How Sweet It Is: Five Cinnamon Rolls to Try in Houston

The cinnamon roll, not to be confused with the sticky bun, is perhaps Sweden's greatest culinary gift to the United States. Home preparation is a challenge for even the most experienced baker, for the requisite double-rise can easily became a double-fall,  given the vagaries of yeast and humidity. If you're craving cinnamon rolls but don't want the burden of making some yourself, these five Houston bakeries and restaurants have the (baked) goods.

5. Sinfull Bakery. This cinnamon roll is perhaps the most massive in town and boasts the chewiest, densest dough of any roll we have tried. A fragrant cinnamon glaze interwoven in the center swirl complements the generous top coat of vanilla frosting.  What's even more impressive about this masterpiece? It's vegan, so that delicious glory is achieved without using butter, milk or eggs.

4. Three Brothers Bakery. A square-shaped cinnamon roll may be an oxymoron, but is nevertheless delicious, at least at Three Brothers Bakery, which offers versions with and without raisins.  The former is more fun as the plump, juicy bits of fruit speckling the interior dough provide a welcome textural contrast to the light, flaky exterior.  Purists will delight in the fact that icing is kept to a minimum.

3. Tiny's No. 5. Though best known for its ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies, Tiny's No. 5 also vends a  mean selection of brunch and breakfast pastries, including a (heavy on the) cinnamon roll. It's almost as rich as the chocolate chip cookie but far less cloying, which means you can nosh on both at brunch and have room for some eggs.
2. Rustika Cafe. With a layer of cream cheese frosting almost as thick as the roll itself, Rustika's cinnamon roll is definitely for icing aficionados and those seeking a sugar rush. However, the hefty amounts of cinnamon sprinkled throughout the dough prevent your blood sugar from significant spikes owing to this spicy bark's amazing health property.

1. Angela's Oven. There's a cute bun in Angela's Oven and we don't mean that euphemistically. This mom-and-pop bakery run by Jerry and Angela Shawn makes a plethora of noteworthy yeast confections such as cranberry walnut bread and jalapeƱo cheddar croissants. The cinnamon roll is barely dressed with frosting, which means the savory flavors of the buttery, flaky dough studded with raisins are front and center, making for a singular, delectable experience.

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Joanna O'Leary