Food and Drink


Who’s the Fairest Bun of All? 2012 Edition

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It’s that time of year again, where the smells of baking wafts across the streets and into our thoughts as we dream about how to spend those four days off. Yes, Easter is nearly upon us, which means it’s time for Milk Bar’s annual Hot Cross Bun Smackdown (you can read about 2011 contenders here).

Once again we’ve assembled a crack team of blind-folded taste testers to find out who really has the sweetest buns in Melbourne. Enjoy, we sure did!

Baker’s Delight Traditional Hot Cross Bun – $1.30
Our control bun, and a great little goer for the price. Looks a treat and also comes in a choc chip variant for those wanting even more sugary goodness. As with last year, the dough is light and sweet, meaning the bun is nice when eaten as if, but tends to fall apart during toasting. Still, not a bad ‘snack n go’ if you need a hot cross bun fix in a flurry.

Dench Bakers, 109 Scotchmer St, Fitzroy North – $2.70
Dench’s sweet buns are always in demand, so much so that there’s a large sign on the counter suggesting people pre-order to avoid bun-rage. Last year Dench’s buns proved a crowd-pleaser for their generous citrus filling and this year, it seems they’ve crammed even more in. Small and dense, these are the fruitiest of buns of the sample group.

La Madre Traditional and Choc Cherry Hot Cross Buns – $15 per six pack
These sourdough hot cross buns from the famed Geelong bakery come in six packs of either traditional and choc cherry. Yum. While our testers thought the traditional were a little chewy and dense, the choc cherry scored high fives all round for their generous chunks of Belgium chocolate and and Persian sour cherries – fancy. While La Madre was at a disadvantage for being the only pre-packaged buns in this line-up, the fact that they still delivered (especially when toasted) deserves an extra point or two. For a full range of stockists click here.

Fatto a Mano – 228 Gertrude St, Fitzroy – $3.50

We missed out on the hot cross buns at Fatto a Mano last year and have been looking forward to trying their hot buns ever since. The largest (and priciest) bun of the lot is a proud specimen, daring you to resist it. Our testers could not. A lovely sour/sweet consistency matched with a generous whack of spice make this our second favourite bun, the only criticism being that the bun’s so big it tends towards the gluggy in parts.

Extra points for coming in gluten free and being available for an additional week to accommodate Greek Easter. So there’s no excuse to miss out this year.

Baker D. Chirico, 3/149 Fitzroy Street, St. Kilda & 178 Faraday St, Carlton– $2.70
Last year Baker D. Chirico made us work for their buns, having to cross the river a total of three times in order to secure the in-demand baked good from the St Kilda store. This year things were a lot easier with their Carlton outlet now opened, and when one of our our plucky testers dropped by they were lucky enough to snag a few buns fresh from the over and still sticky sweet. This may have given Baker D. an unfair advantage, but their pint-sized bun proves good things come in small packages. Jammed packed with fruit, spices and sweet, this hot cross bun was universally lauded as the pick of the BUNch, up three places from last year.

Our bun of the year.

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