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Hot cross buns and simnel cake for olive Easter awards

Best supermarket hot cross buns 2021

The olive Supermarket Awards 2021 are here to make your life easier. We’ve selected the very best hot cross buns to ensure a fabulous, fuss-free Easter celebration

Looking for the best hot cross buns? Check out the best supermarket bakes to buy this year, or try making your own with our hot cross bun recipe.


Discover the full results of the olive Easter Supermarket Awards 2021

* Prices correct at time of print

Best classic hot cross bun

Winner: M&S luxury hot cross buns, £1.65/4 pack, Ocado

These buns have it all: a soft, slightly chewy dough, a good level of spice and plenty of plump fruit and zesty peel. They’re also really professional looking, with their pleasant, not-too-sticky sheen and neat, prominent cross.

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Highly commended: Aldi Specially Selected luxury fruited hot cross buns, 99p/4 pack, Aldi

These buttery-tasting buns are well-spiced with prominent notes of clove and cinnamon. The dough’s texture is very slightly drier than our winning buns, but kept moist with plenty of plump, juicy fruit.

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Best alternative hot cross bun

Winner: Heston from Waitrose mocha coffee hot cross buns, £1.70/2 pack, Waitrose

The unanimous winner, these large coffee and chocolate flavoured brioche buns are studded with sultanas and chocolate chunks. Delicious as they are, they’re even better toasted, buttered and served with a cup of coffee. We’ve been dreaming of using them in a tiramisu-inspired bread and butter pudding.

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Highly commended: Booths sultana & rosemary hot cross buns, £1.50/4 pack, Booths

We love the cranberry tang to these hot cross buns, accompanied by a welcome citrus kick.

Best vegan hot cross bun

Winner: M&S Plant Kitchen vegan fruited luxury hot cross buns £1.75/4 pack, Ocado

You’d never guess that these buttery-tasting hot cross buns are vegan. Soft and bready in texture, they have a nice saltiness and are full of plump, juicy fruit. A hands down winner.

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How we chose the winners

The olive team chose nine categories having researched which products you, our readers, would be most likely to buy this Easter. We invited all the big supermarkets to select the products they wanted to nominate (just one entry per category, so they had to choose carefully). Our expert panel of judges blind-tasted them, rating each on taste, texture and appearance. We then awarded winner and highly commended accolades to our favourites.


Look out for these olive badges as a mark of excellence:

A pink logo with olive magazine taste test winner written on
A green logo with the words olive magazine taste test highly commended