Okay, you could bake cinnamon buns from scratch at the cottage. You could proof the yeast, and let the dough rise, and roll it out, and…oh, never mind. And yes, you could pop them out of a package and stick them in the oven, but wouldn’t you rather have fresh, from-scratch buns with sticky sweet icing?
Ontario cottage country has tons of bakeries with pans full of cinnamon buns just waiting for you. We asked our readers to let us know their favourite place to buy a bun (or dozen) at the cottage. Here’s what you had to say:
The best cinnamon buns in Ontario
Four words: Raspberry. Chocolate. Cinnamon. Buns. If that isn’t enough to get you in the door of the Bakery by the Bay in Stayner, then go because, in the words of one reviewer, “the bakery smells like butter.” How much better does it get? Seriously, though, these folks know their cinnamon rolls. “These are the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had” is a common refrain on the Facebook page. (They’ve got regular cinnamon rolls you have to try too—not just the fancy ones.)
Don’s Bakery, which has been in Bala since 1947, is particularly famous for its scones, but the cinnamon buns have also garnered “the best I’ve ever had” from reviewers. If you’re going in the summer, make sure you get there early—buns often sell out before noon. A raisin fan? You’re in luck. Don’s has been known to have cinnamon buns studded with dried fruit deliciousness.
Hank’s is one of three historic buildings in Port Perry that continues in its original function, having “risen from the ashes of the great fire in 1884.” They’ve had plenty of time to develop the perfect cinnamon bun. They’re also well known for their big-as-your-face apple fritters, so just in case you’re not full from your cinnamon bun, you’ve got something else to try.
Don’t let their name fool you—yes, the Kawartha Buttertart Factory is well-known for its butter tarts, but they also have super delicious cinnamon rolls. You can get them iced or not, but keep in mind that a reviewer said the icing has “just the right amount of sweetness,” so you might as well go all-in, right? And if you aren’t in the neighbourhood of either Douro or Peterborough, you can order the bakery’s treats online.
The Village Pantry doesn’t have much of an online presence, but that hasn’t stopped word from getting out about their cinnamon rolls (or their pizza, or their subs). They’ve got grocery items too, so if you need a last-minute re-supply of bug spray or potato chips, you’re covered there as well—but you’ll definitely find it hard to walk away without some kind of sweet treat.
This gourmet grocery store also makes ready-to-eat meals—and the decadent cinnamon buns garner all-caps reviews that proclaim them the best in Ontario. You can pick up a dozen, a half-dozen, or a single roll. And here’s a little tip for you: if you’re going to order them online, you’ll need to order a day ahead.
Custom cakes, cupcakes and, oh yes, cinnamon buns are all on offer at this relatively new spot in Grand Bend. If you’re thinking about a sweet treat as dessert, they also offer sandwiches, soup and quiche. If you’re in Grand Bend in the off-season, it might be worth sampling West Coast’s wares now—before things get busy in the summer!
Definitely go to Mighty Fine for the cinnamon buns, which are excellent, but stay for the superlative croissants and sausage rolls. There’s also fresh focaccia and creative sandwiches. Not in town? Check out their Facebook or Instagram pages for a fun peek into the life of the bakery, as well as neat facts about baking!
Queenies is a neighbourhood fixture, serving baked goods and lunches to the hungry folks in Port Hope. They’ve gotten raves for their food, of course, but they’ve also demonstrated a dedication to their community—providing warm hats, mitts, and scarves for people who need them and running toy drives during the holidays. All around sweet stuff!