World’s Best Cinnamon Rolls

National Cinnamon Roll Day: Sweet Facts About Cinnamon Rolls

October 4th is National Cinnamon Roll Day. 

This sweet article will explain everything you need to know about this delicious pastry and national holiday!

Here is what you will learn in this article about National Cinnamon Roll Day:

  • National Cinnamon Roll Day Activities
  • The History of National Cinnamon Roll Day
  • National Cinnamon Roll Day activities
  • Cinnamon Roll PRO TIP
  • World’s Best Cinnamon Roll Announcement

Cinnamon was first introduced to Europe by traders around 500 BC. From that simple act of commerce, a new era of delicious pastry goodness was born!

Peaches & Cream Cinnamon Roll

Cinnamon rolls are a wonderful treat that taste downright delicious. However, many people don’t know much about the history of this sweet treat – or much about it in general.

That is why, for this National Cinnamon Roll Day, we are exploring the wild world of the simple cinnamon roll. We’re looking at cinnamon roll history, cinnamon roll facts, and some fun information about cinnamon rolls. Keep reading to discover fun facts, information, and fun activities for National Cinnamon Roll Day.

Cinnamon Roll History

The history of cinnamon rolls is essentially a history of cinnamon and the history of sweet rolls. Both of these have existed for hundreds and hundreds of years. However, it wasn’t until they met that the cinnamon roll was born.

History of Cinnamon

Cinnamon initially came from parts of southern Asia. Specifically, it was brought in from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. Some sources indicated that it initially came from China, but those actually referred to a different variety of the same spice.

At first, cinnamon was an extremely expensive spice. It was used by the rulers in Egypt as part of their funeral rights, even used for embalming mummies. In a similar way, it was used by the upper class in ancient Greece.

someone hand cutting fresh cinnamon rolls

Part of the reason cinnamon was so expensive at the time was that it came from so far away. Simply transporting any spice from Asia to Europe took a lot of time and energy.

However, the high price was also the result of profiteering merchants. Cinnamon merchants purposefully kept the source of cinnamon hidden from the people they sold to, thus ensuring they would have a monopoly on the lucrative good. Legends eventually grew about the mythical lands where cinnamon came from, with most legends being wild and outlandish.

During the Age of Exploration, the scramble for cheaper spices was in full swing. Eventually, the Dutch established trading ports in Sri Lanka and, thus, had access to massive amounts of cinnamon. Suddenly, the mysterious and elusive spice was more widely available.
Things only progressed further from this point onward. Additional points of trade were set up in India and other cinnamon-producing areas. Over time, cinnamon went from a luxury good to a far more common spice.

Recently we wrote an article about Makara Cinnamon. This unique cinnamon is used by the wildly popular Cinnabon franchise. Interested in learning more about Makara cinnamon or where to buy it? Click here!

Cinnamon Meets Sweet Rolls

Is Sweden the birthplace of cinnamon rolls? Keep reading to find out!

While cinnamon was still a luxury product, sweet rolls were a popular dessert across all of Europe. Each country and region had its own specialties, but each of these areas was home to some type of sweet roll.

two large cinnamon rolls on a plate with a napkin

During and after the Age of Exploration, cinnamon became more accessible to everyone. As this happened, bakers started to add it to their sweet bread. Through this simple addition, the cinnamon roll was born.

Sweden claims to be the first place where this happened. However, the tradition quickly spread across many different countries. Soon, cinnamon rolls became popular everywhere.

Cinnamon Rolls Around the World

The creation of cinnamon rolls didn’t stay in one place for long. This sweet treat has become a worldwide phenomenon.

Despite being available nearly everywhere, cinnamon rolls are not the same everywhere you go. In fact, there are big differences in the culture surrounding cinnamon rolls and the way in which they are made.

Our World’s Best Cinnamon Rolls team is currently working in Canada on a sweet project. In Canada, cinnamon rolls are referred to as cinnamon buns. But, the differences in rolls between Canada and the United States are in name alone.

Cinnamon Rolls in Sweden 

Cinnamon rolls are very important in the country of Sweden. In fact, National Cinnamon Roll day has its origins in that country.

In Sweden, taking a coffee break is an important part of the culture and is an important part of each day. In fact, the Swedish even have a word for their coffee breaks: Fika.

cinnamon buns

However, a Fika goes beyond a regular coffee break. A Fika involves drinking coffee and eating pastries while talking with friends or coworkers. The practice is so widespread and important that many homes and offices have a designated place for a Fika to take place.

It is through these Fikas that cinnamon rolls have carved their place in the culture. They are a popular treat during these times that go perfectly with a nice cup of coffee or tea. Because of the importance of Fikas, the importance of cinnamon rolls has risen.

In Sweden and its neighboring country of Finland, cinnamon rolls and their dough are called Kanelbulle. The cinnamon rolls are made in a large pan and made in a big batch together. As they heat up, all of the rolls expand into each other and end up sticking together in a way similar to monkey bread.

These rolls are also not as sweet as the American equivalents. Instead of being coated in icing, they are often simply topped with a light coating of powdered sugar. Plus, they are often served with vanilla custard.

American Cinnamon Rolls Are Different

In America, the recipe for cinnamon rolls first landed in Philadelphia. The tradition came directly from European immigrants, who brought their homemade cinnamon roll recipes into their new country. From there, the simple European cinnamon rolls took a turn in a pretty sweet direction.

knife under a fresh cinnamon roll on a plate

American cinnamon rolls are often covered in icing. This makes them different from most other countries, where they are typically covered in a thinner layer of glaze. This icing comes in many different styles, depending on the area or even on the baker.

In addition, many American cinnamon rolls go heavier on brown sugar than their counterparts elsewhere. Plus, they may include raisins, which are present in the cinnamon rolls of some countries but not all of them.

Chelsea Buns are Essentially British Cinnamon Rolls

If you visit the UK, you may not find cinnamon rolls listed on many menus. However, if you pass by bakers, you’ll undoubtedly see rows and rows of treats that look almost exactly like cinnamon rolls. These are Chelsea buns.

There are a few key differences between Chelsea buns and cinnamon rolls. For one, Chelsea buns are made from a wider range of spices. Instead of just including cinnamon, an entire spice mix is added to the dish.

In addition, they are often filled with dried fruits, such as cranberries, sultanas, and dried apricots. These are placed into the dough and provide some texture to the entire treat.

Cinnamon Rolls Today

The world of cinnamon rolls isn’t just a world of history and tradition. It is a constantly evolving landscape that changes with the times. In fact, there are new cinnamon roll advances being made every day.

dairy queen's cinnamon roll centers blizzard graphic

Our team has highlighted the following cinnamon roll related products that are perfect for celebrating National Cinnamon Roll Day at home or at the office:

Gourmet Cinnamon Rolls are on the Rise

One of the newest trends in the world of cinnamon rolls is the existence of gourmet cinnamon rolls. These are cinnamon rolls that push the rolls to their limits.

This happens through some wild and crazy recipes. However, the way these recipes take shape varies dramatically.

Sometimes, the dough is made differently. The dough of one cinnamon roll may mimic red velvet cakes, while another may have chocolate chips that make it taste like a chocolate chip cookie.

Other times, the cinnamon rolls are given intense toppings. Usually, these toppings help complement the sweet nature of the dish, like fruit spreads or ice cream. However, there are times when the toppings are way out there, such as a pizza cinnamon roll.

This is a constantly rising trend. Many different cities and towns have reported the opening of new and elaborate gourmet cinnamon roll restaurants and bakeries. There may even be one or more where you live! Simply search cinnamon roll near me in your hometown.

The Baker's Box at Cinnaholic in Houston

Cinnaholic Offers a Dozen Assorted Cinnamon Rolls. Our recommendation? Order an assortment and take them to the office for National Cinnamon Roll Day! Cinnamon Roll Day is on October 4th.

We’ve recently featured cinnamon roll bakeries in Houston, Calgary, Chicago, New York City, Denver, Omaha, and beyond. Cinnaholic, a national franchise, has the most interesting twist on the traditional cinnamon rolls. We recommend ordering a dozen for National Cinnamon Roll Day and taking them to the office! Trust us, you won’t be disappointed!

Cinnamon Roll Contests are Always Ongoing

Finding the perfect recipe for cinnamon rolls is a mission for many. This is why cinnamon roll contests are always ongoing. There are plenty of dedicated cinnamon roll lovers out there who will stop at nothing to taste the best creation ever.

There are plenty of different websites and publications where you can submit your own recipe. These are helpful if you make your own cinnamon rolls, as you are able to highlight your creativity. In this way, a truly innovative baker is able to make their mark.

However, these competitions aren’t just for advanced bakers. Amature bakers who simply want to try out new recipes are able to check out some of the past contest winners. This will let them pick from the best of the best when they try to make their own cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Roll Slang

Cinnamon rolls are so popular that they are now a slang term for someone. If you ever hear someone called a “cinnamon roll,” it means that that person is considered nice and kind.

Basically, calling someone a cinnamon roll is like calling them sweet. The term probably comes from the gooey-sweet quality of the treat.

Fun Facts About Cinnamon Rolls

While intense history and new advances are interesting to learn about, it wouldn’t be National Cinnamon Roll Day without learning a few fun facts. So, you can finish off this article with a few facts about cinnamon rolls that you probably didn’t know before. That way, you can show off your new cinnamon roll knowledge to everyone around you!

Cinnamon Has Health Benefits

When you think about healthy treats, cinnamon rolls don’t often come to mind. However, there are some unique health benefits presented by one of the treat’s key ingredients: cinnamon.

Cinnamon has antioxidant properties. In fact, its antioxidant properties have led to its being used in food preservation. In addition, there is evidence that cinnamon is anti-inflammatory.

Cinnamon may also be good for your blood. There is evidence that consuming cinnamon leads to a reduction in heart disease. As heart disease is one of the number one killers across the world, this is really good news!

However, don’t go overboard when it comes to eating cinnamon rolls. Typically, cinnamon rolls only contain a little cinnamon and contain a lot of unhealthy sugar. As with any food, make sure to enjoy it in moderation.

Grinding Your Own Cinnamon is Simple

Like most spices, cinnamon is usually sold as a ground powder. However, pre-ground spices are less fragrant, aromatic, and flavorful than their fresh alternatives. Grinding your own cinnamon will almost always produce a better-tasting product than relying on pre-ground cinnamon.

Luckily, grinding your own cinnamon is easy. All you have to do is buy fresh cinnamon sticks and pick a grinding method. Grinding it with a zester, crushing it with a mortar and pestle, or even blending the cinnamon are all viable options.

Grinding your own cinnamon has the added benefit of making your whole house smell like cinnamon. It is a great way to get you in the mood for baking some fresh cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Rolls are Easy to Make

woman from the omaha bakery next to a commercial oven with a pan of cinnamon rolls

Store-bought cinnamon roll mixes make cinnamon rolls extremely easy to make. All you have to do is pop the rolls out of a tin, set them on a try, and toss the tray in the oven. It really is that easy.

However, it is also relatively easy to make cinnamon rolls from scratch. They do not need to sit for as long as some other baked goods. So, making them isn’t as intense of a process as making other treats.

Plus, making cinnamon rolls from scratch means you aren’t limited by what is available at the store. You are even able to go about making the world’s best cinnamon rolls!

Celebrate National Cinnamon Roll Day

Businesses throughout America and beyond are planning their National Cinnamon Roll Day festivities. Cinnamon rolls are a unique treat with plenty of unique features.

However, the fact that they are so delicious makes them even easier to celebrate. October 4th is National Cinnamon Roll Day, so, on this day, you have even more of a reason to celebrate this treat than usual!

How Do You Celebrate?

Wondering how to celebrate National Cinnamon Roll day? Here are a few pro tips from our World’s Best Cinnamon Roll team!

two individually boxed cinnabon cinnamon rolls

  1. Start your day off at home with a Cinnamon Roll Coffee brew. 
  2.  Bring cinnamon rolls to the office. You can bake your own at home with one of our recipes or swing by the best cinnamon roll shop in your city. Still not sure? Just ask Siri, “best cinnamon rolls near me.”
  3. Bake a Cinnamon Toast Crunch cake and take it to work!
  4. Leave a note for a friend or loved one and be sure to call them a “cinnamon roll”!
  5. Bake if forward! Bake a batch of cinnamon rolls and give them to a local homeless shelter. 
  6. Buy Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Bun Spread and test it out on a wide variety of products at home with your family. Waffles, muffins, french toast, crackers, etc. are all fair game! 

If you’re interested in making your own cinnamon rolls for National Cinnamon Roll Day, make sure to check out some of the best cinnamon rolls recipes from World’s Best Cinnamon Rolls.

Remember sweetness multiplies when shared!

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