Pick your region
These hot cross buns have just been crowned the best in New Zealand - here's where to find them
In Aotearoa
In Aotearoa

These hot cross buns have just been crowned the best in New Zealand - here's where to find them

The baker behind the #1 bun shared their secret.

With the Easter Bunny popping into all our lives very soon, hot cross buns are about to go flying off the shelves. 

Baking New Zealand has just announced the winner of its annual Easter competition, and for the third year in a row, Auckland’s Daily Bread won the honour of best hot cross buns.

In second place was Auckland’s Knead on Bonson, while third place went to Wellington’s Nada Cakes.

“The bun itself was extremely well constructed,” Chief Judge Ron Omalvena said of Daily Bread's creation. “The fruit dispersion was absolutely perfect, and the crosses on the top looked like they’d been done by a machine they were so precise.”

“It was a great high bun with extremely soft qualities.”

Patrick Welzenbach, Daily Bread’s head baker, shared the secret to his team’s award-winning recipe. 

“We make two doughs,” he said. “First, there’s a sourdough that ferments for more than 16 hours, then we do a second one and rest that for a few hours before mixing them together.”

“It’s a long process but that’s what gives it the standout flavour. We just take care to do everything really well. We do the candied orange peel ourselves, and soak the fruit in pineapple rum from the Bay of Islands for some extra flavour.”

“Our spice mix is our own, and things like that give it a special flavour that you can’t buy.”

Hot Cross Buns are such a favourite here in New Zealand that they’ve influenced other forms of food. Earlier this year, Whittaker’s released a limited edition line of chocolate blocks inspired by the sweet easter bread.

The ‘Choc Cross Bun’ blocks are a combination of their creamy milk flavour, natural mixed spice, raisins and orange oil, though I've tried it before and it does taste a bit banana-y.

Even if you're a fan of the Whittaker’s block, I think we can all agree there's nothing like the original bun!