Where to buy the best Hot Cross Buns!

Happy almost Easter everyone! To celebrate this special holiday I thought I’d write an article all about that famous Easter treat Hot Cross Buns.

They’re a firm favourite of mine and they disappear very quickly in my household but being more economic this year has made me think about which shop offers the best value for money where Hot Cross Buns are concerned.


Which bun is best? clockwise from top: M&S, Sainsbury’s,Tesco, Waitrose

I decided to try the four supermarkets that are closest to my home, these are: Sainsbury’s Tesco, Marks and Spencer, and Waitrose. Before I started I knew that there would be quite a difference in price and quality but I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome of my investigation.

I decided that the fairest way to test the selection was to do a blind taste test with the plain or classic version of each supermarkets Hot Cross Bun range. Then I labelled the Hot Cross Buns A to D and only I knew which was which, I then asked my parents and boyfriend to be the judges. First they looked at appearance, then taste, then we compared this against brand and price. So lets look at the results of this very serious scientific experiment and the winner will be revealed at the end of this article.


I try not to judge things on appearance but I felt in this case it was necessary as a Hot Cross Bun does require a nice cross in the middle, the selection certainly all had crosses but in varying degrees of wonkiness. It was a unanimous decision by the judges that Bun C had the best cross and was therefore the winner of this category.


I asked my judges to try a small corner of each Hot Cross Bun in turn and all were in agreement that A and D were no where near as tasty as B and C, which were more moist and had more flavour to them, they also were less chewy. The judges were split on B and C so both won this category.


The prices did surprise me quite a bit when I found out that Waitrose actually sold the cheapest Hot Cross Bun packet at 89p for 4. However, Sainsbury’s and Tesco both sold their packs of Hot Cross Buns for £1 but had 6 in a pack so was therefore cheaper per bun. Marks and Spencer came in as the most expensive with £1.50 for four. The winners of this round are Sainsbury’s and Tesco with Waitrose following close behind.

The Reveal

It may or may not surprise you to learn that Bun A was Sainsbury’s, Bun B was Waitrose, Bun C was Marks and Spencer and Bun D was Tesco. The overall winner, as decided by my judges, was Bun B from Waitrose even though it was slight more expensive per bun than Tesco or Sainsbury’s 89p for 4 is still a very reasonable price and definitely beat the price of Marks and Spencer. We could barely taste any difference between Waitrose and Marks and Spencer so the choice really came down to which was the cheapest and therefore better value for money. You don’t always get a perfect cross like with Marks and Spencer but the cross is still identifiable on the Waitrose Bun and I’d rather a slightly wonky cross and pay 89p than get a perfect cross every time and pay an extra 61p.


The winning bun from Waitrose.

Thank you for reading this article on Hot Cross Buns, I’d really like to know your thoughts on where to buy Hot Cross Buns and also what makes a Hot Cross Bun so great, so please comment below. Also leave comments if you have any recipes or suggestions, they’re always welcome.



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