The ultimate hot-cross bun guide for Easter

Think your mom makes the best hot-cross buns? She doesn’t; mine does. But if you are going to settle for a store-bought fix of this spicy Easter treat, Cape Town offers up some delicious variations … including the kind you’ll find in a cone!

Easter brings out my inner child. She’s a fat kid who stockpiles chocolate eggs and guzzles hot-cross buns as if it’s her last day on Earth. My mom’s home-baked hot-cross buns – fresh out the oven and slathered in butter – will always top my list, but recent years have seen some pretty spectacular twists on the good old HCB. Before you cry ‘sacrilege’, hear me out.

Woolworths, once content to offer up varying degrees of spiciness, has upped the ante with ‘chocolate’ and ‘apricot and white chocolate’ variations. In addition to this, they have introduced the love child of two of Easter’s most delicious treats: the HCB and chocolate eggs. Let me help you wrap your head around this: “Hollow milk chocolate eggs with dried fruit pieces, candied peel, and a hint of cinnamon”.

*Adds to cart.*

This March, The Creamery has Hot-Cross Bun as its ice cream flavour of the month. Don’t worry, it’s not full of currants and candied peel – just subtle flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice. I’d recommend ordering it on a crispy waffle. Heavenly.

For disciples of the strict and unbending order of LCHF diets, all is not lost. Lindt chocolate bunnies are a no-no (the sugar, the horror!) but you can still get an Easter foodie fix in the form of a Banting HCB. You’ll have to make it yourself, and it probably won’t taste as good, but just think about how smug healthy it will make you feel. You’ll find a recipe here.

Of course, you don’t have to ditch the traditional HCB simply because you want to do things differently this year. Mix it up with one of these ideas:

Breakfast HCB: Need a hearty breakfast to get you through the Easter weekend? Lightly toast your HCB. Spread tomato relish on one half, add a piece of crispy bacon and fluffy scrambled eggs, and top with the other half.

Nutella French toast: Cut your HCB in half. Spread a generous layer of Nutella on one half and stick the two halves together. If necessary use a rolling pin to flatten the HCB slightly. Dip in a mixture of eggs (2), cream (50ml) and icing sugar (1 tsp), before cooking in a pan.

HCB braaibroodjies: Having a Good Friday braai? Use spicy hot cross buns instead of bread to make your cheese, onion and chutney toasties.

HCB burger: Forget boring old hamburger buns and create a holiday burger with hot cross buns, beef patties in a spicy marinade, coleslaw, and slices of smoked provolone.

Ice-cream sandwich: Slice your hot cross buns in half. Scoop some ice-cream onto one half and place the other half on top to create a sandwich. Pop the ice-cream sandwiches in the freezer for 30 minutes before serving.