BC’s Best Hot Cross Buns

Whether you're buying one or a dozen, try these local sources for hot cross buns baked fresh with high-quality, organic and gluten-free ingredients

This Easter, artisan bakeries throughout BC are rising to the occasion with hot cross buns that harken back to their roots with traditional recipes and natural ingredients

"Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!?
One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns!?"

While these warm, spiced sweet buns are the perfect treat to enjoy at Easter brunch, many mass-produced hot cross buns are filled with preservatives, candied fruit, and sweetened and artificially coloured turnip.

So skip the bakery isle at your big-box grocery store and head to one of these local artisan bakeries for buns baked with only the freshest natural and local ingredients.

Terra Breads, Vancouver

Terra Breads, one of Vancouver’s first artisan bakeries opened in 1993 by Michael Lansky, is known for using traditional methods, quality ingredients and natural starters that (literally) give rise to a long, slow artisan process. Once risen, its breads are baked in stone-hearth ovens.

Terra's hot cross buns follow head baker Mary Mackay’s grandmother’s recipe. She uses free-range eggs, organic raisins, natural apricots, currants, sweetened dried cranberries and orange zest, organic whole grain flour, and various spices. The buns are cluster baked to keep them soft, and finished with a cross of lemon maple icing. And they're irresistible.

East Village Bakery, East Vancouver

East Village Bakery in East Vancouver is a scratch bakery devoted to quality ingredients and small-batch baking – all day, every day. Although it offers some regular flour items, the bakery's specialty is gluten-free goods.

True to its tagline "gluten-free good taste," it uses its own refined gluten-free flour mix recipe, adding nothing to the gluten-free recipe selection that will compromise taste and texture.

East Village Bakery makes hot cross buns and pull-apart loaves for Easter. Its gluten-free hot cross buns are a moist, luscious bread with fruit, and its brioche wheat-based hot cross buns are made with fruit and a glaze that complements the light, sweet egg bread.

Two Daughters Bakeshop, North Vancouver

Two Daughters Bakeshop in North Vancouver began as an organic wheat-based bakery in 2011.

Upon learning that their youngest daughter was celiac, Lisa Reichelt and her husband Paul took a new direction with the business and decided to make it gluten-free and celiac-friendly.

Just in time for Easter, Lisa has perfected gluten-free and vegan hot cross buns. She had to get creative with her recipe for her daughter’s sake – using organic coconut milk, organic apple sauce, organic raisins, organic olive oil and honey, along with her own gluten-free flour blend – but managed to make them every bit as delicious as regular wheat-based buns.

Wild Fire Organic Bakery and Café, Victoria

Wild Fire Bakery in Victoria is a small family-owned business that has been specializing in artisan baking since 1998.

With a mission to provide the community with high-quality and nutritious foods that are easily accessible, the bakery uses many local ingredients produced either organically or with sustainable growing methods.

Wild Fire Bakery’s hot cross buns are hand-made daily using certified organic ingredients, including raisins and a mix of spices. The buns are naturally leavened and studded with the bakery’s own candied citrus peel.

Bodhi’s Artisan Bakery, Nanaimo

Inspired by Buddha’s search for enlightenment, William Clay and Candice Jones, owners of Bodhi’s Artisan Bakery in Nanaimo, are dedicated to baking all natural goods with no additives or preservatives.

Bodhi's hot cross buns are made from scratch with quality ingredients, including real dried fruits and rum. The buns are made daily in small batches so they are hot and fresh when you arrive.

Bliss Bakery, Peachland and Kelowna

Bliss Bakery, with locations in Peachland and Kelowna, serves soulful food free of chemicals, preservatives, and hydrogenated oils. Unlike some bakeries, Bliss does not use any pre-made mixes, and owners Barry and Darci Yeo are proud to serve baked goods made from only the finest ingredients.

The hot cross buns at Bliss are made from raw ingredients, from the spice mix through to the dough. The brioche starter adds an amazing depth of flavour and texture to the final product. And, of course, only real fruit dots the blissful bread.

Wouda’s Bakery, Penticton

Andy Wouda, baking alongside his wife Amie, is the fifth generation owner of Wouda’s Bakery in Penticton. The family bakery started in the Netherlands in the 1800s.

The dough recipe Andy and Amie use for their hot cross buns goes back a few generations. They also use a Dutch blend of spices known as Speculaas, which includes cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and a tiny hint of nutmeg. Currants and raisins, which are generously soaked in rum, add to the traditional Dutch flavour.

Sweet Caroline’s Bakery, Vernon

Winner of the BC's Best 2012 People’s Choice Awards for Best Desserts in the Interior Region, Sweet Caroline’s Bakery in Vernon comes from a long line of family bakeries with a European Dutch history dating back to 1888.

Owners Roy and Caroline Bouman bake all of their products in-store with high-quality ingredients and non-hydrogenated shortening. Sweet Caroline’s hot cross buns are made with the same dough they use for their cinnamon buns.

And you won’t find those artificial fruity candies in these hot cross buns; they’re filled with real raisins, currants and a secret blend of spices.