Just two weeks old as I write this, Rosen’s Cinnamon Buns, on 825 College Street is already packing them in. I haven’t seen so much pre-opening hype in a long time – social media has really been talking this place up. I even went there three weeks ago, thinking they were already open, and was disappointed to see they weren’t. I guess Amy Rosen knew this was a needed niche in Toronto, with the over-saturation of macaron, pastry, donut, chocolate and ice cream shops, Toronto has been lacking a gourmet cinnamon bun shop.
The clean little shop is a bit tricky to find. The awning sign is for the former tenant (a hairdresser), and the only visible signage is on the storefront window. It has a cute patterned tile floor, white walls, white marble countertops, and an open kitchen. You can see everything being made and baked fresh daily. There’s not much color to the decor, save for the art – a charming portrait of a young Barbara Streisand with her hair in a bun of cinnamon rolls, created especially for Amy.
James Beard nominated journalist, Amy Rosen, was the Food Editor at both Chatelaine and House & Home magazines, and a writer for publications like Air Canada’s enRoute magazine and the Globe and Mail. For her latest venture, she spent months on end testing and perfecting the perfect cinnamon bun – from what I hear, concocting her experiments at the family cottage. Unsurprisingly, the product she’s created is truly excellent. The spirals of sticky, yet light and fluffy brioche pastry dough have the perfect crust on the bottom and are topped with a light glaze. I had mine right out of the oven, and Amy was there personally glazing my order. They didn’t make it to the car … I cozied up to the only counter space by the window and washed it down with a cup of Ezra’s Pound coffee (there is no table seating in the tiny shop). I like that the buns are not too sweet. Amy says she uses very little sugar in the dough itself, and that the three-ingredient glaze provides the perfect amount of sweetness. The result is delightfully gooey, with a liquid-like center.
There are only two items on the menu, the buns are $4 a piece or $20 for half a dozen. She also makes a decadent bread pudding from her cinnamon buns!! Wash down your delight with the aforementioned coffee, or tea by Honest Leaf.
The handmade buns are all-natural – Amy uses organic milk and free-range eggs. Even her napkins and cutlery are biodegradable.
The biggest problem is they sell out quickly, but Amy says this is due to learning curve, and she is figuring out how to make more dough. The shop is open Wednesday to Sunday, from 8am until 4pm. Mondays and Tuesdays are for preparing that week’s dough. Because of the lack of seating, this is more of a grab-and-go affair, but I dare you to make it to your car without at least sampling one. They are finger licking good. I am SO happy!