They say that the hot cross bun originated sometime in the 15th century.
It’s definitely been around for longer than Mini Eggs, and we’re big fans of the original Easter treat in all its toasted glory.
Others obviously are too, as the supermarkets always go wild at this time of year. Marks & Spencer has gone for cheesy, chocolate or salted caramel versions, while Waitrose has a White Chocolate and Lemon, and Sticky Toffee, as well as Heston from Waitrose Mocha Coffee numbers.
However, here are a few alternative bun tributes, from hot cross scones to gelato, from Edinburgh’s independent businesses. One a penny, two a penny.
If you haven’t tried a proper hot cross bun - ie. one that hasn’t been mass produced for a supermarket - get ready to blow your mind. We’re huge fans of the sourdough hot cross buns at these bakeries, with branches at Morningside, Portobello, Dalry, Leith, where there’s three, and a new venue at 9 Comely Bank Road. They’re incredibly fruity and pleasingly squishy. However, if they don’t take your fancy, they’ve also launched an orange and pistachio baklava bun for Spring.
We’ve never seen a hot cross bun appear on a fine-dining menu, but this restaurant is using it as part of a cheese plate course, with the offering that is ‘whipped Hebridean Blue cheese, carrot jam and hot cross bun glazed in carrot molasses’. This dish will be available until the end of the month, so hop along tout suite.
14 Bonnington Road, Edinburgh (0131 556 6600, www.thelittlechartroom.com)
This cafe, with branches at Comely Bank, Leith, Royal Mile, Corstorphine and other destinations, always pulls out all the stops at Easter. This year is no exception, and they’ve got Creme Egg brownies and Easter Chick Cupcakes that are a bit too cute to eat. However, they’re also serving up the hybrid cakes that are Hot Cross Scones, which are being served at all the cafes or as as part of their Easter Afternoon Tea boxes, available for collection or delivery from April 15-17.
We’re strangely intrigued by this bakery’s Hot Cross Bun Bacon Roll, which will be a special until April 24. As well as outdoor-reared bacon, this hot cross bap also contains maple syrup, to ramp up the sweet and salty vibe. They’re also doing Egg-cellent Easter Pancakes topped with white chocolate ganache, mango and peach puree, whipped cream and chocolate, and Devilled Eggs, wrapped in smoked salmon. All available in their cafe only.
49 Broughton Street, Edinburgh (0131 466 2901, www.bakeryandante.co.uk)
There are always a few exciting Easter flavours on offer at this gelato bar, and there’s currently a Hot Cross Bun Spice, along with some other delights. If they’re sold out, head up the road to Alandas, who are also serving scoops of Hot Cross Bun Gelato, at their Forrest Road shop (and North Berwick) while stocks last.
19 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, www.marysmilkbar.com