Holiday Favorites

12 Days of Christmas Desserts: Cinnamon Rolls

Keep the Holiday Spirit Rollin’, With Cinnamon Rolls!

There’s nothing better than waking up on a cold winter morning to the smell of something delicious coming out of the oven.  Day 5 of our 12 Days of Christmas dessert ideas is all about America’s favorite breakfast pastry:  Cinnamon rolls!

Cinnamon rolls are created by rolling out a sheet of dough that is spread with a butter, sugar and cinnamon filling, then rolled, cut and baked.  Once it emerges from the oven, it’s topped with sweet icing or a glaze to make one irresistible treat.

Cinnamon, the inner bark of the cinnamon tree, dates back to 2,000 B.C., where it was imported from Egypt to China.  It was so highly prized that it was seen as gift fit for monarchs and the wealthy elite; during that time, and for a long time after that, not just anyone could get their hands on this spice.  In ancient times, it was used to treat colds and nausea.  Today, some studies on the health benefits of cinnamon show that it regulates blood sugar, smelling cinnamons stimulates brain activity, it is a natural food preservative, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory.  Yes, we’re saying cinnamon rolls are good for you!


Two dozen Cinnamon Rolls from Bakery on Terrace

Cinnamon rolls were first baked in Sweden where they are called kanelbulle, which literally means “cinnamon bun”.  Swedish bakeries starting creating cinnamon rolls after World War I, but they didn’t become popular until the 1950’s when Sweden’s economy was booming and households could now afford expensive spices like cinnamon.  Sweden continued its tradition as the founders of cinnamon rolls by making October 4 “kanelbullens dag”, or Cinnamon Roll Day, since this pastry was thought to be the best symbol of Swedish home baking.  Swedish kanelbulle dough typically contains cardamom (powder or buds), giving it a distinctive flavor.  Cinnamon rolls are also a staple diet of the Swedish ‘fika’ tradition.  While the British have their teatime, in Sweden people stop what they’re doing to have a ‘fika’ at least once a day.  This tradition designates a moment to savor a cup of coffee and eat something sweet (like a cinnamon roll), and it is factored into everyone’s daily schedules no matter where they are or what they’re doing.

In North America, cinnamon rolls are an integral part of breakfast, but are also enjoyed as a dessert! Philadelphia-style cinnamon rolls date back to the 18th century.  This style cinnamon roll contains honey, sugar, cinnamon and raisins.  Although they are popular all over America, they are often associated with Philadelphia where coffee shop counter lined with sticky buns is still common.

So, warm up your chilly winter days with some fresh cinnamon rolls to make the holidays just a little bit sweeter!  To make cinnamon rolls from scratch, this recipe will do the trick!

If you’re a fan of cinnamon rolls, but looking to try something a little different, try these recipes for Molten Cinnamon Rolls, Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie, or Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake.


Find Cinnamon Rolls at one of these WBA member bakeries:

Blue Boy Bakery
109 N. Madison Street
Lancaster, WI 53813
Phone: (608) 723-3330

The SweetSpot Bakehouse
1185 W Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190
Phone: (262) 473-5080

Bakery on Terrace
N1799 Terrace Dr.
Greenville, WI 54942
Phone: (920) 470-4053

The Mixing Bowl Bakery
525 Water Street
Sauk City, WI 53578
Phone: (608) 370-PIES (7437)

For a complete list of WBA Member Bakeries, click here.


More Christmas dessert ideas:

First Day of Christmas:  Yule Log
Second Day of Christmas:  Gingerbread House
Third Day of Christmas: Classic Sugar Cookies
Fourth Day of Christmas:  Peppermint Bark