Where To Find London’s Best Hot Cross Buns
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Where To Find London’s Best Hot Cross Buns

Superior Easter buns in the capital

Easter is just a few weeks away, which means hot cross bun season has well and truly arrived. While the sticky fruit buns are sold in some shops year-round, they’re widely enjoyed over the Easter period as part of Christian tradition, with the cross symbolising the crucifixion of Jesus. And during the spring, lots of bakeries get involved by adding hot cross buns to their menus. Here are London’s best, from classic recipes to twists featuring extra flavours, hybrid bakes and more.

Best Hot Cross Buns In London

Hot cross buns at Pophams

Pophams

Back by popular demand are Pophams croissant hot cross buns, which are made using the surplus mincemeat from the bakery’s equally beloved mince pies. The result is a delicious bun packed with raisins, sultanas, candied peel and apple, then brushed with a maple and cardamom glaze. They’ll be available in all three Pophams bakeries this March.

Available from 11 March 2024, locations in Islington, London Fields and Victoria Park. pophamsbakery.com

St. JOHN

Of course esteemed bakery St. JOHN delivers on the hot cross buns front. Here they stick to the classic recipe, ensuring the dough is long-proved and slow-risen to achieve that deep flavour and fluffy texture, then mixed with dried fruit, candied peel and crystallized ginger. 

Available now, locations in Borough, Covent Garden and Bermondsey. stjohnrestaurant.com

A hot cross bun with bacon

The Laundry © Jack Lewis Williams

The Laundry

Head to The Laundry in Brixton for a light and fluffy New Zealand twist on the classic, from Kiwi chef restaurateur Melanie Brown: Hot Cross buns with feijoa (an NZ alternative to guava), stem ginger and honeycomb butter, with the option to add bacon for an extra touch of enjoyment.

Available Friday–Sunday until 31 March, 374 Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8PL. thelaundrybrixton.com

Toklas Bakery

This Temple bakery has become a cult spot since opening in 2021, and its seasonal goodies have proven particularly popular. The mince pies were a big hit, as were the dark chocolate and honey biscuits – and now hot cross buns are returning to the menu. Head baker Janine Edwards and her team use the last of the year’s Todolí Citrus harvest alongside a blend of spices to create a zesty bun with flavours of cardamom and cinnamon.

Available from 12 March 2024, 9 Surrey St, Temple, London WC2R 2ND. toklaslondon.com

Hot cross bun sandwich

Jolene

Newington Green favourite Jolene has become a magnet for TikTokers, and this season the platform will no doubt be awash with videos of its beloved hot cross buns. These are freshly baked each morning using naturally farmed flour (the bakery aims to support regenerative food systems), then studded with candied citrus peel and raisins, giving the buns a rich flavour. The bakery has also joined forces with Soho gelateria Gelupo on a series of limited edition specials: both gelato sandwiches and creme egg toasted buns (these are only available at Gelupo). 

21 Newington Grn, Mayville Estate, London N16 9PU. jolenen16.com

The Dusty Knuckle Bakery

Like everything at this viral East London bakery, The Dusty Knuckle’s hot cross buns always sell out quickly. Their secret? Swapping milk for buttermilk to achieve that extra-soft texture. There’s no sign of them at the bakeries yet, but keep a close eye on Instagram for details of the drop. 

Locations in Dalston and Haringay. thedustyknuckle.com

Ottolenghi's hot cross buns

Ottolenghi

In classic Ottolenghi style, the hot cross buns available at his delis are all about the spices. Unusual flavours like black pepper and Rooibos tea are blended with fruit and zest, then the  buns are created using a flour/water paste called Tangzhong, which increases the dough’s ability to hold water, resulting in a bouncier crumb. 

From 16 March 2024, multiple locations. ottolenghi.co.uk