The Special Cinnamon Used In Cinnabon's Famous Rolls

There can be no discussion about Cinnabon's cinnamon rolls without addressing its tantalizing scent, which Bon Appetit describes as a union of browned butter, caramelized brown sugar, bread, and warm cinnamon. Cinnabon is well aware of the power the aroma of cinnamon has over its fans, and has designed its stores so it is able to ensnare clients that way. Ovens are positioned near the storefront so the aroma of baking sugar and cinnamon can weave its magic over passers-by every time its door is opened. Cinnamon rolls may be made every half an hour, but staff heat up baking sheets layered with brown sugar and cinnamon as a pick-me-up spritz between batches, in case the scent is neither as powerful nor as alluring as it should be (via Mental Floss).

At the core of Eau de Cinnabon is its cinnamon, which was specially selected over three decades ago when the company was trying to decide which spice was best fit to become its signature. Bon Appetit says the company tested cinnamon from every spice-growing region on the planet to find the one that would make their cinnamon rolls memorable. And the search would not have been easy.

Cinnabon's proprietary cinnamon blend is called Makara

What most people consider to be "true" cinnamon comes from Cinnamomum verum, which is a type of laurel tree that is grown in Sri Lanka; while cassia cinnamon, used by Cinnabon in their mixture, is grown in Indonesia, China, Vietnam, and Myanmar (via Smithsonian Magazine). Farm workers harvest cinnamon by scoring and peeling bark from trees, then scraping off its outer layers to uncover the distinctive inner bark which we recognize as the reddish-hued spice. Large pieces are usually ground into powdered spice, while twigs are fashioned into the curled sticks which we see in kitchens and seasonal spice mixes.

We can only guess how many different types of these cinnamons Cinnabon's testers had to go through before selecting the Indonesian cinnamon grown in the Korintjie region of West Sumatra, which yields a more aromatic and flavorful spice. To ensure that the cinnamon is as fresh as possible before it is used, Bon Appetit says Cinnabon doesn't grind the bark until it arrives- and to flavor all of their 880-calorie buns, Cinnabon needs 240,300 pounds of spice every year. Whatever doesn't get baked into a Cinnabon cinnamon roll gets bottled and sold as "Makara" cinnamon, which is available for purchase for fans who just can't get enough of the magical scent.