Little Lato x Volare Hot Cross Bun Gelato

15 March 2024

There’s something so special about being in community with incredible local brands and artisans, and Little Lato is no exception. This Easter seems to be a season of collaborations for us, which we are just so grateful for. Here at Volare, we’re constantly looking for ways to project ourselves into our community as we believe it’s so important to make our customers (you guys) happy with new and yummy things to try! What better way to do it than by going hand in hand with some of our neighbours over at Made!

Little Lato is a small team, making everything themselves in a kitchen in Auckland. The gelato is made in small batches, with approximately 10L being produced at a time. Hannah, owner of Little Lato has been kind enough to give us a few insights into her career and how this incredible Hot Cross Bun Gelato came about.

Tell me a little bit about Little Lato’s career?

We have made more than 450 flavours to date and love collaborating with other local artisans, plus we have a wide range of creatively delicious vegan and gf options so everyone gets to enjoy!

How did you learn to make gelato?

I learnt the craft of gelato in Italy (at the Carpigiani Gelato University) and developed all recipes here from scratch using the principles I learnt in Italy.

What inspired this collaboration?

Here at Little 'Lato we love collaborating with other local NZ businesses! It is very much at the heart of Little 'Lato to develop creatively delicious gelato (and vegan gelato) and to work with other epic businesses around us. Since we have recently opened up a parlour in Hamilton, it is only fitting to work with some of the legends that are doing great stuff down here. I love what Volare are about, love the products, and love being neighbours in the Made complex!

What did the recipe design process look like?

We have been making hot Cross Bun gelato since we started in 2018, but we reckon it just keeps getting better and better! Over the years we have refined the process of adding bread to gelato without it becoming crumbly or gritty in texture, as well as have tweaked the balance of spices and citrus that is infused into the mix. For this particular collaboration with Volare it was an expansion of our previous recipes, making sure the balance of flavours is representative of the Volare Hot Cross Bun, including using the exact spice blend used in the buns! This was our very first time making a Hot Cross Bun gelato that was both gluten, nut and dairy-free however, collaborating with Lucy's Gluten Free. This did take a couple of trials, figuring out a good milk that we could used as the base! Our usual vegan range can contain anything from oat milk to coconut milk to rice milk to water as the base - in this case we went with rice milk, a gf option that doesn't add any extra allergens and doesn't taste like coconut! A couple of trials later and we think we got a winner.

What do customers think about this new flavour fusion?

Feedback has been great! People are wow-ed that the gelato can taste so much like a hot cross bun, while still having the silky smooth texture that makes Little 'Lato so delicious.

You've also collaborated with Lucy's Gluten Free, how do the two differ in flavour and texture? 

Both should taste very similar! Our goal is always to have dairy-free/gluten-free options that are as delicious as the dairy ones, with silky smooth texture and without strong notes of coconut or plant-based milk. The Lucy's one has slightly less orange zest infused into the gelato mix (as we didn't pick up as strong of a citrus note in the Lucy's buns). It will also feel a bit colder in the mouth to eat (as the fat content is lower). But other than that it should be similar!

Where/when are the limited editions available?

These are available at the two Little 'Lato flagship parlours in Hamilton East and Waipu now, until Easter. For those based in Auckland we are doing a limited run of 455ml tubs which can be picked up from our kitchen in Northcote.