Open for only two months, Cinnaholic—a bakery specializing in gourmet vegan cinnamon rolls—is already a haven for food connoisseurs, non-animal-product eating and omnivore alike.
Cinnaholic is certainly a surprise. Although it looks like a traditional bakery from the street, its interior décor is classic 50’s diner meets tattoo parlor, pin-up girl meets rock and roll. Black and white tiles make up the floor while Misfits posters adorn the walls. Kat Von D would eat here, but so would the ever-classy Tim Gunn.
The bakery’s décor makes a statement, but is rather simple. All of the elaborate details—the textures, the color—are saved for the store’s sweet confections. In addition to specialty rolls (pre-designed cinnamon rolls, like S’more or Oreo Cookie Explosion), customers can choose from 26 different frosting flavors and 30 types of toppings. The possibilities here are endless.
After a careful and splendid two-day gourmet investigation, I have come to a very important conclusion: Cinnaholic’s cinnamon rolls can be summed up in three words— pure, gooey joy.
- Key lime frosting with shredded coconut, blueberries, and strawberries
- “Old Skool” roll (the traditional, eat-with-your-Saturday-morning-cartoons favorite, except vegan)
- Vegan Brownie (one of the few other confections Cinnaholic creates)
The key lime frosted roll was beautiful to look at but its true worth was in its taste.
Next came the Old Skool roll, and this classic creation was comparatively sweeter and richer. Doughy and drenched in a pool of frosting, this roll looked beautiful sitting in its compostable box. The taste between this delicatessen and the less-animal-friendly traditional roll is indistinguishable.
With gourmet cinnamon rolls to compete with, I had high expectations for the brownie. The chocolate square had a moist body and a layer of crunchy chocolate on top that crumbled beautifully when bitten into. Although it was tasty, the brownie could not stand up to its more decadent competitors.
Winner for Round 1: The key lime frosted confection
- Maple frosting with pomegranate and banana
- S’more specialty roll (traditional frosting with chocolate chips and syrup, graham crackers, and marshmallows)
- Mint frosting with chocolate chips and syrup, graham crackers
The maple frosting came highly recommended from both employees and customers, thus it was an essential for day two. Combined with the pomegranate and banana, this creation tasted like a pancake or a maple scone. The maple and banana flavors were strong. However, with the flavors being so robust, the essence of the pomegranate got lost somewhere between the two. The dough was warm and heavenly and was one of the core elements of this dish that made it successful.
The S’more specialty roll lived up to the campfire dessert it emblematized. The textures blended well together, a cohesive combination of gooey, soft, and crunchy, and the dish itself was very sweet and very rich.
My personal favorite of the second round, however, was the delicatessen with the mint frosting. This roll went through a flavor evolution. The initial pop of the mint frosting made the roll taste like a piece of Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum but, as my taste buds discovered the different components, the roll took on the taste of mint chocolate ice cream with graham crackers captured in the body of a gooey, warm wonder-thing. (As you can tell, gooey is the operative word in this review).
I thought the mint frosting would be green. According to O’Neill, the frosting is not colored because only the raw extract of the actual product is put into the frosting.
Getting such sweet creations may seem like an indulgence, but the baked goods Cinnaholic puts on the table are healthy and refreshing. In the guise of warm dough and seductively melted frosting is a real heart-friendly treat. And even after ingesting my fair share of three cinnamon rolls, I did not feel overly full or gluttonous. Rather, I felt satisfied.
Cinnaholic is located at 2132 Oxford Street and is open from 8:00am-7:00pm Monday through Friday and from 9:00am-7:00pm Saturday and Sunday. Learn more about this cinnamon-y haven on their website.