1. Wild Wheat
114 Picton St, Howick, ph (09) 535 9262; 811 Mt Eden Rd, ph (09) 631 7012; 1/69 Lake Rd, Belmont, ph (09) 446 1091; 166 Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna, ph (09) 489 8248.
Artisan baker Andrew Fearnside prepares his own candied peels, soaking the fruit and spices together in a vanilla, hot water and orange juice concoction to keep the buns moist, and glazing with a candied fruit sugar syrup. Not surprising, he was the North Island grand winner of the 2010 hot cross bun championships.
21 Halsey St, ph (09) 309 5338.
As well as keeping customers happy at its park-side bakery, Paneton supplies thousands of buns to Auckland's favourite cafes. For over 25 years, Paneton has made its buns by hand with no additives or preservatives and a secret blend of spices and fruits.
3. Grains Bakery
45 May Rd, Mt Roskill, ph (09) 620 9189.
Known around the trade for their mixed peel, cinnamon and sultana combination, the Grains guys have been nominated for the Champion flour competition, with successive owners passing on their secret recipe.
4. Eurobake cafe and patisserie
357 Albany Hwy, ph (09) 448 1948.
Hot cross bun competition winners in 2007, 2008 and 2009, Eurobake makes a secret spice mix of six or seven spices, plus sultanas, currants and mixed peel. Quantities are limited, so be in quick.