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The service at the Cinnabon is warm and sweet much like the cinnamon rolls, which unfortunately are too sweet for my taste. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

In Finland, even though rarely had as breakfast, many children grow up with buns baked by moms, prepared according to the recipe passed from generation to generation – including the cinnamon rolls, which since 1985 have also been the speciality of the American baked goods chain Cinnabon.

Roughly two weeks ago, Cinnabon opened its doors at the Arabia mall in Helsinki.


After hearing my American acquaintances praising them and after reading how it makes the American expats “feel like home”, I decided to switch my usual breakfast of coffee and muesli to a coffee and a cinnamon roll.

At the Arabia mall, it wasn’t hard to find the Cinnabon; I just needed to follow the whiff of the warm cinnamon.

A young woman was standing behind the counter of the shop about the size of an average Subway, and she had a plate full of tasters.

She offered me the classic roll and explained there’s a cream cheese frosting on top, an unheard ingredient in the Finnish version of a few crumbs of coarse sugar as the crown.

The piece was extremely sweet but for breakfast, I needed to order the whole roll or maybe two.


Who can resist something that looks like this? Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

It looked delicious. The white icing reminded me of Christmas and all the good things that come with it.

The fresh, warm dough melted in my mouth and after eating about half, I had to admit: my goodness . . . It. Was. Sweet.

Apparently there is a reason for it.

What I didn’t know at the time but what my research revealed later, was that an average Finnish cinnamon roll consists of about 8 grams of sugar per roll and about 300 calories.

But today, what I had in front of me, was a roll with 880 calories and consisted of 59 grams of sugar.

And not just simple sugar.

According to, the classic Cinnabon roll consists of brown sugar, powdered sugar, high fructose corn syrup and molasses.

After eating the whole thing and flushing it down with the regular coffee with milk, I sensed I was still hungry enough to try another cinnamon roll. I decided to go with the pecan.

Before ordering, I got to sample the chocolate roll, too.

Was it good? Well, it was kind of the same thing but with chocolate.

While munching at the pecans, I could feel the sugar high creeping in. I still had some coffee left in my cup. Thank God for that.

But after finishing, I still felt hungry.

Apparently after having about 1,800 calories and a shock of high fructose corn syrup, known for not triggering leptin, the “I’m stuffed hormone”, I could still eat one more.

I decided to skip that.

The next one I would have would be done the Finnish way.

Preferably by mom.