Carys Tries: Hot Cross Buns.

We at Puzzle hoped you, dear reader, enjoyed your Bank Holiday weekend – whether you were eating Easter eggs or… well, what else would you be doing?! But boy, oh boy, have we got a seasonal treat for you. Until recently, Carys, Account Manager extraordinaire, had never tried a hot cross bun. So join her on her maiden voyage, her first ever foray into the UK’s premiere fluffy, buttery crucifixion-themed treat … 


Hi – my name’s Carys, and my life?  It’s pretty crazy and I’m an Account Manager here at Puzzle. If you don’t follow the Puzzle blogs closely (well, first off why not) then you may not have heard – but I was raised in America. Land of the free, home of the Applebees $1 cocktail special.


We won’t get into the details of my lineage – it’s normally a long conversation – but I’ve lived permanently here in the good ole U of K for about three years. And in all that time I have never had a hot cross bun. So, what better time to try them than a lockdown bank hol weekend? Take this journey with me.


First up – acquiring the buns. I opted for the 85p classic buns from my local Co Op for this treat (I was tempted by the chocolate version I keep seeing in the M&S commercials but fellow colleague George told me I had to start with the classic). So far, so good. Nice price for 4 buns and if I don’t like them I won’t feel too out of pocket.


On to toasting – I tried to fit the sliced bun in my wilko toaster, but unfortunately it was a bit too voluminous so instead opted for the gas grill in my cooker. I had to watch it closely for fear of burning but luckily I think I’ve hit a nice lightly toasted sweet spot. I’ve also applied butter for a heightened experience.


Now – what you’ve all been waiting for – it’s go time.


I’m starting with the thinner, bottom bun. First impressions are that I… definitely like it. I’m a fan of a casual cinnamon treat so this is definitely hitting the mark for me. It actually reminds me of the Bath Bun – a sweet roll made from a milk-based yeast dough with crushed sugar sprinkled on top found in places such as Sally Lunn’s buns in Bath which dates back to 1680.


You know what else this reminds me of? The absolute childhood delicacy that was cinnamon toast. The simplicity of toast with butter and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top as an afterschool snack. (editor’s note: this is not a universal experience, but it is something I will probably try very soon.)


On to the thicker top bun… and now I must confess, dear reader, that I despise raisins and dried fruit and that is making this top bun much less enjoyable – as it seems all the raisins have congregated in that area. I tried to be an adult about this, but I am now actively picking out the dried fruit. The top bun is definitely a bit sweeter – perhaps due to the sugar in the cross? 


Overall score? 7/10. I can’t see myself craving these year round, but in honor of the bank hols I suppose I can see myself toasting these for an afternoon treat every spring. I will certainly make my way through the rest of these without a struggle.

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