14 Store-Bought Cinnamon Roll Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

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Cinnamon buns, or kanelbulle, were invented in Sweden in the 1920s after several hundreds of years of European tinkering with sweet, yeasty dough and spices. These original Swedish buns were made with cardamom-infused dough, which made them more savory than the version of cinnamon rolls that crossed over the ocean to America. Today, we like our American cinnamon rolls stuffed with butter, sugar, and a healthy heap of cinnamon-sugar mixture swirled into a perfect curlicue on top.

Many brands have stepped up to the plate to try to create the perfect cinnamon roll. The rolls on this list are being judged by price, ease of preparation, texture, and, of course, taste — we selected them for their attention to the proper proportion of bread to cinnamon to sugary icing. A good cinnamon roll should feel like a fairytale: it should bake quickly and easily, and feel like biting into a cloud. As for what makes for a bad cinnamon roll ... you'll just have to read on to find out.

14. Pillsbury Grands Pumpkin Spice Rolls

It's like clockwork at this point: when August ends and September begins, our nation's annual pumpkin spice discourse returns. If you belong to what Pillsbury calls "Team Pumpkin Spice," that likely means you rush to your nearest Starbucks and wait in long lines to satisfy your craving; if you're a killjoy, that's when your groaning commences.

All of this hoopla clearly led to the creation of Pillsbury Grands Pumpkin Spice Rolls, a product that aims to take advantage of the frantic fall zeitgeist. These limited-edition rolls feature a filling that is vaguely pumpkin-spice-inspired and pumpkin-spice-flavored frosting.

Unfortunately for people on both sides of the divide, no matter what you think about pumpkin spice, these cinnamon rolls manage to disappoint. Their flavor isn't distinguishably pumpkin-y, and Pillsbury's frosting, which by many accounts is what makes it so popular as a brand, is ruined by the pumpkin spice flavoring. The end result is a super-sweet product that lacks the offsetting cinnamon necessary to make it palatable. Without a doubt, these rolls have lost this competition—after all, they're not only dissatisfying, but they're also barely even cinnamon rolls.

13. Trader Joe's Organic Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls

Trader Joe's Organic Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls come in packs of five with a side of vanilla icing. Secretly, these buns are trying to be healthy. Trader Joe's originally sold cinnamon rolls made from lesser-quality ingredients, and then swapped recipes in 2022 to make this product 100% organic, according to Trend Hunter. That means that the buns are now made with organic wheat flour, organic cinnamon, organic cane sugar, and even organic baking powder (oh my!).

These buns are surprisingly cheap, like the rest of Trader Joe's merchandise, at only $4.99 per can; these rolls may be jumbo, but they're certainly still affordable. Despite this perk, TJ's cinnamon rolls still fail to bring down the house. Swapping out all the ingredients for organic didn't fix the taste of these cinnamon rolls. Once cooked, you'll find them strangely lacking: The dough is largely dry and flavorless when cooked, and the icing doesn't hit the right notes. If you buy this product wanting to have a classic cinnamon bun, you'll be woefully underwhelmed because the flavors are off.

12. Entenmann's Cinnamon Swirl Buns

Entenmann's is one of the oldest cinnamon bun purveyors out there. Founded in 1898 by a young German immigrant named William Entenmann in Brooklyn, New York, this company saw steady growth over the course of the past century and became a household name long before its hundredth birthday. Today, the Entenmann's brand is carried in most generic grocery stores.

With that much history behind them, it's no surprise that Entenmann's Cinnamon Swirl Buns are a thing of beauty to behold. With Entenmann's, you can get eight large buns for just under $10. They're ready-made, so you don't have to bother with the oven and can just plop them in the microwave for a few seconds. Aesthetically, they're everything you'd expect from a successful cinnamon roll: thick, fluffy walls, generous frosting, and a great cinnamon ratio.

Overall, this is a dependable bun in terms of taste. It's usually well-spiced but very thick — and a little cloying. This cinnamon roll is also docked points for how it reheats — often, it tends to dissolve into goo when you put it in the microwave — and for the fact that while eating it, it feels like you're just consuming straight-up preservatives.

11. Sister Schubert's

Sister Schubert's is a brand with cutesy Southern origins: Patricia Schubert's little sister couldn't pronounce her name, so she was called "sister," and decided to adopt the name permanently when she started selling rolls made with her grandmother's recipe. Sister Schubert's first rose to fame in Alabama for signature pull-apart rolls and later began making cinnamon rolls.

Recently, Sister Schubert's Cinnamon Rolls modified the recipe to make bigger rolls, which the company claims have 50% more cinnamon. These rolls require zero prep aside from thawing since they come in an oven-safe pan; however, most customers agree that the quality of the buns has fallen since the recipe changed. The addition of more cinnamon seems not to have fixed the blandness of these rolls, and former fans are calling for a return to the old recipe. 

Also, during the thawing process, the outer ring of each bun tends to puff up, making the outermost layer very thick and the center very small, which is the inverse of what cinnamon roll lovers are looking for. Overall, it's not a bad bun by any means, but it lacks a certain wow factor.

10. Cinnabon Frosting-filled Cinnapastry

As the iconic purveyor of mall-grade cinnamon rolls, Cinnabon's name probably seems like a shoo-in for this list. Yet Cinnabon doesn't actually offer many options for take-home cinnamon rolls, since most of their goods are made to be consumed on the spot in all their gooey glory. The best of Cinnabon's at-home concoctions is a new take on what the words "cinnamon roll" really imply: the Cinnabon Frosting-filled Cinnapastry.

The concept behind the Cinnapastry is that the icing is the best part of the cinnamon roll, so there should be more of it — and it should be located in the center of the pastry instead of on top. This means that the Cinnapastry looks more like a muffin than a cinnamon roll, but is made with that same characteristic Cinnabon dough. Unfortunately, the Cinnapastry is slightly too sweet — more frosting, it turns out, is a lot of frosting — and they're hard to heat up just right, often resulting in a scalding center.

9. Entenmann's Glazed Honey Bun

This might be controversial, but Entenmann's Glazed Honey Buns takes a comfortable seat right at the center of these rankings, beating out Entenmann's Cinnamon Swirl Buns by several notches. Your possible confusion at this is warranted: Technically, honey buns are not cinnamon rolls, even though they are shaped like rolls and they do contain cinnamon.

Honey Buns make it in on a technicality simply because they offer such a light, seemingly-effortless taste and texture. The taste highlights a sweet honey flavor instead of cinnamon, and the dough itself is more like a donut than the traditional heavier cinnamon roll dough. Honey Buns are sold in single packets, making them easier to eat. This also means they are cheap and can be bought as a snack. 

Finally, the taste of the Honey Bun and the texture actually improves when you put it in the microwave, unlike the mess that results when you do so with Entenmann's Cinnamon Swirl Buns. Because of the taste, the texture, and the fact that these buns are super satisfying when heated up, they earn their keep in a cinnamon roll competition.

8. El Camino Real Bakery Petite Cinnamon Rolls

El Camino Real Bakery's goods are all sold at Costco, the convenient, warehouse-based retailer offering discounted bulk goods from clothing to produce. Because they're sold at Costco, El Camino Real Bakery Petite Cinnamon Rolls are packaged in Costco-sized proportions, which is to say, 35 per case. It might seem insane to clog your Costco cart with so many (so, so many) cinnamon rolls, but it's worth it.

The petite cinnamon rolls, which each weigh only an ounce, are surprisingly good. El Camino Real's cinnamon sugar mixture is well-proportioned, the rolls are surprisingly buttery, and they reheat very well. These aren't showstoppers, by any means. However, if you have a consistent cinnamon roll craving, the Costco rolls are a good way to scratch that itch without breaking the bank or ushering in diabetes. Warning: it requires true resolve to limit yourself to just one of these little things, so take that into account before buying if you're trying to curb your cinnamon bun intake.

7. Favorite Day Bakery Cinnamon Rolls

Favorite Day Bakery Cinnamon Rolls are available only at Target. If you don't recognize this brand, that's because Target launched Favorite Day Bakery in 2021 as a private label in order to better curate the goods in their stores. With their new cinnamon rolls, you get four per package, and the tray they're sold in can go straight into the oven, making your job as a baker (and eater) very easy.

Interestingly, Target suggests reheating these cinnamon rolls with a pat of butter, which might be because they sometimes err on the side of being too dry. However, the buns hold their form well, the recipe is yummy, and they reheat well (with or without butter). The cream cheese frosting comes already sprinkled onto the buns in a lattice pattern and its flavor pairs well with the cinnamon taste. However, that fun pattern means there isn't much frosting. If you attempt to eat it without reheating, the frosting is hard and flakes off, which means you get even less of it.

6. IKEA Kafferep Cinnamon Buns

IKEA's kitchens are a big part of what makes the affordable home goods store so legendary. While the most famous offering at IKEA are the Swedish meatballs, the cinnamon rolls the brand serves up are nothing to scoff at. They have a really refreshing cinnamon-sugar mixture, they're nice and puffy, and they are the perfect size. All in all, they're worth a trip to IKEA in and of themselves.

While the in-store rolls are what you'd be more likely to write home about, there are also frozen packs of cinnamon rolls, called KAFFEREP, available to take home. The frozen version is slightly less satisfying than the in-store variety: the dough is still great, but these buns follow the Swedish tradition of being topped with flakes of sugar instead of icing, a choice that some hardcore cinnamon bun fanatics might be less-than-pleased about. The taste of these buns is delicious nevertheless. The lack of icing — plus the fact that you need to hike all the way to IKEA to get your hands on them — stops these buns from making it into the top five.

5. Pillsbury Original

Founded in 1869 by Charles A. Pillsbury in Minnesota, Pillsbury is perhaps the only brand here that rose to prominence precisely for cinnamon roll creation. For a while, Pillsbury had a surprising reach — the company not only produced the cinnamon rolls we associate with the name but also owned the entire Burger King franchise and Häagen-Dazs. In 2001, it was acquired by General Mills.

Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls with Original Icing offer either five or eight buns in their signature exploding can. This recipe is a classic, which makes it super nostalgic: Pillsbury is known for its delicious, super-sweet mixture of cinnamon mixed with its delectable original icing, which retains a brilliant white even when it gets a little melty. Unfortunately for Pillsbury, which is in many ways the grandfather of the store-bought cinnamon roll, other buns are more reliable in terms of quality and have developed a more cinnamon-y taste. These days, buying a pack of small cinnamon rolls from Pillsbury might not even get you the characteristic swirl pattern. There's no consistency in this product — if there were, it would be higher in the rankings. As is, it's a disappointing fall from grace.

4. Rhodes Bake N Serv Cinnamon Rolls

This company was founded by Herbert Cecil Rhodes with the intention to create easy-to-cook bread dough that busy people could bake and serve fresh in their own homes, without the hassle of mixing dough themselves. The first product they created was a basic frozen bread dough. Rhodes' cinnamon rolls were first brought to market in 1991 and quickly became a fan favorite.

Rhodes Bake N Serv Cinnamon Rolls come frozen in a plastic bag. It's your job to take them out, wait for them to rise for at least an hour, and then cook them. The extra effort necessary to enjoy Rhodes can be annoying when you wake up with a severe craving for breakfast cinnamon rolls and can't immediately satiate it; yet the puff of the pastry on these rolls when you make them correctly makes the wait worth it. Plus, they have a delicious cinnamon-sugar mix and a thick cream cheese frosting.

3. Immaculate Baking Organic Cinnamon Rolls

To the well-trained eye, Immaculate Baking Organic Cinnamon Rolls really do seem pretty darn immaculate. These buns are made with all-organic ingredients, which is obviously a plus. The recipe also doesn't include bleached flour, artificial flavors, or preservatives. When cooked, they bubble with delicious cinnamon goo, and the swirl is always picture-perfect.

The Immaculate Baking brand is fairly new: Technically, founder Scott Blackwell started baking the cookies that would become the foundation of his brand years earlier, but they only became available in grocery stores starting in 1997. This company is zany, to say the least. One of Immaculate Baking's projects soon after being founded was to bake the biggest cookie of all time, which turned out to be 102 feet long, to raise money for a Folk Artist's Foundation museum. The focus on using baked goods to promote the arts is core to Immaculate Baking's mission.

The only thing keeping these rolls from the top is that their mixture isn't quite as cinnamon-y as some other options — it's strangely diluted. Also, the frosting melts right into the bun, becoming more of a glaze than icing.

2. Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls

You didn't think we were done with Pillsbury, did you? Although consistency concerns still exist with most Pillsbury products, Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls are an improvement upon their original-sized recipe. The bigger size of the cinnamon rolls means that Pillsbury Grands are actually made by rolling cinnamon mixture with dough, instead of the crystallized sugar mixture that can be found on top of each miniature bun. The dough is puffy and the cinnamon is flavorful and present.

What sets these buns apart is the topping. The icing on these rolls truly cannot be beaten — the Pillsbury icing is possibly the best icing on the list. When the rolls come out of the can looking like rolls and not like blobs, there isn't a more perfect bite to be had. If Pillsbury got back to basics and ensured that these rolls came out uniform, the top slot might have a run for its money.

1. Annie's Organic Cinnamon Rolls

With an average online rating of a full five stars, Annie's Organic Cinnamon Rolls are well-recognized by the public as masterful. But, how did Annie's, a brand that started out making primarily mac and cheese, beat out the rest of the powerful competitors on this list?

Well, our victor earned its crown by caring deeply about both its product and its impact. Annie's is one of the first brands to have been founded with an eye toward sustainability. In 1989, founder Annie Withey came up with the idea to create food in a "socially conscious" way and started making fully organic products in 1998.

These buns are properly spiced, and the dough is fluffy and light, which makes you feel less guilty about eating nine in a row. They come out looking remarkably similar to the Immaculate Baking buns, but they're pushed over the edge by their superior cinnamon filling. The icing is sugary and clear, the buns have a gorgeous texture, and they're delicious when reheated. Annie's has earned its spot at the top.