As soon as I saw there was a Cinnabon in London – one of only four shops in this country, as it happens – I knew I would have to give it a whirl. It makes sense, after all: I love cinnamon, I love a good bun, and word on the street was that these were the gooiest guys in town.I’ll be honest, Ogglers. I entered the shop preparing to be let down. In my time as a cinnamon bun connoisseur (i.e. every day of my life so far) I have only had two cinnamon/chelsea buns that truly did it for me. The first was made by my grandmother, served hot out of the oven. The second was from a bakery in Salcombe, and was so delicious I ate two in rapid succession. Even the famous Fitzbillies wasn’t quite up to scratch, and I feared Cinnabon would be similarly disappointing.
How wrong I was.
Since I started this blog in December last year, I’ve lost track of the times I’ve been asked to name my favourite cake or pudding. Until this moment, I ummed and aahed (so many puddings! Too many to count!) then finally settled on Granny Hog’s trifle.
But now there’s another contender.
Frankly, it pains me to say it. But as much as I want to support local businesses – as much as I love our wonderful British-made food – this time the Yanks have won it fair and square. There’s no point trying to fight it. I’ll say it loud and proud: I LOVE CINNABON.
Yes, Ogglers. I know. In this Great British time of Cream Teas and Jubilees, this admission is probably treasonable. But I can’t help it! The Cinnabon cinnamon bun is myideal -the bun I always hoped to have but never got.
It ticked all of my boxes:
- Warm? Check.
- Cinnamony? To the max.
- Soft? As a baby’s bottom.
- Buttery? Dripping.
- Gooey? So much that it squelched in my teeth.
To add a bit of textural variety, there was even a sugary crust on the bottom. Truly marvellous. Truly.
I suppose I ought not to have been surprised. So many chains (particularly those from America) spend a great deal of time perfecting foods with ‘maximum palatability.’ With just the right texture and plenty of sugar, the most successful products are designed to go down smoothly and quickly, allowing you to eat more calories than you would in an average meal – and leave you wanting more (as this somewhat depressing Guardian article states).
Indeed, more than any other product I’ve tried, Cinnabon has this down to a super-fine art. The dough puts up almost no resistance, and combined with all that lubricating icing and butter, just about slides down the gullet. All 880 calories had gone in a couple of minutes. That’s nearly half my daily allowance. Probably best I didn’t know it at the time (only now, on the US website, have I been so dreadfully enlightened).
No. Let’s move on and think about the bun I ate straight afterwards (told you this stuff was addictive). Buoyed up by the supremacy of the Classic Cinnabon (and unaware of how many calories had just disappeared into our systems), we moved on to the Chocobon – the chocolatey version, in case you had any doubt.
Here, to my surprise, the magic faltered. Turns out that softness and gooiness aren’t all you need for the bestest bun. Without the cinnamon – and with the cheapest, nastiest ‘chocolate’ sauce in its place – Cinnabon almost lost its crown in an instant.
Until I looked back at the counter, that is.
All those juicy coils of bun – with caramel pecan still to try (only 1,080 calories, folks!).
I know it’s bad but I can’t resist. This Hog is caught, hook, line and sinker.