Bakers are working harder to come up with award-winning hot cross buns as sales boom in the run up to Easter.
With some hot cross buns going on sale a couple of months ahead of Easter (and some bakers offering them all year), the traditional Easter bun has become a speciality item.
Manurewa baker Tongmin Li, took the honour of baking the best 2017 bun from a field of 180 entries with his cinnamon, mixed spice, raisins, currants, allspice and mix peel recipe, in a dough made richer with butter and egg.
Runner-up Angie Robertson came up with a fruity version of the bun, adding papaya, toasted coconut, starfruit, rock melon and mango.
Top 10 hot cross buns
1. Hillpark Bakery, baker Tongmin Li, Manurewa, Auckland.
2. New World Hastings, baker Angie Robertson, Hastings.
3. Ubake, baker Deborah Bruce, Timaru.
4. Continental Bakery, baker Marcus Braun, Rangiora.
5. Ten O’Clock Cookie Bakery Cafe , baker Jenna Mangin, Masterton.
6= Rangiora Bakery, baker Frank Janssen, Rangiora.
6= The Rosebowl Bakery, baker Rachel Smith, Feilding.
6= Clareville Bakery, baker Michael Kloeg, Carterton.
9. Arobake, baker Maximillian Fuher, Wellington.
10= New World Levin, baker Damian Crookes, Levin.
10= Chaffers New World, Wellington.
Source: Baking Industry Association competition, March 2017.