Hot cross buns have come a long way since 1361 when Father Thomas Rocliffe first stamped his humble fruit and spice cakes with the sign of the Holy cross, to be distributed on Good Friday. In fact, a recent report by market research company, Mintel, shows that between 2016 and 2020 there were more than 50 different hot cross bun flavours being baked and sold globally!
Whilst here in Australia the most popular flavour for hot cross buns is still the ‘original’ recipe, there are strong signs things are changing as locals seek out more creative temptations at Easter time. Chocolate and Fruit-based recipes, in particular, are growing rapidly in popularity. Other flavour variants on the rise include Apple & Cinnamon, Spicy Raisin, Blueberry & Maple and Toffee. Mintel even found Lamington, Gooseberry and Pumpkin Seed varieties!
Another interesting change coming out of European bakeries at the moment is the rise of savoury hot cross buns. Easter 2020 saw Marks and Spencers in the UK launch their first-ever savoury option, with fiery chilli and cheese recipe featuring jalapeno and chipotle chillies – putting the H-O-T into hot cross buns!
Even without the chilli, savoury recipes like these are a definite trend to watch, given they cater directly to the ever-growing number of consumers with concerns about their sugar intake – not to mention those who simply don’t have a sweet tooth and can feel a little left out at Easter time!
Of course, what this all suggests is that Easter 2021 is a great time to start getting creative with your own hot cross buns and Easter creations. Start experimenting and who knows? You might just create the next hot cross bun global phenomenon!