Open Tab: Cinnaholic spices up Evanston’s dessert scene with signature and customizable rolls


Kunjal Bastola/The Daily Northwestern

The Very Berry Roll and the Navy Pier Roll. Located at 1596 Sherman Ave., Cinnaholic offers a wide variety of treats to brighten up your day.

Kunjal Bastola and Rachel Schlueter

Cinnaholic offers a variety of cinnamon rolls and sweet treats that make the perfect Winter Quarter study snack. 

Located on 1596 Sherman Ave., the bakery opened its Evanston location in August 2021. All Cinnaholic rolls are vegan, and the bakery is certified kosher. Northwestern students also receive a 10% student discount with a valid Wildcard.

After appearing on a Shark Tank episode in 2014, Cinnaholic began its franchising program. The chain now has dozens of bakeries across the country and eight bakeries in Canada after starting up in California.

The Old Skool is Cinnaholic’s classic roll, topped with vanilla frosting. But, with 21 frosting flavors and 29 topping choices, customers can also get creative. Patrons can build their own cinnamon rolls or choose from the bakery’s signature options. 

Signature Rolls

Cinnamon roll with cookie dough bites, chocolate syrup and icing
The Cookie Monster Roll before Rachel microwaved it. (Rachel Schlueter/The Daily Northwestern)

If you like chocolate, the Cookie Monster Roll is the one for you. The cinnamon roll is layered with cream cheese frosting and topped with cookie dough, chocolate chips and chocolate sauce. This roll is every chocolatier’s heaven. Pro tip: Eat it as soon as you buy it, and don’t make the mistake of popping it into the microwave for a minute (Rachel would know).

Cinnamon roll with melted icing and cookie dough
The Cookie Monster Roll after Rachel microwaved it. (Rachel Schlueter/The Daily Northwestern)

If chocolate isn’t your vibe, the Very Berry Roll may be just what you’re looking for. This roll has cake batter frosting and is topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberry jam and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. The fruit gives the roll a natural sweetness and, combined with the frosting, makes the roll a great option for dessert lovers who don’t want to be bombarded with chocolate. 

The Caramel Apple Pie Roll combines caramel frosting (so yum) with fresh apples, pecans, pie crumble and caramel sauce. Eating this roll feels like you’re taking a bite into a heavenly slice of pie, with a little crunch from the pecans. Caramel lovers will absolutely eat this up. 

Have you ever wanted strawberry cheesecake as a cinnamon roll? The Strawberries & Cream Roll, layered with cream cheese frosting and topped with strawberries and walnuts, has all the sweetness, crunchiness and fruity flavor you could dream of. You’ll definitely be coming back for more.  

If a whole roll seems too daunting or you just want to try out the different frosting flavors, Cinnaholic also offers baby buns with customizable frosting flavors. These one-bite rolls are the perfect little pick-me-ups to brighten up your day. 

Local Rolls

In addition to its signature rolls that are available at all locations, each Cinnaholic carries a selection of local specialty rolls. The Evanston location has the Wildcat and Navy Pier rolls, along with a few other special flavors. The Wildcat Roll is dipped in maple frosting and finished with brownie bites, marshmallows and sprinkles. 

Of the two, we ordered the Navy Pier. Named after an iconic Chicago landmark, the Navy Pier Roll is a decadent combination of cinnamon, peanut butter and chocolate. The roll is covered in marshmallow frosting and sprinkled with crunchy pie crumble and cinnadoodle bites — Cinnaholic’s take on the classic snickerdoodle cookie. This warm spice helps cut through the sweetness of the marshmallow frosting. The roll is also topped with broken-up peanut butter cups to add a rich chocolate flavor.

Cinnaholic also has a seasonal rotation of two rolls. This winter, Cinnaholic is serving the Candied Almond Roll and the Biscoff Cookie Butter Roll.

Other Desserts

Though Cinnaholic’s claim to fame is its gourmet cinnamon rolls, the chain offers additional desserts. Cinnaholic sells homemade cookies, brownies and cinnacakes, large sheet cakes made of cinnamon rolls. The shop also serves raw cookie dough. Customers can order scoops of cookie dough with toppings, or they can order a scoop of plain cookie dough for $5.

Whatever you’re craving, Cinnaholic is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @kunjal_bastola

Email: [email protected]


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