So….what’s the difference?? Cinnamon Rolls vs. Sticky Buns

Food can be confusing. Many breakfast foods can sometimes get confused with other foods that share the same or similar ingredients, might look alike, or may somehow get mistaken for something else. Do you know the difference between scrapple and goetta (I hope so!)? How about Greek yogurt and regular yogurt? An Americano and a Cortado? Huevos Rancheros and Chilaquiles? Corned beef hash and creamed chipped beef?  How about an apple fritter and an apple dumpling?

This week I’m starting a new regular feature on TBGG called “So…what’s the difference??”, where each week we’ll hear from a local restaurateur, chef, food truck owner, or food purveyor about the foods that they make and serve each and every day. We’ll ask them “What’s the difference” between the dishes/items, and we’ll get their opinions on the foods in question. We’ll also give them an opportunity to tell you about their business in their own words. Hopefully this will help you learn a little more about your breakfast, as well as the local folks serving up this delicious grub!

First up, we go sweet….


Photo courtesy of Yelp

This week: Barry’s Buns – 8229 Germantown Ave.

“Barry’s Buns is a made from scratch bakery that specializes in gourmet sticky buns, cinnamon buns, and liege waffles,(with) an offering of six sticky bun flavors on the menu along with a seasonal flavor. Our made to order liege waffles are loaded with Belgian pearl sugar and crowned with your choice of various toppings.

Barry’s Buns is owned and operated by Joel Singer.  Joel is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University with a degree in baking and pastry arts and was most recently the Regional Bakery Associate Coordinator of Whole Foods Market for the Mid-Atlantic Region.  His career in pastry began at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and prior to working at Whole Foods Market, Joel was the Assistant Pastry Chef at The Rittenhouse hotel.

It has always been a lifelong goal of Joel to own his own business and his business plan had actually forecasted his business in 5 years. However, after finding the Market at the Fareway in Chestnut Hill, opening the business went from opening in 5 years to 45 days.  We opened in May 2015 and hope to grow to another location since the response to our product has been amazing! We love our customers.”

Q: What’s the difference between a cinnamon roll and a sticky bun?

“This is a great question and we get asked this a lot by our customers.  The cinnamon roll and sticky bun are very similar but have very different characteristics.  The same dough is used for the cinnamon roll and sticky bun; however, the difference comes to the sticky smear and how they are baked.  The sticky bun is baked upside down in a bath of butter, brown sugar, and honey (and then if they are going to be topped, walnuts and raisins, those ingredients are included in the bath).  This bath creates a sticky smear on the top of the sticky bun.

The cinnamon roll on the other hand is baked right side up and does not include any of the sticky smear.  We like to call the cinnamon roll the naked version of the sticky bun.”

Q: Which is better?

“That is hard to answer and it really comes down to personal preference on whether you want a sticky gooey bun or a  traditional cinnamon roll.”


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