While some have been snacking on them since January 2nd (this writer included), and some are yet to take their first bite for 2018, it's now undeniably time for hot cross buns. Our self appointed expert hot cross bun panel tasted its way through some of the buns on offer from Canberra's bakeries this year. Here's where you can get them - hop to it.
Flute bakery. Photo: Karleen Minney
The Flute Bakery ($2.50 each)
Made from brioche, these are super soft and fluffy. They've replaced peel with orange oil, so you get all the beautiful citrus flavour without the hard bits. Available in store every day until Thursday. And no need to order for the mad rush on Thursday - they assure us they will be making thousands of buns.
8 Barrier Street, Fyshwick
Three Mills Bakery. Photo: Karleen Minney
Three Mills Bakery ($3 each)
These buns keep thing traditional. They're packed full with plenty of fruit - sultanas, mixed peel and currants - and the cross is light, made from choux pastry. They're not too sweet with a good texture and very satisfying - most likely to keep the masses happy. These ones get an A+ for presentation - the six-packs come beautifully arranged in a white box (which also makes them great for gifting). They're available at the Three Mills Bakery in Majura, or from most IGAs ($15.90 for a six-pack), Wiffens in Fyshwick and the Cook Friendly Grocer. You can also pre-order them online.
5 Lancaster Place, Majura
Silo bakery. Photo: Karleen Minney
Silo Bakery and Cafe ($4 each)
While they're quite dark on top, these buns have a lighter dough and are chock full of fruit and peel. They are full of spice - probably the spiciest we tasted - and the cross on top is light, like pastry. Silo's buns are available every day up until Easter, by themselves or in a six pack, and also available to pre-order until Wednesday.
36 Giles Street, Kingston
Danny's bakery, Narrabundah. Photo: Karleen Minney
Danny's Bakery ($2.70 each/$9 for six)
The biggest of the buns - each one is quite the meal in itself - Danny's Bakery's buns are made from sourdough and are quite savoury. We couldn't taste much spice, but they're very fruity with a high quantity of apricots, sultanas and dates. Served with a sprinkling of icing sugar on top, they're probably the most bang for your buck, and available every day up until Easter.
6 Iluka Street, Narrabundah
Bean and grain. Photo: Karleen Minney
Bean and Grain ($2 each, six for $10)
Also a very savoury bun, Bean and Grain's are a more dense dough. They're a very fruity bun, tasting predominantly of apricot, and there are sultanas in there too. Load these ones up with butter. Available at Bean and Grain Fyshwick, Crace and Deakin.
12 Dalby Street, Fyshwick
Remy's bakery. Photo: Karleen Minney
Remy's Bakery, Fyshwick ($2 each, $10.50 for six)
Another dense bun, these are quite plain in flavour - good for those who don't like the spicy versions. Sold individually or as a six pack, they're available at the bakery until Saturday, and they're taking orders up until then too.
8 Townsville Street, Fyshwick
Crust's choc chip buns. Photo: Karleen Minney
Crust, Fyshwick Markets ($6.50 for six)
Most places seem to be sticking to traditional buns this year, but Crust has three flavours on offer: regular, fruitless and chocolate chip. Notably they also do gluten free hot cross buns ($10 for six). We tried their chocolate chip buns, and while our tasting panel was divided on our feelings towards flavoured hot cross buns, we were all quite impressed. The buns are very light and fluffy, and not overly sweet, with just the right amount of choc chips.
12 Dalby Street, Fyshwick
Hot cross doughnuts from The Doughtnut Department. Photo: Jil Hogan
The Doughnut Department, Civic ($6 each, $30 for a six-pack)
It's the combination you never knew you wanted - a hot cross doughnut. Using dough from Three Mills Bakery, The Doughnut Department has cut it into rings, fried it golden and serves them up topped with a brown butter glaze made with Pepe Saya cultured butter. It's like a hot cross bun, but with a satisfyingly crunchy exterior. There is also a filled version with a spiced orange custard, and you can also buy hot cross dough-holes, rolled in cinnamon sugar ($4 for a cup of six). Available until Thursday.
2 Alinga Street, Canberra
Erindale Cakery Bakery (Prices vary per flavour. Individually $1.50-$1.90 each, six for $6-7)
If you love flavoured hot cross buns, Erindale Cakery Bakery is undeniably the place to go. This year they have been experimenting and are baking up traditional fruit, fruitless, choc chip, Nutella, peppermint choc chip and raspberry white choc hot cross buns. They're available every day until Saturday. Apparently next year they're going to expand their range even more.
Erindale Shopping Centre, 68 Comrie Street, Wanniassa
Frugii ice cream
John Marshall aka Mr Frugii, has again been putting real hot cross buns through the ice-cream machine for a hot cross bun flavoured ice-cream, full of all the good spices. Available up until Easter at the Braddon Frugii Dessert Laboratory.
28/30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon
The Braddon bakery is again baking vegan hot cross buns - this year available in classic raisin or choc cherry flavours. They're available in store until Saturday, or for pre-order.
8/18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon
Baked on Mort
The French bakery is making three types of buns - traditional, raspberry and white chocolate, and chocolate chip. Available until Easter, including Good Friday.
38 Mort Street, Braddon
Stirato Bakery Cafe
They're baking traditional buns, available until Easter, individually or in a six-pack.
1/21 Iron Knob Street, Fyshwick