In the Bremen area in northern Germany, a “Hedwig” (lower Saxon: heet week) was an ancient Shrove Tuesday meal. On Shrove Tuesday, the top of a Hedwig was cut off and the Hedwig was filled with a tablespoon of hot butter and cinnamon-powder. The top was put back again and the Hedwig was served in a soup plate filled with hot milk or cream. Lastly, a tablespoon of cinnamon-sugar was mulled over the Hedwig, then eaten with a tablespoon. Today, a Hedwig is the sweet part of a Sunday breakfast in northern Germany.

In Frisia, the northern part of the Netherlands, there are “Hite wigge”. They are very close to the original hot cross bun and Bremen’s Hedwig. The Netherlands also has “krentenbollen”, which are similar but do not have the cross on top.