From sticky toffee to Marmite and pizza flavours, this year's hot cross buns offerings are bonkers – we test them all

THE Easter Bunny is still hunkered down in its winter burrow – but what better to cheer up the gloomy weather than a toasty hot cross bun?

The supermarkets sure think it’s a winner because they are putting the fun in the bun with all sorts of flavours and flogging them although it is only January.

From sticky toffee and Marmite to a taste of pizza, there is no end of choice. But not everyone is happy – some purists fear the traditional currant bun recipe could be crowded out.

Martyn James, at consumer rights company Resolver, told The Grocer magazine: “While there’s nothing wrong with a new taste, our most cherished food traditions must not be replaced.

"The nation would likely get very cross if they couldn’t get proper hot cross buns.”

We asked writer and mum-of-three Lynsey Hope for her verdict on the new buns, and marks out of ten.


Aldi Specially Selected Salted Caramel & Belgian Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
(£1.19 for four. Per bun, calories: 216, fat: 5.3g, sugar: 8.7g, salt: 0.47g)

NO fruit, but great for chocolate lovers.

The salty caramel blends perfectly with the chocolate and when toasted the buns end up with little pockets of delicious goo inside.

They are quite rich and you will definitely need nothing other than butter with them. Great price, too.

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M&S Extremely Chocolatey Hot Cross Buns, £1.65 for four

M&S Extremely Chocolatey Hot Cross Buns (£1.65 for four. Per bun, calories: 212, fat: 6.7g, sugar: 11.6g, salt: 0.33g)

WOW, amazing. These are like chocolate cakes you can put in the toaster and eat warm. A huge hit with the kids.

They look rich and chocolatey and I expected them to be 600 calories each – but only 212. Win, win.

So much better than I’d even hoped for.


Morrisons The Best Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns (£1.50 for four. Per bun, calories: 210, fat: 1.7g, sugar: 18.6g, salt: 0.42g)

LOVELY, tasty and full of juicy fruit, orange zest and spices. Very similar to a traditional hot cross bun, really.

The high amount of dried fruit does, however, mean they contain a shocking amount of sugar, even more than the chocolatey ones we tried.

So best save these for an Easter treat when it comes in April.


M&S Marmite Cheese Hot Cross Buns(£1.75 for four. Per bun, calories: 187, fat: 5.1g, sugar: 1.7g, salt: 0.83g)

YOU either love it or hate it, and though I’m usually a fan of Marmite and Marmite-flavoured products, I don’t rate these.

They don’t taste like hot cross buns at all and are quite doughy, with a slight Marmite tang.

Pricey, too, though much lower on sugar than the chocolate and fruit varieties.


Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Apple & Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns
(£1 for four. Per bun, calories: 193, fat: 2.7g, sugar: 13.3g, salt: 0.27g)

THESE were a little bit too dry and the supposed cinna-mon and apple flavours just don’t come through too well.

These seem most like the traditional hot cross buns.

Sainsbury’s had other flavours in stock and given my choice again I would try those first.


M&S Blueberry Hot Cross Buns (£1.65 for four. Per bun, calories: 183, fat: 2.9g, sugar: 13.2g, salt: 0.28g)

LOVELY whiff of blueberries when I opened the packet and I couldn’t wait to tuck in.

Lots of fruit but no spice, more of a fruit bun than hot cross.

Higher in sugar than some of the chocolatey flavours but at least you get the fruit. Delicious.


Asda Extra Special Tomato & Red Leicester Hot Cross Buns (£1.50 for four. Per bun, calories: 196, fat: 4.8g, sugar: 3.9g, salt: 0.54g)

ASDA has dubbed these “pizza hot cross buns” but they are definitely more pizza than bun.

I was underwhelmed at first, but toasted with a bit of ham and butter in the middle, they make a delicious lunch.

I’m surprised to say I’d buy them again. Kids loved them.


Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns (£1.20 for six. Per bun, calories: 170, fat: 1.9g, sugar: 8g, salt: 0.38g)

NICE flavour and lovely dough.

I like the subtle chocolate orange flavour.

They are really yummy toasted with a slither of butter.


Waitrose Sticky Toffee Hot Cross Buns (£1.65 for four. Per bun, calories: 216, fat: 3.3g, sugar: 12.5g, salt: 0.41g)

VERY dry and disappointing.

They did have a bit of fruit to give them the hot cross bun feel but there definitely wasn’t enough sticky toffee flavour.

I was hoping they would have a bit of a dessert twist to them, but I just wasn’t impressed.

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