I have walked past Rollers Cafe hundreds (possibly thousands) of times without even giving them a first glance, let alone a second. They are opportunely located at the entrance to the Arndale shopping centre in the heart of Manchester and are always offering up samples of their freshly made cinnamon buns to passing shoppers. Yet not even free samples were enough to tempt me.
I assumed that Rollers would be one of those crappy bakeries where people go as a last resort, when on a rush to get to work, or while waiting to catch a train, for example.
After four years living in Manchester, I have finally ventures through its doors. Rollers has generated so much hype and had several rave reviews, such as one by Manchester Confidential, that I couldn’t put it off any longer. I actually got quite excited – Rollers must be doing something right to have earned such popularity.
Unfortunately, my excitement was rather quickly doused. I’m sorry to say that I think that my first impression of Rollers was right. Yes, the cinnamon buns are freshly baked throughout the day and kept lovely and warm, but for me, thats where the praise ends.
For me, a cinnamon roll required three perfect elements: a soft, light brioche-style bread, a sticky cinnamon filling and smooth, sugary and slightly tangy cream cheese icing.
Rollers Cafe’s cinnamon rolls were doughy and almost elastic in texture and the cinnamon flavour was very mild. As for the frosting, it didn’t resemble any cream cheese frosting I have ever had; no hint of that gorgeous tang that balances out the sweetness, or that slight sugary skin that forms on top. Rollers frosting was packed with butter; if fact, I could taste nothing else. Far too sickly, especially when warm.
All in all, I was hugely let down.
Starbucks don’t fair much better. Their buns do have a more ‘bready’ texture, however, they are rather dense and sometimes stale; having been sat out all day. The flavour is greatly superior however; a nice, sticky cinnamon filling and the frosting is spot-on, given a twist of lemon to balance out the sweetness and boost the flavour of the cinnamon.
I shall continue my search for the perfect cinnamon bun – I am beginning to think that a trip to gran’s house is probably my best bet! If anyone can suggest a great place for cinnamon buns in the UK, please comment below!
33 Brown Court
Manchester Arndale Shopping Centre
Open 09:00-20:00 (Mon-Fri), 09:00-19:00 (Sat), 11:30-17:30 (Sun)