Cinnamon Rolls Was Just The Beginning

I’ve always wanted to learn to make cinnamon rolls. When the opportunity arose to learn how from an accomplished pastry chef, I signed up. This was just about a year ago. 

Mind you, I’ve tackled yeast based breads before when preparing my signature Parker House rolls which have graced many a Thanksgiving table. However, I’ve hesitated making cinnamon rolls—the recipes I’ve seen didn’t appear to be easily made without lots of time. I really wanted the ability to make these for a morning breakfast without too much fuss or muss.

Ann LoParo to the rescue! found just what I wanted in a hands on class offered by Annie’s Signature Sweets which operates out of the historic Hildebrandt Building in Cleveland. Annie is a pastry chef who loves desserts and teaching people how to make them. 

The class was 5 students which was perfect. Annie had plenty of time to demo the process we would be following and then work with each of us to individualize our rolls. She offered a variety of fillings—fresh and dried fruits, nuts, butterscotch and chocolate chips. I chose to “play with my food” and made a dough sprinkled with Pat’s Granola Tropical on one side and apples and butterscotch on the other.

Annie shared that the dough we used wasn’t overly sweet which lends itself for either a sweet or savory roll. I was intrigued with the idea of making a savory roll with feta or goat cheese, fresh herbs and spinach—filed this away for a later date.

Annie answered questions throughout class and explained everything from the do’s and don’ts of using yeast, temperature of ingredients, rising dough tips and baking temperatures. I was thrilled to be able to add my granola as a dough filling and then learn how to carefully roll it into a log which was cut into individual pieces and placed into pie pans.

After a short time to rise, the rolls were baked and we were able to ice our creations to perfection. These were the rolls I always dreamed of making. Tender, light with just the right amount of cinnamon and filling.

This was a wonderful class that stretched my imagination taking cinnamon rolls to a whole new level of deliciousness. 

Since COVID, Ann has transitioned her in person classes to virtual classes. Her class schedule includes all manner of delicious baked goods. There’s something for everyone. These classes make great gifts as I experienced with my sister Susan recently.

I treated Susan to a French macarons class for our birthday. She was so delighted to experience a class virtually and will be teaching her daughter how to make macarons over Thanksgiving. We both had a wonderful time and Ann offers a hands-on class that is so much fun. Truly each one, teach one.

I have made cinnamon rolls many times since last year and each time I’m grateful to have learned how to make this favorite food. 


Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland based food company. Pat's Granola is sold online at and is also available at several Northeast Ohio businesses including:

Troubadour Coffee Roasters

Sports and Spine Physical Therapy

Local Flavors Shoppe

Rittman Orchards and Farm Market

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

Locle Box

Good Foods Brands

Market Wagon Northeast Ohio


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