate pieces” (£1.35/four-pack).
Co-op is also bringing back its Free From Hot Cross Buns, which are gluten-free and made with sultanas, raisins, orange and lemon zest (£2.00/four-pack).
Marks & Spencer
Think hot cross buns are sweet? Think again, as Marks & Spencer (M&S) rolls out a savoury variant in the form of Chilli & Cheese Hot Cross Buns (£1.50/four-pack). They’re made with West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, caramelised and dried fried onions, dried red and green jalapeños and chipotle chillies, as well as Worcester sauce and hot pepper sauce for a spicy kick. They’re best enjoyed toasted and buttered or filled with bacon, fried egg and avocado, according to M&S.
For those who prefer their hot cross buns a little sweeter, M&S has Luxury Hot Cross Buns, Salted Caramel Hot Cross Buns and Kentish Bramley Apple Hot Cross Buns (all rsp £1.50/four-pack or two packs for £2.50). There’s also the Made Without Wheat version for those looking for a gluten-free treat, with orange-soaked mixed vine fruits, mixed peel and spices.
Morrisons is keeping things simple this Easter with a standard fruited hot cross bun (rsp £1.00/six-pack), and a premium version, (rsp £1.50/four-pack).
The latter is Morrisons The Best Extra Fruity Hot Cross Bun, which are made with vine fruits, orange zest and spices.
Things are getting fruity at Tesco this Easter, when it comes to hot cross buns at least. The UK’s biggest supermarket has added three new flavours to its Tesco Finest range. They are: Red Berry, packed with sultanas, sweetened dried cranberries, redcurrants raspberries and strawberries; Salted Caramel & Belgian Chocolate, with salted caramel fudge pieces and dark chocolate chips; and St Clements, with orange-soaked sultanas, raisins and orange and lemon peel.
Returning to shelves are Extra Fruity, Raspberry & White Chocolate and Apple &Cinnamon hot cross buns.
Waitrose is focusing on indulgent flavours this Easter with the addition of two new variants (pictured). The first is Sweet & Indulgent Chocolate & Cherry, which are filled with milk chocolate chunks and candied cherries. Also joining the line-up are Sticky and Rich Toffee Hot Cross Buns complete with toffee pieces, which Waitrose said melt to create a gooey, sweet filling.