Being a vegan is hard enough in Berkeley (the rock-hard vegan brownies in Crossroads, anyone?), but getting your vegan bestie a birthday cake is basically Mission Impossible. Never having had any dietary restrictions in my life, I was naturally clueless when it came to finding an eggless cake. After trying Trader Joe’s and multiple bakeries, the despair of not being able to give her something special overpowered my sore calves. I was about to give up, but Cinnaholic saved the day.
Cinnaholic is a Berkeley-only cinnamon roll shop that serves dairy-free, lactose-free, egg-free and cholesterol-free rolls and desserts. To be honest, the vegan cinnamon rolls are not as moist as traditional ones, but Cinnaholic definitely knows how to work this to its advantage. Loaded with sweet toppings and soaked in creamy frostings, their rolls easily overcome the texture challenge. Also, they offer up to thirty different frostings and twenty-two toppings, meaning you can always create new combinations and never get bored.
My personal favorite is butterscotch frosting with apples and pie crust crumbles. The apples are refreshing, while the pie crust crumbles add richness to the mixture. Together with the butterscotch-flavored frosting, they produce a fresh yet sophisticated palette. Another popular combo is coffee frosting with brownie chunks, which is always a safe bet if you’re not feeling overly adventurous.
Although these classic rolls with a new twist are extremely appealing, the $4.50 base roll plus 25 cents for each topping/frosting can be intimidating. Here’s what I do when I’m craving the all-vegan rolls, while being terribly broke: get there early and order a “Just Baked Yesterday” base roll. It only costs $2 and tastes almost the same as a freshly baked one.
Perhaps, I have a soft spot for Cinnaholic because of that radiant smile on my friend’s face when I replaced her birthday cake with a box of cinnamon rolls, but it is a must-try bakery in Berkeley. Now, if you want to get a high quality cinnamon roll with no animal-based ingredients, you know where to go!
Location: 2132 Oxford St. in Berkeley, CA
Hours of operation: Tues-Sun: 10 am-7 pm