Kansas Magazine. Spring 2009
Warm, moist and gooey cinnamon rolls slathered with creamy
icing are decadent treats. Several Kansas restaurants roll out an
oversized version sure to satisfy the largest appetite.
Cinnamon rolls are irresistible,
whether they’re the size of a
saucer or platter. However, it’s
the gigantic homemade rolls
that have made the restaurants
that serve the generous portions
legendary. Here’s a sampling of
places with astronomical rolls.
“Our cinnamon rolls are what
we’ve become known for and it was
kind of a fluke; we never intended
KANSAS! • Spring 2009
them to be that big,” says Shelly
Wiggins, owner of Neighbors Cafe in
McPherson (40 miles south of Salina).
When Shelly and her husband
Cameron purchased the cafe more
than a decade ago, there was only
one oven. One day while the dinner
rolls were baking and the cinnamon
rolls were waiting for a turn in the
oven they continued to rise which
led to their enormous size.
“Some people call them hubcaps
or frisbee-size,” Shelly says of the
pecan-filled roll topped with coffeeflavored icing and a dollop of butter.
One cinnamon roll—that covers
an entire platter—can easily feed
four people, although on occasion an
individual will eat the whole thing.
establishment, with seats at the
counter and booths, allows Shelly
photographs: harland schuster. (opposite) bob stefko
TA S T E O f K A N S A S
from the Oven
From Our Daily Bread Bake Shoppe
Marilyn’s Cinnamon Rolls
Excerpted from Our Father’s Table, Our Daily Bread’s cookbook (sold at the bakery).
2 cups milk
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup hot water
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups mashed potato flakes
Melted butter (about ½ cup)
Sugar and cinnamon (about 1 cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup cinnamon)
Scald milk and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add melted butter, water,
sugar, salt, eggs, mashed potato flakes and yeast. Start adding flour, about
10 cups until soft dough forms. Knead 6 to 8 minutes. Let rise until doubled.
Punch down. Roll out dough into rectangle and brush with melted butter.
Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Roll and seal ends. Cut desired size of
cinnamon roll. Place in greased baking pan. Let rise until doubled.
Bake in a 350º oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Frost the
cinnamon rolls with your favorite icing.
Makes about 2-dozen rolls, depending on size.
Looking for more great recipes?
to keep an eye on her customers
The dinner plate-size cinnamon
rolls for which the Gorham Cafe in
Gorham is famous for were created
on accident (20 miles east of Hays).
Betty Froelich, who operates the
cafe, says the colossal pastry was
the result of her dough more than
doubling while she was busy.
“Quite a few people will split one,”
Betty says of the sweet roll infused
with an extra-generous amount of
cinnamon and smothered in frosting
made with real cream.
Betty attributes her success to
years of experimenting with recipes
and practice. “You don’t learn this
overnight,” says the 74-year-old
grandmother and Gorham native who
has been in the restaurant business
for 60 years (785/637-5353).
The made-from-scratch cinnamon
rolls with maple-flavored icing at Our
Daily Bread Bake Shoppe and Bistro
in Barnes are five-inch-square rolls
that weigh almost one pound each
(50 miles north of Manhattan).
Mashed potatoes, a surprising,
but not-so-secret ingredient in the
recipe, give the rolls a light texture.
“It makes the dough soft and keeps
it fresh,” says Kate Olson, event
coordinator for the family business
Abilene writer Cecilia Harris considers
cinnamon rolls a special treat to enjoy
any time of day.
ALMA BAKERY AND SWEET
SHOPPE, ALMA Cream, vanilla
and a secret flavoring add zest
to the icing on the nearly
five-inch-wide cinnamon rolls
BAKERY SHOP, HAYS Tender
and soft four-inch rolls, made
from a German recipe passed on
from an earlier generation, are
made by pouring a cream
mixture over the dough (785/
DUTCH MILL BAKERY, YODER
The time-tested recipes used for
30 years at this bakery result in
tasty seven-ounce, four-and-ahalf-inch rolls with flavorful icing
HARRY’S CAFE, PITTSBURG
With a motto, “mother’s only
competitor,” the owner relies on
her mother’s recipe for the
saucer-size rolls flavored with
pecans; located in a historic
more cinnamon roll favorites
3 to 4 tablespoons yeast
TJ’S KOUNTRY KITCHEN,
ULYSSES An egg-and-milk
mixture adds to the special
fillinginside the four-tofive-inch
rolls sold at this rural restaurant
near Hickok (620/424-1368)
WHEATFIELDS BAKERY CAFE,
LAWRENCE The five-inch square
rolls are baked in a wood-fired
brick oven; USA Today listed
Wheatfields as one of the 10 best
in the nation using artisan baking
Spring 2009 • KANSAS!