The Dilemma of Hot Cross Buns

Holy week tends to provoke deep theological insights for us Catholics, and in this day and age the Internet provides us like never before with heaps of opportunity for spiritual formation  and new undertsandings of this most Holy of seasons.  My addition to the deep-thinking mix this week…

…should we eat Hot Cross buns prior to Good Friday, or not? 

this is an issue that splits our house to be honest. Some in our family (who shall remain nameless) feel strongly that hot cross buns should not be eaten until after the Good Friday service. Others with less self control eat them as soon as Countdown put them on sale (usually just after the Boxing Day sales have finished). Others wish they could eat them all year round, because they taste so good (except those ones with chocolate in them. Chocolate does not belong in a hot cross bun). 

Do you have any traditions around hot cross buns? any particuar rituals, beliefs, opinions on these tasty treats? And for the more creative – share a recipe for them in the comments section also! 

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    Comments: 12

    1. sienna April 17, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      I draw the line at eating hot cross buns in January but admit to the odd one or two during Lent

    2. John Whyte April 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm


      You have hit on one of the reasons I dislike being catholic.  When protestant Good Friday was the day to gorge oneself on fresh hot cross buns.  (Made in the morning by my mother).  

      However it doesn't sit well with the whole fasting thing I'm now expected to do as a Catholic.  I think eating them during lent is cheating, but Easter Saturday seems too late :(  

    3. banter April 17, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      Well when I was young my mother always use to wrap hot cross buns in tinfoil and warm them in the oven on Good Friday.  I thought this was just the Catholic thing to do and so now I do it too. Except my husband, who was brought up Protestant, finds this a very strange ritual, especially my insistence upon eating them only on Good Friday and only if warmed in the oven first.

    4. Teresina April 17, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      I know many people eat hot cross buns from the time they hit the shelves but I was surprised to hear that some do eat hot cross buns on Good Friday as I saw in one of the parish newsletter because Good Friday is a fast and abstinence day, the most solemn day in all of Lent.  I usually eat them after the Easter Vigil and on Easter Sunday.  I think I may have succumbed to temptation and eaten them once or twice before Easter but they never taste as good as they do on unless consumed on Easter Sunday – that's my take on it anyway – pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and hot cross buns Easter Sunday. 

    5. John Jensen April 18, 2014 at 11:32 am

      I never much liked hot cross buns so never had a problem :-)


    6. Dominican April 18, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      Hot Cross buns only on Good Friday and all the non- catholic kids eating their Easter eggs to cope with too.  And they still seemed to have a supply on Easter Sunday as well!!


    7. Rubyshine April 18, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      At the risk of having a rant about society, I have a strong philosophical stance on this. I grew up with hot cross buns on Easter Sunday. I feel really strongly about sticking to traditions like this because I hate how available everything has become.

      We can get strawberries in the middle of winter, mince tarts in April, Easter eggs in December, and it's like nothing is special, nothing is valued and we just have things whenever we want with no appreciation. The immediacy of our culture and how it is affecting our young people bothers me.

      As a parent I want to instill discipline and appreciation in my children. I also want to build childhood memories that can be sparked by the taste or smell of something. So my little counter-culture stand is to wait for things and appreciate them "seasonally." It's also part of why I garden with my children.

      I'm not upset about people eating them through lent, although I don't personally.

    8. Teresina April 18, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      I agree, Rubyshine, and I think it's great that you garden with your children because gardens may well disappear as sections get smaller and everything is concreted in.  St Vincent de Paul here have a garden that people can go along and cultivate – it provides fresh vegetables for the food bank.  

    9. Rubyshine April 20, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      Teresina, I've been having some angst lately over how to teach my children to love God. When I see them in the garden enjoying the last of the raspberries and marvelling over the caterpillars and their coccoons it occurs to me that I don't need to, that they already have that love naturally within them.

      I might need to give them language for it, and help guide them, but really the real work is already done.

    10. Von Balthebrand April 20, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Interesting post Boanerges. In my family we never had hot cross buns until after the Easter Vigil, and then again on the Sunday of course. My wife's family on the other hand had the custom that on Good Friday they only have a small number of hot cross buns to eat throughout the day, and nothing much else. I'm still not convinced by this approach though as viewing them as one of the Easter treats is fairly well ingrained.

    11. Teresina April 21, 2014 at 9:34 am

      Rubyshine, that's lovely and telling them now and then, which I'm sure you do anyway, that God made all those beautiful things will cement the love of God in their hearts as they grow!

    12. Teresina April 21, 2014 at 9:36 am

      Yes, VB well ingrained Easter treat for me too.