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Generic hot cross bun image 750x422
Photograph: Supplied

The best hot cross buns in Melbourne

Battle of the buns: we've eaten our way through the city's baked goods in order to bring you the best

By Time Out editors
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What’s not to love about a doughy, spicy, fruity, buttery ball of joy, warmed to perfection in the toaster and slathered liberally with salted butter? Melbourne has a wealth of brilliant bakers, all of whom have been elbow-deep in flour, sugar and spice, perfecting their recipes for Easter. We’ve rounded up our favourite floury heroes and how to get them below.

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Melbourne's best hot cross buns

Falco hot cross bun
Photograph: Manu Potoi

1. Falco Bakery

Restaurants Cafés Collingwood

Delivery? Order here.

Falco’s hot cross buns are made using organic Australian flour, Australian fruit and cultured butter and milk from St David Dairy. The base is a tender, light brioche bun, carefully spiced and sweetened with fruits, rolled by hand, daily. There is candied peel in the mix, so if you're not a citrus love, beware. This is fantastic untoasted due to the brioche base, but toast it up and lather on some extra butter for luxury. If you’re looking to purchase more than a single bun, you can preorder a minimum of six by noon, the day before you want to pick them up.

Wild Life Bakery
Photography: Julia Healey

2. Wild Life Bakery

Restaurants Brunswick East

Delivery? Order here for pick-up.

Wild Life Bakery specialises in 24-hour fermented loaves and their hot cross buns receive the same sourdough treatment. The dense, but airy bun is studded with candied orange, sultanas and currants, balanced by the presence of strong spices and finished with a sticky glaze. This bun is for hot cross bun fanatics who want to be punched in the face by the taste of Easter. No toasting required, butter non-negotiable. 

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Generic hot cross bun image 750x422
Photograph: Supplied

3. Woodfrog Bakery

Restaurants Bakeries St Kilda

Delivery? Order here.

Woodfrog Bakery specialises in uncompromised, naturally leavened, hand-shaped, sourdough breads, but it's the generosity of currants and sultanas, high tones of unintrusive citrus and soft interior that pushes this finely glazed bun to the top of the pile. Another plus is you won't need to order ahead to avoid disappointment as their production is plentiful across all branches.

4. Loafer Bread

Restaurants Fitzroy North

Delivery? Takeaway only.

These buns are of the sourdough nature, so expect a dense and complex bun. The Australian fruit is organic, the lemon and orange peel is candied in-house and a dark malt syrup adds lustre to the glaze. It’s only a few steps from Dench Bakers, putting Fitzroy North high on the bun-lover’s radar.

 
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All Are Welcome
Photograph: Supplied

5. All Are Welcome

Restaurants Bakeries Northcote

Delivery? Order here.

All are Welcome is flogging naturally leavened (sourdough) hot cross buns with freshly ground spices incorporated with muscat sultanas and currants from Murray View Organics. The buns are warmly spiced and if you eat them in-store, the come toasted and slathered with cultured butter. Pre-order your buns if you want more than one, or return home a disappointment.

5 anbd Dime
Photograph: Kate Shanasy

6. 5 and Dime: the Archway

Restaurants Melbourne

Delivery? Takeaway and farmers markets only.

You might not think that bagel specialists would make a hot cross bun... I mean, you know, because of the culture clash, but 5 and Dime are more Jersey than Jew. This hot cross bun is the fluffiest of the year due to a long and slow fermentation. The bun itself is speckled with warm spices and bursting with dried sultanas and cranberries. Maple syrup is the sweetener of choice, and a sticky glaze rounds it all off.

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Mork HXB 2020
Photograph: Supplied

7. Mork Chocolate Brew House

Restaurants North Melbourne

Delivery? Order here.

Mork Chocolate has recently launched a Swedish style cinnamon bun that is the inspiration for this year’s hot cross bun. This orange-infused number is generously layered with butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, cloves and is packed full of golden raisins and currants. Toast if you must, but we reckon it is perfect without it.

8. Tivoli Road Bakery

Restaurants South Yarra

Delivery? Takeaway only

You must order ahead for these hot cross buns, as they usually disappear well before midday. These popular buns are on the softer side, studded with juicy raisins, sultanas and currants. The zesty spice mix is warmed up with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and clove, which is a little more Christmas than Easter, but nevertheless delicious.

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9. Baker D Chirico

Restaurants St Kilda

Delivery? Takeaway only.

Orange and ginger purée flavour these sourdough buns, which are spiked with juicy currants. Rather than cooking up a new recipe each year, chef Dan's traditional Italian formula plays on repeat. Fair warning, though, these buns are on the hefty side, so if you're more used to a traditional treat, these benefit from a light toast.

 

10. Dench Bakers

Restaurants Fitzroy North

Delivery? Order here.

Dense, chewy, flavoured headily with pureéd whole oranges and Australian vine fruits and spiced with a secret blend that includes – drum roll, please – coriander. Dench's hot cross buns are rightly famous and are best eaten the day of purchase.

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11. Gontran Cherrier

Restaurants Collingwood

Delivery? Takeaway only.

Tradition doesn't play a part in these buns, as they include a mix of mini dark chocolate chips and currants, which edge them closer to the confection side. A thick glaze kicks the sugar levels up, which means this bun benefits from a thick slab of butter. Not a bad thing, really.

 

Melbourne's best *not* cross buns

Agathe hot cross buns
Photograph: Nicole Cleary

1. Agathé Patisserie

Restaurants Patisseries South Melbourne

Delivery? Order here.

Agathe Kerr is the master of experimentation, but this year, her hot cross buns will be chocolate in a brioche bun. Aside from spiced fruit buns, everyone's go-to treat for Easter is chocolate, so the theme this year is Absolute Chocolate. Think pain au chocolat, chocolate tea cake, chocolate kouign amann (caramelised croissant), chocolate hazelnut mousse entremets lining the case next to the hot cross buns. Get in early at the market for these, because they're flying out the door.

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