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Table Talk: Supermarket hot cross buns put to the test – but which one claimed the title of the best?

The Food and Drink Team are at it again, and this time, they’re putting supermarket hot cross buns to the test so you know what you’re getting before picking up a pack.

Easter is one of those times of year that we eat more chocolate than usual, but it isn’t just chocolate that has its fair share of time in the spotlight.

Hot cross buns are also an Easter staple and the Food and Drink Team have taken it upon themselves to taste test all of the supermarket versions to see which one boasts the ultimate hot cross bun.

There could only be one winner and eight giants battled it out to become the team’s favourite.

We decided for this hot cross bun-athon competition to be fair that we would try each as they were, cold and without any additions. While we know everyone likes to enjoy their hot cross buns with a variety of toppings, and also warm or toasted, we felt this was the fairest way to rate them appropriately against one another.

Find out in our latest Table Talk episode to see who took the crown… Or you can read the results below.

Lidl – 4 luxury hot cross buns

As soon as you opened the packet there was a real brandy kind of aroma, which I can only assume was the fragrance of the orange soaked fruit having a similar smell to brandy. The exterior was very sticky, again, probably as a result of the fruit, and they were quite sweet, too.

The dough was a little dry although the fruit was rather juicy and was also evenly spread out throughout. There was a real shiny glaze

Price: 99p for four

Score: 7/10 [Julia]

Aldi – 4 brioche hot cross buns

Our reviewer picked up the brioche hot cross buns having not been able to hunt down the original ones. One of many flavours available, this bun was yellow in colour, as expected with brioche, and was more of a malty flavour. It isn’t very spicy with spices like cinnamon and all spice lacking.

It was nowhere near as sticky as the others and didn’t have much fruit in it. It lacked and flavour and was quite dry, too.

Price: 99p for four

Score: 5.5/10 [Julia]

Note: It was highlighted that the savoury chilli and cheese hot cross buns which our reviewer had tried at an earlier date were deserving of an eight or nine out of 10 as they were packed with flavour and very more-ish, not to mention moist and not dry at all. 

Marks & Spencer – 4 luxury hot cross buns

The winner of the taste test, Markies, secured its win after packing its hot cross buns with an abundance of juicy fruit. It was moist and there was a lot of life in the springy dough. It was much sweeter than the others, possibly due to the amount of fruit featured and was incredibly enjoyable.

Our reviewer noted she would happily enjoy this on its own again.

Price: £1.65 for four

Score: 9/10 [Julia]

Asda – white chocolate and caramel

This one was much softer with a more generous glaze in comparison to this reviewer’s other options. It wasn’t a fruit hot cross bun like the other ones, instead being a white chocolate and caramel flavoured which gave it a nice sweetness.

It also looked more like a roll than a bun, but a generous amount of glaze on the outside helped. It was clear, also that it is shop made and not homebaked.

Price:65p for four

Score: 7.5/10 [Rebecca]

Sainsbury’s – 6 hot cross buns


This one had a nice contrast between the fruit and the spices and the two complemented each other well.

It was quite dry on the outside, but soft on the inside and felt more like a bun than the other two. There was also a good filling of fruit in it that made up for the dryness on the outside.

Price: £1 for six

Score: 8/10 [Rebecca]

Morrisons – 6 hot cross buns

The Morrisons one was too dry and rustic looking according to our reviewer. It had no glaze on the outside and was more like a roll you’d use for making a sandwich.

There were only a few raisins, though not as many as some of the others one, though this one had some nice hints of peel.

It felt and tasted like one that was more homebaked than shop-bought, though was all-round quite dry.

Price: 65p for four

Score: 7/10 [Rebecca]

Co-op – 6 hot cross buns

Light with a really nice hit of cinnamon and mixed spice coming through. I can also taste some peel, maybe orange in particular. On the downside, maybe a wee bit stodgy to chew through so would definitely need an accompaniment, whether that be butter or jam etc.

Price: £1 for six or 85p for four.

Score: 6/10 [Brian]

Tesco – extra-fruity hot cross buns

Really tasty and moist with lots of classic hot cross bun flavours giving me a hit. Sultanas and raisins seem to dominate, but it is nicely spiced. Would happily eat this bun without adding anything else to it due to its texture and flavour.

Price: £1.50 for four

Score: 7.5/10 [Brian]

More in this series…

Table Talk: If you say aye tae a pie, what should and shouldn’t you serve with it?

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