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In search of the best Cinnamon Roll in Austin

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Cinnamon Rolls are my weakness. There are different styles of cinnamon rolls (flaky croissant style such as Upper Crust and Russels vs. the yeast-y creamy frosting type from Central Market). I love them ALL, but today i'm thinking about the yeast-y dough-y kind with plenty of cinnamon spread rolled in, and frosting, preferably with raisins. My absolute favorite in that category is The Kolache Shoppe on Burnett Road... they are delicious! But i'm looking for a backup and always excited to try a new cinnamon roll :) Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. It's not a traditional roll but Upper Crust bakery has a good one. Had an equally good but more traditional roll at Texas French Bread.

    1. Not quite a cinnamon roll, but close enough... Barrie Cullinan's "AM Buns" will make you lose your mind. Still sugary, but less gooey, more buttery. Hopefully she'll get that brick & mortar location open soon, wherever it will be.

      1. Swedish Hill Bakery has the best flaky croissant style ones! (or so what my taste buds think).

        1. Thanks for the sugguestions so far! Where can i find these Barrie Cullinan's "AM rolls"? Are they available anywhere besides the farmers' market on the weekends?

          I'll try Texas French Bread tomorrow morning. I hadn't thought of trying that place.

          Thanks again.

          1 Reply
          1. re: maripepa

            I always used to get them at Enoteca, but they no longer serve breakfast. I'm not sure if they're available anywhere now, although I know she does make batches of them to order. Her site's www.barriebaking.com if you want to ask.

            Like I mentioned about the brick and mortar location earlier though, I think it's coming very soon.

          2. While you are searching buy a loaf of Greenlee's cinnamon bread at Whole Foods downtown, it's in the bread section in the back. You may forget about your cinammon roll search. Toast and butter it and kick back.

            1. a co-worker brought in some from upper crust, and they were realllllly good.
              very traditional style.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dinaofdoom

                Love the cinnamon rolls at Upper Crust. Very very good!

              2. Ahhh... the ubiquitous cinnamon roll..... :-)

                Where to even begin with all my cinnamon roll stories.... haha. When I first moved here, some 7 years ago now, I became obsessed with the Upper Crust cinnamon roll and had spent a few years touring our fair city in search of other cinnamon rolls. It's been a few years since then, and we have a lot more bakeries then we used to so you are reminding me that I need to take up that quest again....:) Anyways, here is what I found -

                There are two types of Cinnamon....things... - Rolls and Buns. It's an arbitrary designation, but it helps to separate the types.
                - Buns are yeast based, and more bread like
                - Rolls are the pastry style, using either a croissant or danish dough

                For the Bun Style - It's been a while, but Swedish Hill and Cinnamons (off of 35 and 2222 roughly) were my fav’s. Swedish Hill has the more lower profile style that we are all used to versus Cinnamons that has the Cinnabon style. Either way, to me, they are basically the same since they use a bready yeast dough. Just variations on the shape and how much "rise" they went with and what your in the mood for - sweet bread, or icing bread. For actual Cinnamon-raisin bread loaves, though, Sluy's Bakery, Poulsbo, WA. Accept No substitute.

                For the Roll style, there are three places to get it - Quacks, Russell’s, and Upper Crust. If it's the pastry Roll style, it came from one of those three. I like Quacks because they have a little icing on theirs, but it’s the least flaky of the three. You can find them at Thunderbird Coffee besides Quacks (amongst a bunch of other coffee shops around town). Russell’s is just a gut bomb. They have the best coffee of the three I think, but, man, their rolls are just too big and *never* seem to get cooked in the middle, so when I’m done, I totally need a nap. Seriously. Russell’s Cinnamon Roll = Day Over. Tasty (I am a slut for cinnamon after all), but… zzzzzzzz. Upper Crust on the other hand, perfect balance. Crusty, flaky, and light (and cooked for gods sake..... ). Had one of the rolls, though, every Sunday for something like three years. Good stuff maynard. Even went so far as to try and figure out how to make them (before I knew they used Danish Dough) and ended up with more uneaten "Buns" then I care to count. Sometime later, I figured out it was Danish dough, tried to make it, but man, what a total mess my kitchen was from all the butter. Since I hadn’t made any Danish style dough before, I had no idea what looked right or not, so it was only after the fact that I figured the recipe I was using was totally out of scale (called for something like 4lbs of butter). Anyways, still haven’t found a good Danish dough recipe that I can use…..:(

                2 Replies
                1. re: richardd_x

                  I don't think Upper Crust's is traditional. It's crunchy and kind of spikey. It's good, don't get me wrong, but I know if I show it to non-hounds you might get a few raised brows.

                  1. re: richardd_x

                    I agree that Russell's and Upper Crust are the best. I haven't tried Quack's, but I'll be sure to in the near future. Russell's is heavy, but it's a true indulgence, and must indulgences are. I also love the fact that the interior is slightly undercooked. To me, that's the way a cinnamon roll should be.

                    Glad to hear it's danish dough. If you find a good recipe please post it.