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Hot Cross Buns - where do you buy your favorites?

Well since Tuesday was Mardi Gras that only means it's time for Hot Cross Buns!
Where do you buy your favorites - link to rworange's well documented lists below:
I will probably start at Fat Apples, then ????

Fat Apple's
7525 Fairmount Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530

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  1. La Farine on College Avenue had a sign up today that they've got 'em.

    La Farine
    6323 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

      1. Schubert's, Clement St , SF

        1. Acme, though the traditional time for hot cross buns is at the other end of Lent, on Good Friday.

          1. Just got one this morning at a farmers market stand in the Ferry Building at the back booths near the knife sharpener (sorry, can't remember the name!). It was pretty good, filled with currants, citrus rind, iced on top. It just wasn't hot!

            1. Masse's Pastries in North Berkeley on Shattuck has lovely hot cross buns. The fruit is fine, glaze is applied judiciously, with a hint of citrus (?) in the cross frosting. La Farine has an airy, delicious bun this year, a bit sweeter.

              La Farine
              1820 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707

              1. Victoria pastry (in Marin) has the best Hot Cross Buns I've ever had.

                1. This is in rw's list, but in case people are looking mid-Peninsula and don't want to click: The Cakery.

                  The Cakery
                  1308 Burlingame Ave, Burlingame, CA

                  1. I can't wait till Good Friday for hot cross buns. Good Catholics would be fasting that whole day anyway.... Had my third HCB of the season today, from Hopkins St. Bakery.
                    It's a large, dark, dense, bready bun with a lot of cinnamon. I
                    was a little surprised by the amount of colored (green, red, yellow) candied fruit accompanying
                    the golden raisins and currants. The icing cross tasted like straight ahead
                    confectioner's sugar, no citrus involved. The glaze was shiny but the places without it
                    were dry. Overall, it's not as tasty as the others I've tried. I'm not sure where it falls on the scale of traditional buns.

                    1. I'm looking forward to Mayfield Bakery's hot cross buns, which are usually available right before Easter.

                      Mayfield Bakery & Cafe
                      855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: emily

                        Mayfield's aren't quite as good as before. Spices are gone and the buns are more brioche-like and a bit drier. Still has an icing cross and raisins and candied orange peel.

                      2. I went to the Fillmore Bakeshop last Sunday (3/20) and they had some. They were so so good! Their macarons were also fantastic, the best I've had in the Bay Area.

                        1. La Farine on Piedmont consistently makes a airer version than the La Farine on Solano. Go figure.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: leisuregirl

                            It's been a bit since I've been to La Farine on Piedmont but I'm under the impression that location has no baking facility; perhaps theirs are coming from their Fruitvale location which does?

                          2. Liked to buy them at Boudin's in the Richmond and also Schuberts. Here in Sacto area try Danek's. All very different but good....

                            1. Number four for me this lent was from the Market Hall bakery in Rockridge. A good-sized bun with a bright yellow eggy cross and a light confectioner's sugar glaze all over, it had a very pleasant cardamom scent to it with chopped golden raisins and currants. No cinnamon here, thank goodness. However, there were a couple of bits of sliced almond- not sure if they were supposed to be in there. It was yeastier than others, leaning towards bread but not heavy and dense. This one was not too sweet, overall very nice.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: savvyitaliana

                                I just bought some of these and really enjoyed them too. The dough is definitely on the heavy side, but it's also very tender.

                                The cross was delicious. It seemed to be made some sort of almond cream -- it tastes like filling from a gooey almond croissant, although it could be just flavored with almond essence too, I suppose. Does anyone know what's actually in this cross?!

                              2. Got a box of 4 for $3 at United Market in San Rafael. Very good.

                                United Market
                                515 3rd St, San Rafael, CA 94901

                                1. I don't especially like HCBs, but I was at John Campbell's in Potrero Hill yesterday and had a taste of one that they had cut up on a sample tray, and it was quite good. The buns on display were large and had a refreshingly handmade look. Presumably the other Campbell bakeries have them too.

                                  1. I bought a hot cross bun in rworange's honor at Feel Good Bakery. It was good, but very plain. I think rworange would have approved of the generous white cross icing and the large, plentiful pieces of raisins, but I didn't see any other candied fruit nor was there much, if any, spicing. It had a nice chewy texture, though, and wasn't particularly sweet. Overall, I thought is was a good bun, although not, perhaps, what most people would have expected.

                                    Feel Good Bakery
                                    1650 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                      The 2012 hot cross buns from your Feel Good Bakery were redolent with the fragrance of cardamom and perfectly not-too-sweet - they're the best yet. Thank you for sharing :D

                                      1. re: Cynsa

                                        I noticed last week that hot cross buns were back at Feel Good. Time to start the discussion up again!

                                    2. Noticed a tray of 6 hot cross buns ($6.99)at Monterey Market in Berkeley, made by the Cake Box in Lafayette. ( I like some of their rolls.) They were a bit dry, definitely on the bready side. These have a subtle scent of mace, with candied citron and some chopped raisins. Some colored candied fruit made an appearance as well. The cross was thick and citrus scented, possibly chopped citron within? Glaze was thick and covered the whole bun. A tad too sweet for my taste.

                                      1. Nabolom Bakery (Russell at College Ave.) offers a seasonal hot cross bun with meyer lemon icing. I look forward to it as they use the same dough as their holiday stollen. I noticed that they have some specialty items for Passover (almond cookies, chocolate dipped macaroons, honeycake, cheesecake...) I'm there for challah and hot cross buns.

                                        Nabolom Bakery
                                        2708 Russell St, Berkeley, CA 94705

                                        1. Arizmendi has them, but I think not until next week. Haven't tried them yet.

                                          They also have my seasonal favorite, chocolate macaroons, made with almond flour and no coconut.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Windy

                                            Update: only Arizmendi on 9th has the macaroons, and only this week.

                                            But Arizmendi on Valencia has my new favorite cookies: ricciarelli. They're a chewy merengue with almond flour and lavender. Not sure how long they'll keep making them. Does anyone else make ricciarelli?

                                            Arizmendi Bakery
                                            1331 9th Avenue, San Francisco, CA

                                            1268 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                            1. re: Windy

                                              Arizmendi/Oakland-Lakeshore Blvd. has the hot cross buns Sat/Sun only. But they're terrible - heavy, massive, lumps of dough. Frosting is plain white confectioner's sugar glaze, no citrus flavor. Absolutely not worth wasting time on.

                                            2. I got a "sort of cross bun" at Acme today; they don't have an icing cross, but one cut into the bread (pre baking). Really good, a good amount of candied fruit but not too much, nice tender dough with just enough sweetness. $1.70, I think.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. Here we are, Ash Wednesday 2012. That means hot cross bun season starts
                                                today. Any good ones out there already? I will likely start by revisiting
                                                some of my favorites from last year.
                                                Will post as I taste 'em.

                                                1. I have lovely memories as a child of being "sent" at the crack of dawn on Good Friday Morning to the corner bakery for a dozen Hot Cross Buns. They were available only on that day and sold out quickly. Furthermore, they gave you a "Baker's Dozen" so with a hop, skip and a jump I ate #13 on the way home. Nowadays in England, as here, they are available all season or even all year, and the jelly or icing crosses are suspect. The originals bore either an embedded pastry cross, or a kind of branding mark from iron crosses which were placed on during baking - the part covered by the cross would remain light and have a different texture. The buns were just a variation on the ones which were available every day of the year, with currants, dried fruit, and spices added.

                                                  Hot cross buns
                                                  Hot cross buns
                                                  Give them to your daughters
                                                  Give them to your sons
                                                  One a penny
                                                  Two a penny
                                                  Hot Cross Buns

                                                  1. In Santa Rosa, THE place to go is Michelle Marie's Patisserie in Montgomery Village. They are a little sweet, and full of raisins, sultanas and candied fruit. Best of all is the thick pastry cream cross piped on the buns before baking. They only have them during Lent, and are frequently sold out. Be sure to call ahead and reserve, especially if you want larger amounts.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: cheenab

                                                      I had a chance to stop by last weekend to try one from Michelle Marie's Patisserie. They're $2.75 each, but bigger than typical. In the case next to the cinnamon rolls, they look about the same dimensions and I suspect that the soft, moist dough is the same recipe. They have a very fine, sticky, clear sugar glaze over the top too. I prefer pastry cream crosses, so these suited me just fine.

                                                    2. Anyone tried them from Petaluma's Della Fattoria? I called last weekend and they said they would make them this week.

                                                      I had one from Taste of Denmark (formerly Neldam's) that was subpar. Hate that yellow-dyed pineapple goop.

                                                      New to me this year, the version from Healdsburg's Costeaux Bakery. Flattish in shape, almost like a Danish or kolache, and the buttery, tender pastry was similar to Danish too. Well-packed with citrus fruit and raisins but light on the cardamon. It had a thin custard or pastry cream cross and a drizzle of icing for good measure.

                                                      I continue to favor the hot cross bun from Healdsburg's Downtown Bakery even if it is iced and not adorned with a custard cross. Smaller in size but packed with an equivalent amount of fruit and just the right spicing for me. What I like is the idiosyncratic orange zest that adds an extra liveliness. Here's what Downtown's look like.