The History of the Cinnamon Roll

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 2.27.28 PMIn 2010, the average Swede ate the equivalent of 316 cinnamon buns, according to the Swedish Board of Agriculture and Statistics. In total, that is 316,949,789 pounds of cinnamon buns consumed by the citizens of Sweden!

Cinnamon rolls – or buns – are a staple of the quintessential American pastry shop. It seems as though you can walk into almost any bakery, any day of the week, and find the warm pastries oozing with icing. But when was the first one baked?

Kanelbullar - cinnamon bun in Swedish – are predicted to have originated from Sweden. Cinnamon came from Sri Lanka over 2,000 years ago, and the Romans became responsible for the spreading of the spice, using it to accent incense and wine.

Around the mid-1700’s, Northern European bakers began mastering super-rich, butter-infused yeast doughs. The French shaped them into buns, followed by the Dutch frying them in oil. Around this time, the British invented the Chelsea bun, a type of currant bun; all while the Germans developed the schnecken, a bun rolled with sugar and currants. These buns laid the groundwork for the Swedish to add cinnamon creating the very first cinnamon rolls.

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October 4 is known as International Cinnamon Roll Day, or kanelbullens dag. The holiday was invented in 1999 by the Swedish Home Baking Council (Hembakningsrådet), to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Since then, cinnamon rolls have spread throughout the world, changing in diameter depending on where they travel. One of the largest cinnamon rolls can be found in Haga, an area of Gothenburg, Sweden. Called hagabullar - meaning Queen of the Kitchen – they are usually 12 inches in diameter or more.

Cinnamon buns are often enjoyed during fika, a Swedish word for taking a pause in your day to sit down with people and share pastries and coffee (our Pastry Angel Lesley loves to fika).

Eating a cinnamon roll is similar to a romance, as the oozing icing courts the sweet cinnamon dough, creating a marriage of sweetness that leaves one swooning over the goodness of it all. At Goldenrod, our cinnamon rolls are vegan, making them available for people of many diets to enjoy – make sure you stop by at pick one up very soon!

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