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The Extraordinary History of the Hot Cross Bun

When we think of Easter fayre, our first thoughts naturally turn to chocolate eggs and… hot cross buns. Once reserved solely for Good Friday, hot cross buns are now enjoyed all year around, but this is the time of year we eat the most!

A traditional hot cross bun is a delicately spiced yeasted sweet bun, containing sultanas, raisins, or currants, with a cross marked on the top made from a flour and water mix or shortcrust pastry.

Some more showy hot cross buns now have icing crosses and variations with chocolate chips, orange and caramel are gaining more popularity. Coffee-flavoured hot cross buns are extremely popular in Australia!

While the origin story of the hot cross bun is lost in the ovens of time, there are several credible theories, and many have a religious context.


Almost 300 years later the humble hot cross bun has survived the ‘taste of time’, and if anything, is growing in popularity – not bad for a sweet treat that has transcended political, royal, and religious fervour.

So it’s safe to say the hot cross bun was here to stay. Colonialism, the spread of the British Empire and an adoption of British customs explains why the bun is so popular in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the US.

Fun Facts

Did you know that there are a wealth of “old wives tales” relating to the hot cross bun some of which include:

  • Hot cross buns were once believed to protect homes from fire.
  • The largest hot cross bun weighed 168 kg and was made in Bolton, England in April 2021!
  • English sailors believed that taking hot cross buns on voyages would protect them from shipwrecks!

So, whether its cinnamon or chocolate chip or chilli and cheese, Berica will have the right presentation box for you to showcase your delicious Hot Cross Buns.  Click here to view/purchase and Happy Easter!

berica.co.nz | 0800 237 422 | sales@berica.co.nz

About the author

Veronica Aris

Veronica Aris

Veronica has more than 20 years in senior management roles, leading marketing and sales strategies that include primary care consumables, pharmaceuticals, natural health care supplements, consumer and safety products within B2B and B2C.

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