Sunday, November 8, 2015

Day 312 - Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Icing

My sister Sherry and her husband Jim have been staying with us the last few days.  They came from Omaha to visit.  Well, Jim had a conference to come to and Sherry came along, which delighted me!  This meant we got to run around and do lots of fun stuff!  One of the things we did was tour Abraham Lincoln’s Cottage.  It is in Washington DC and was where he spent lots of time when he was president.  Apparently it was cooler, calmer, and prettier at the cottage than at the White House (even though a cemetery is right by the cottage and bodies of Civil War dead were being buried right in front of the Lincoln family everyday…). 

Look how TALL President Lincoln was!  Our tour guide said this statue is life sized.
I totally took advantage of Jim and Sherry’s visit and bought these JUMBO CINNAMON ROLLS with VANILLA ICING at Trader Joe’s.  This type of thing is not David’s favorite breakfast item, and the package has 5 big cinnamon rolls in it, so I have wanted to buy these for a couple of months but knew I couldn’t get through them by myself.  Now that we have visitors I grabbed a package and popped them in the oven!   And of COURSE I asked Jim and Sherry to be guest reviewers.  Here is what everyone thought:

Here is what the package looks like.  Find them at TJ's near the butter.
Sherry – these were good.  To me they tasted just like the Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls.  If they are the same price as the Pillsbury ones I would buy them, but I would not go out of my way to buy these.  If they were CHEAPER than the Pillsbury ones I would buy them.   I would give these just a 3.  I mean, compared to a cinnamon roll you get in a BAKERY I would give them a 1.  But compared to Pillsbury I would give them a 3, because they are the same.

Jim – I love Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls.  I give these a FIVE (then he added a little Pillsbury Dough Boy tummy poke and giggle, which was charming.)

This is the PILLSBURY DOUGH BOY tummy poke.  I wish I had video so you could hear the giggle that goes with it.
David (note – reminder, he does not really like Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls) – these taste like other “get ‘em out of the fridge and poppin’ fresh cinnamon rolls”.  Maybe they are a little bit better than the Grands ones we have had before.  I could do with a bit more icing but I have only eaten the outside edge and there is more icing in the middle.  There is still that “little something” in this that is in all store bought cinnamon rolls that is not in it if you make it yourself and bake it in your oven with just butter, flour, and whatever else goes in it (editor’s note:  I do not recall a time in our 27 years together that David has made homemade cinnamon rolls…).  Compared with the other possibilities, I would have to give these a 3.5.  (Editor back again – it is incredible that he rated these higher than Sherry!)

Here is a TJ's cinnamon roll in action!
Susan – I was in charge of baking these for breakfast.  There are 5 in a package, but I didn’t read that part before prepping them.  I just opened the package, separated them where they wanted to naturally split up (there were FOUR), and put them on a baking sheet and into the oven.  Luckily I then quickly looked at the label and saw there were supposed to be FIVE and not FOUR.  Oops – I pulled them out and figured out the mistake.  All of that is to say, they could be cut better so that they separated easier.  They are a BREAKFAST food, meaning whoever puts them in the oven probably has not had coffee yet and is sleepy, so it needs to be as easy as possible.  I think they taste just like Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls.  They are a tiny bit too big for my taste, but the package says JUMBO so that is to be expected. 

PRICING – everyone compared them to Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, so a price comparison obviously needed to be done.  Sherry and I popped over to the Giant Grocery Store to see what they charged.  And guess what?  THEY ARE THE EXACT SAME PRICE at Trader Joe’s and Giant!  That means that in this case you are not saving any money by buying the Trader Joe’s brand, and they pretty much taste just the same.

Same price for the national brand at a competing grocery store
Trader Joe's brand price tag $3.99
So, if you are at Trader Joe’s and hungry for cinnamon rolls, pick them up.  But if you are at another store and feel a hankerin’, don’t feel guilty for buying them there.  In fact, since Pillsbury has coupons for them in the Sunday newspaper almost every week, I say clip a coupon, shop at a store that doubles coupons, and you will feel like a real winner for saving money!

Since they are the same price as the national brand, my rating of these TJ’s rolls is a 3.5.  I will average all 4 ratings together for the final score.

Price - $3.99
Rating – 3.75


  1. I don't know if I've ever baked these per package directions; we use them to make cinnamon roll waffles though - separate into individual rolls and place one in each square of a waffle maker. If there were a way to make jumbo cinnamon rolls even more indulgent, this would be it! I think the official Pinterest-y recipe suggests mixing the icing packet with maple syrup to make a hybrid topping. Best eaten on a weekend with an extra pot of coffee!
    Enjoy your company! I love having visiting family :)

    1. That sounds lovely!!!! Thanks for the idea - I do believe I will give that a try!

    2. They stay very tender, with none of the crusty or chewy edges that baked rolls get, and the swirl of cinnamon is pretty!

  2. Just as an FYI, the TJ's have a better score health-wise at Fooducate because the Pillsbury rolls have artificial colors, trans fats from the hydrogenated oil used, and are also GMO. If you have kids that might fly off the walls with artificial colors or have stomach problems with the GMO pesticides, TJ's is your best bet.