Contrary To Its Industry-Defining Taste, Cinnabon Didn't Invent Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnabon has been a major player in the cinnamon bun world since the company opened its first bakery in Washington state in 1985. The founders, a father and son team, tried hundreds of recipes before settling on the perfect mix of ingredients to create the ideal Cinnabon. They use cinnamon sourced from Indonesian cassia trees and a sweet, gooey frosting unique to the brand. Today, Cinnabon boasts stores in more than 50 countries around the world.

But despite the fact that Cinnabon has changed the cinnamon roll fast food industry with its one-of-a-kind recipes, the company did not, in fact, invent cinnamon rolls, or even cinnamon buns, for that matter.

The actual history and origin of the cinnamon roll has European roots. Modern cinnamon rolls are immensely popular in countries like Sweden and Germany, and people from those areas brought their recipes over to the states when settling in the 1600s. Before that, it was the Dutch who discovered cinnamon on the island of Sri Lanka and began importing the spice to Europe to be used in a variety of recipes, including those for cinnamon rolls and buns.

Cinnamon rolls continue to be popular around the world

So, what makes a cinnamon roll a roll and a cinnamon bun a bun? Technically, the difference between the two treats lies in the fact that cinnamon buns often contain nuts or raisins, while cinnamon rolls do not, but the two terms are often used interchangeably .

Today, in Sweden, the treats continue to be very popular — the country has celebrated Cinnamon Bun Day every October 4 since 1999. As this holiday implies, they are mostly called cinnamon buns and are traditionally enjoyed at a time of day the Swedes call "fika," which is similar to a long, leisurely coffee break. The world's largest cinnamon bun is called the "Haga bun" and hails from the Haga district of the city of Gothenburg, Sweden. Here in the U.S., cinnamon rolls are especially enjoyed on National Cinnamon Roll Day , which falls on October 4, just like in Sweden.

While Cinnabon may have revolutionized cinnamon rolls, the pastry has a long history of being enjoyed by many cultures and we doubt this sweet, comforting creation will be disappearing anytime soon.