Easter is just around the corner, which means the season to indulge on buttery, spiced sweet baked goods–in the form of hot cross buns–is upon us.
A hot cross bun is a rounded spiced bread filled with dried fruit, marked with a cross on the top made of shortcrust pastry or a kind of paste (though there are some modern variations). They are made and eaten when breads made with dairy are forbidden during Lent. According to lore, hot cross buns made on Good Friday will not go moldy.
Here are a few places you’ll find hot cross buns in Vancouver.
Granville Island’s A Bread Affair whips up a traditional spiced hot cross bun full of candied fruit, candied citrus, spices, and just a hint of orange. The bakehouse has even kept the original English crossing paste on their buns. Baked fresh daily, A Bread Affair’s hot cross buns are glazed with a simple syrup, and what’s more they’re are organic! Chai and ‘twice baked’ hot cross bun varieties are also available.
Address: 1680 Johnston Street (beside Granville Island Public Market main building)
Beaucoup Bakery’s hot cross buns are made with the bakery’s buttery brioche recipe. Combined with candied lemon and orange peel (sourced from France), currants, and a pinch of spice, the Fir Street locale’s hot cross buns are intended to be enjoyed hot and fresh. Available from March 11 until Easter Sunday, Beaucoup Bakery’s hot cross buns are priced at $2.85 per bun. Pre-orders begin at four or more.
Address: 2150 Fir Street
Butter Baked Goods offers a classic hot cross bun ($3.50) that contains the perfect balance of dried fruit and spices. Ingredients include cinnamon, raisins, dried cranberries, orange peel, and orange zest. The hot cross buns are finished with a delicious vanilla bean glaze.
Address: 4907 MacKenzie Street
Terra Breads’ spiced, sweet hot cross buns are based on head baker Mary McKay’s grandmother’s recipe. They are made with organic raisins, organic apricots, organic currants, sweetened dried cranberries, sweetened orange peel, and Rabbit River cage-free eggs, and topped with lemon maple icing. They are available until March 28 (Easter Monday) at Terra Bread’s four locations and are $2.75 each.
Address: Multiple locations (check website)
Hot cross buns are a popular seasonal treat from Downtown’s Bel Café. Their hot cross buns will be available from March 14 through to 27, and are priced individually at $2.80. Those who want more buns for their buck can get their hands on a half dozen ($16.80), or a dozen ($33.60). Advance online orders are encouraged.
Address: 801 West Georgia Street
Hot cross buns at Tartine Breads & Pies are made following a traditional recipe. The bakehouse uses a white bread base, with buttermilk, eggs, and yeast, to which they add their signature spice mix, candied peel, cranberries, and raisins. Once the buns have been shaped and proofed the bakers pipe a thick cross over the buns and pop them in the oven. The buns are finished with an apricot glaze. The price of one hot cross bun is $1.25, while a dozen go for $6.
Address: 770 Beach Avenue
Address: 1069 Davie Street
Vancouver-based bakery franchise COBS Bread offers three kinds of hot cross buns for Easter eating enjoyment. They’ve got a Traditional Fruit filled with raisins, currants, and mixed spice, a Cranberry Orange, and their Chocolate Chip is filled with 100 mini chocolate chips in each and every hot cross bun.
Purebread bakery will be making and selling their hot cross buns starting March 24. They’ll run $2.50 each or $12 for a six-pack, and will be available at all their locations, including the Downtown Vancouver branch.
Address: 159 West Hastings Street
Uprising Breads is known for their apricot glazed hot cross buns. Made with whole wheat flour and packed with raisons and currents, the bakery sells their six packs of hot cross buns for $5.95. They are available for the entire month of March. Uprising Breads encourages pre-orders the week before Easter.
Address: 1697 Venables Street at Commercial Drive
Available from March 19, East Village Bakery will offer a classic hot cross bun, made with rum-soaked fruit, in addition to a gluten-free version, which sells for $16 a dozen. A vegan gluten-free holiday bread loaded with fruit and nuts will also be up for grabs.
Address: 2166 East Hastings Street