Well, let’s be honest, you’ve probably already devoured a hot cross bun even though it’s not Good Friday just yet. We don’t blame you. After all, they were on shelves one minute after Christmas.

These days hot cross buns take many forms. Chocolate chip. Mocha. Nutella-filled. Lemon myrtle (huh?). It can be overwhelming. We’ll just take a classic fruit bun lathered with butter please … but without the guilt?

It’s a holiday and no, you shouldn’t have to miss out, but if you want the taste without the calories, you’ll have to look further than the grocery store to find healthier options, or put the buns in the oven yourself.

hot cross buns

How to spot healthy buns and where to find them

Don’t be disheartened. We’re progressive in Queensland and there are ready-made treats that are genuinely healthy and delicious.

You can source fit-friendly options yourself by exploring good bakeries and health food stores in your neighbourhood.

Don’t get tricked by misleading packaging though, it’s never too late to become a label reader. Here’s what shouldn’t be on the ingredients list:

  • Sugar (a little is OK and often hard to avoid) or artificial sweeteners. Make sure to check the sugar content of any added fruit or chocolate as well
  • Refined flours. Look for wholemeal or spelt versions
  • Preservatives. These are more likely to be in the mass produced packs
  • Colours and flavours. Again, likely to come from the big bakeries

The moral of the story is, the buns with fewer, and more natural, ingredients will be better for you.

Can’t find a decent ready-made batch? Make your own

This way you can put in, or leave out, whatever you want which is also great if you have any allergies or intolerances. Here’s some recipes to try:

  • Spelt hot cross buns . “A nice dense and chewy bun”
  • Choc chip hot cross buns. This one’s from the team at I Quit Sugar. We like sugar-free buns and we cannot lie
  • Healthy hot cross buffins. A cross between a bun and muffin (buffin, ha!)
  • Lorna Jane’s guilt-free hot cross buns. We suggest using low or sugar-free chocolate and replacing the honey with rice malt syrup
  • Paleo hot cross buns. An almond meal based bun penned by Flannery’s organic supermarket

If you do decide to indulge, you may as well do it right

Here’s a few lists of the best all inclusive buns around:

Urban list: We’ve Found Brisbane’s Best Hot Cross Buns!
Urban list: We hunt down the best hot cross buns Melbourne
Urban list: We’ve found the (Sunshine) Coast’s best hot cross buns

And, once you find your perfect fluffy bun, maybe just have one or two, not the full baker’s dozen.