According to a blog from Jetstar, Auckland restaurant Ima Cuisine has the best hot cross buns in the world. While the buns have long been a cult favourite around Auckland, and acknowledged by numerous publications as the best in Auckland, this is the first time that they have attracted international attention.

Ima Cuisine owner Yael Shochat doesn’t seem to think that there is any great secret to the buns, and freely shares the recipe and offers tips to customers who want to recreate them for themselves.

"It’s The ingredients we put in them, they are made by hand. That's what makes them so special. The fact that we don't sweeten them with sugar. We sweeten them with honey and we take very high-grade spices and grind them fresh. And the custard – the custard is what makes it."

The irony of the best hot cross buns is not lost in Shochat, an Israeli Jew. “At the beginning I’d have a bit of fun with it, because I’m Israeli, and Jewish, so I’d say ‘am I forgiven now?’”

Ima made 550 buns last year and sold them all.

"This year we will make 2500 for Thursday and it's amazing, you come here on Thursday morning and it's like a sea of hot cross buns.”