Gluten-free hot cross buns 2022

Gluten-free hot cross buns 2022

Every time New Year’s Day comes around I roll my eyes at the display of gluten free hot cross buns that appear without fail. Yet, as soon as they are on discount I am without a doubt the first one there snapping up a bargain! Ah, well it makes for some excellent morning teas.

Since there are more and more varieties each year I thought I’d do a little comparison piece.

So far I’ve tried: Coles hot cross buns, Coles chocolate hot cross buns, Woolworths fruit free hot cross buns and Woolworths chocolate hot cross buns and both types of bun from Wholegreen Bakery in Sydney.

Did you know that the Coles hot cross buns are actually made by Lifestyle Bakery? I realised once I saw the packaging side by side and compared the ingredients. About a month later I realised the Woolworths hot cross buns are made by another dedicated gluten-free bakery, Gluten Free Bakehouse.

Lifestyle Bakery / Coles Choc Cross Buns

These are far more true to a hot cross bun than the Woolworths choc version. The Coles buns are more bready than cake like. I like this because while the dough is sweet it’s not overly sweet. It’s also far less crumbly than the Woolies version.
My husband found the choc to be quite dark and strong, admittedly I love that but agree it is quite dark and therefore a little bitter. The chocolate chips are well distributed so you’re getting some in every bite.

Coles chocolate hot cross buns (gluten free)

There’s no spices which is a bit of a bummer, cinnamon, nutmeg etc would have gone nicely with the chocolate and give that proper hot cross bun vibe.

We had jam on one half which helped balance out the dark chocolate chips.

Free from: gluten, wheat and dairy.
Allergens: soy and egg

Lifestyle Bakery / Coles hot cross buns

The Lifestyle Bakery / Coles I’m Free From hot cross buns are light and a little bit chewy. The fruit inside is soft, and you can notice spices are there. One thing I did notice is that there isn’t much of a scent from them. It might sound odd but it’s something I enjoy with bakes like this. It’s the smell of warming spices filling the air in the kitchen as they toast.

It’s odd that these come in a packet of three, however the price is less than the four pack from Woolworths so overall the value is the same.

Lifestyle Bakery gluten free hot cross buns are round and come in a packet of three.
Lifestyle Bakery / Coles fruit hot cross buns

Free from: gluten, wheat and dairy.
Allergens: soy and egg

Gluten Free Bakehouse / Woolies fruitless hot cross buns.

Light, properly cooked, strong spice smell, toasts evenly. The smell of spices in the house was really nice. Looking at the ingredients it actually has a full range of spices – cassia, coriander, nutmeg, clove, ginger, pepper, cinnamon and cardamom.

It was nice that once toasted it wasn’t crumbly at all. However I did have one of these untoasted one morning while out on a walk (emergency breakfast) and it really wasn’t very nice.

It’s nice that it’s vegan because it means no egg and therefore eggy taste that you can get in some gluten-free baked goods.

Overall I don’t really like these however, the texture, much like their chocolate buns is very cakey – light, airy and crumbly. When I eat a hot cross bun I want something that’s come from a dough, rather than a batter.

I couldn’t manage the thought of eating the rest of the packet. So instead I made the leftover gluten-free hot cross buns into French toast. You can check out my recipe for hot cross bun French toast, it’ll be perfect for brunch Easter morning.

Free from: gluten, wheat, dairy and eggs. It’s vegan
Allergens: Contains soy, may contain sesame.

Gluten Free Bakehouse / Woolies chocolate hot cross buns

The Woolworths chocolate hot cross buns were the first buns I tried this year back in February. I was out for a morning walk with my husband one Sunday and we decided to grab a coffee and sit in the park. Woolworths was across the road from the coffee shop so I popped in and grabbed a four pack.

What a noticed was that while they tasted nice, they were super crumbly, and within a few minutes we were leaving crumbs all over the park bench. I suppose we made some local birds very happy that day!

Chocolate gluten free hot cross buns from Woolworths.
Woolworth’s choc hot cross buns

Compared to to the Coles hot cross buns the chocolate in the Woolworths buns is much more mild. While it’s still dark chocolate it doesn’t have that same bitterness. This makes them a bit easier to eat for those who aren’t accustomed to dark chocolate.

The chocolate factor is doubled in these buns, given the dough is also dark. But the texture overall is more like a cake, while it’s light and springy it crumbles away very easily.

Free from: gluten, wheat and egg.
Allergens: Contains soy, may contain dairy and sesame.

Wholegreen Bakery

Wholegreen Bakery is a dedicated gluten-free bakery in Sydney with two locations – the CBD and Bronte near Bondi. Their breads, and at Easter their hot cross buns are stocked at supermarkets across Sydney and selected parts of New South Wales. And if you needed more reason to go their products are Coeliac Australia accredited.

Wholegreen's gluten free hot cross buns on display. The labels indicate they are DF, GF, NF, vegan and yeast free.
Wholegreen bakery’s gluten-free hot cross buns

the first thing I noticed about these gluten-free hot cross buns is how heavy they are, weighing in at 130g each. To give a bit of perspective I weighed the Coles buns, it’s 90g and the Woolworths bun is 85g.

Untoasted the texture is nice and although these are heavier buns there’s a good flavour. I think it comes from the flours they use, like their breads, which includes teff flour. You could definitely eat these without toasting, perfect if you are out of the house and need a snack.

Even though it looks stodgy the buns are actually quite springy inside. It’s got loads of tiny micro bubbles throughout – perhaps it’s got a sourdough starter like their breads?

Wholegreen's gluten free hot cross buns, the right image shows them cut open displaying an even distribution of fruit / chocolate chips.
Wholegreen’s hot cross buns

The chocolate hot cross bun is heavenly heated up. The chocolate chips ooze and the crispiness of the bread is great texturally alongside the molten chocolate. The fruit bun is very traditional, it actually contains my baking nemesis, orange peel 😂. I think I just find orange peel too bitter. Thankfully it’s an ingredient that is going out of fashion so I don’t come across it often. Despite this inclusion the traditional bun is still delicious.

Free from: gluten, wheat, egg, dairy, nuts and yeast.
Allergens: No allergens listed.

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